Double-A baseball is where the future stars play. Really. Often times, Triple-A baseball rosters are filled with minor league veterans who will seldom see the major league team. But the double-A affiliate of the major league team can be the jumping up point for the stars of tomorrow.
Since 1993, the Bowie Baysox have been in operation, with all years being part of the Baltimore Orioles organization. The first year, they played in Baltimore’s legendary Memorial Stadium while their stadium was being built. In 1994, they moved into their Bowie home after some construction delays. This meant they played at a few temporary spots along the way, including at the University of Maryland and the Naval Academy in Annapolis. Prior to Bowie, the double-A affiliate of the Orioles was the Hagerstown Suns, now a single-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
Bowie has some good food offerings. On weeknight games, they close some of the stands, making the remaining open ones very crowded.
The Show Grill, Sweet Shop, Grand Slam Grille, Black Angus Grille and an ice cream stand have many options for all price ranges. The $9 cheeseburger basket is a value, but the helmet-filled cheese fries are a great value for $7. You can also get a helmet "Sunday" for $6. Some of the other offerings are pizza by the slice ($4.50), fish and chips ($9.50), gyro basket ($10), pretzel ($4), corn dog basket ($6.75), loaded hot dogs ($6.25) and a stuffed pretzel for $5.
Hot dogs are $4.25 and soda is $4 around the stadium, with a refillable option for $5. The refills are not free, charging fans on each fill-up. You can also find bottled soda for $4 and bottled water for $3.50. Beer is $7 to $8.50, but 16-ounce cans are $8 at the Black Angus Grille. One great choice is also at that grille, and it is the Split Finger Baysox Burger. It is $10.50, but very tasty. Beer choices are the standard American types, with a few craft selections thrown in.
A kids-only meal is available at a stand-alone stand for a reasonable $5.50. This includes a hot dog, drink, chips and a toy.
Credit cards are accepted at most stands, but the kiosks will not take credit cards.
Bowie prides themselves on offering a family atmosphere and a place where the entire family can enjoy baseball. The true fan can enjoy the quality play, while the kids can enjoy the carousel, bounce houses and face painting offered. In-game promotions are also offered to keep the atmosphere fresh and fun. The team tries to keep it happening in between innings so as to not distract from the game.
There are orange bleachers for general admission sections, and green seats for assigned seating. The cheap seats get great views, as well as the fans paying for the more expensive ones. Bowie came along just a couple years after local Harry Grove Stadium in Frederick set the standard for minor league baseball. It is like a larger Frederick and a older version of Ripken Stadium (Aberdeen Ironbirds).
A well-stocked team store is located on the concourse, offering a variety of Bowie, Orioles and Eastern League merchandise.
There is nothing too exciting about the Bowie neighborhood near the stadium. The stadium sits off of a major highway (US Route 301) and is near many shopping centers and fast food restaurants. A Home Depot is even within walking distance of the stadium.
Poncho n' Pepe's Cantina at 1651 Maryland Route 3 in Crofton doesn't have the most exciting food selection, but is a colorful restaurant with many food and drink specials for pre and post-game gathering. Rip's Country Inn (3809 Crain Hwy, Bowie, MD) is a longtime family restaurant that is very close to the stadium. If you need solid quality good food, this is a great option.
Comfort Inn is at 4500 Crain Highway across US Route 301 from the stadium, and offers some game package deals.
Baltimore is 30 miles away, DC 18 miles away and Annapolis 15 miles away, so you should not be limited by the uninspiring suburban choices right near the stadium.
The fans are pretty traditional minor league fans for this area. Some are very knowledgeable about the game, while others are there as part of a family or a group and may be less interested in the actual game.
This is a Baltimore Orioles fan base, so expect to hear the loud "Ohhhhhhh" chant during the appropriate place in the National Anthem. Locals feel that the song is to do with as they please, while showing support to the home team. It is good-natured, so who could really disagree?
Access is the strong suit of Prince George's Stadium. Sitting at the intersection of US Route 301, US Route 50 and State Route 3, one should have no problem getting to the game. Traffic can be a bear at times, as this intersection is right between the triangle of Baltimore, Annapolis and Washington, DC. Plan a little leeway in timing for early evening games.
There is plenty of free parking in the regular lot, as well as the one located on Governors Bridge Road.
There are cheaper minor league games to attend. Bowie reflects the busy metropolitan area, and has some tickets that are nearly as expensive as the ones down the road at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
The best values are the general admission tickets that start around $10, depending on the game. These seats are close to the action, and give you flexibility to move around and/or get more food.
Be on the lookout for ticket promotions and other events that can make your game experience better. The team is active in the community, and there are many ways to attend the game.
The lighthouse near the home bullpen gives the tree-surrounded baseball park an interesting touch that plays to the nautical nature of the state.
The large sign on US Route 301 serves to not only notify fans of where the stadium is located, but as a place to learn about stadium activities.
Prince George's Stadium is the home of the Bowie Baysox, Double A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles. Opened in 1994, it has played host to numerous special sporting events including several All-Star events.
My impression? It's a great big bowl of fun.
I attended a game in Bowie on June 1st, 2010 (a Tuesday) and could not believe how unbelievably dead the ballpark was. Official attendance was 1,438...but an unofficial count was more like 400. The weather was beautiful: 80 degrees and partly sunny. It was a nice ballpark, but I just could not get past the fact that there were no fans and a non-existent atmosphere. Realizing there weren't any big promotions and it was a school night, I wouldn't expect big crowds....but a Double-A team in that market should be able to draw a few thousand.
The food and drink here was awesome...a lot of variety and it was good too. Platters were reasonably priced and a solid meal. I think eating at the ballpark is a better idea than in the nearby suburbanish area of chain eateries.
Ballpark design wasn't anything special, but it was pretty nice to see an open concourse from a ballpark built in 1993. The outfield surroundings of trees were quite pleasant.
I attended a game at Prince George's this year I found it to be well priced and highly enjoyable. I got lucky that Vladimar Guerrero was on a rehab assignment. Overall a decent experience not the best AA park Ive seen but definitely not the worst.
I've been here twice. Once was for an AA All-Star game and the other time was a June weeknight. While I like the stadium and the carousel in RF, there really wasn't much else that is notable. The crowd for June weeknight game was very sparse and quiet. They didn't really seem to get that interested in the game. That's OK with me, I go to a lot of games each year and I like quiet, relaxing parks. The food was OK and parking is easy. My favorite part is a pre-game visit to the Wine Cellars of Annapolis. Next time I'm in the area with time to kill, I'll probably visit Frederick instead.
The minor leagues are unique, in that being on the team could mean very different things, depending on the player's age. For baseball fans, though, the minor leagues can be a hidden treasure, as far as entertainment and bang for your buck.
Located in Bowie, Maryland, about 35 minutes south of Baltimore, are the Bowie Baysox, the Orioles' Double-A affiliate. Historically, the Baysox have struggled as a franchise since being founded in 1993, winning one division title (2008) and never getting past the first round of the playoffs. Of course, overall team records aren't as significant in the minor leagues as a stat like a team's attendance. Since 1994, the Baysox have played their home games at Prince George's Stadium, and while Bowie might not bring in the fans that the 'big city' AA teams do, the Baysox make attendance worth your while. Though the experience is a lot different than one at Camden Yards, that's not entirely a bad thing.
The park is very nice and the trees in the background make it a nice atmosphere. Since it's the minor leagues prices are quite cheap. The place is fun to go to baseball games if you want to sit closer than in Washington or Baltimore.
3809 N. Crain Highway
Bowie, MD 20716
8604 Chestnut Ave
Bowie, MD 20715
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