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Official Review by Paul Donaldson, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
Taking in a Colonels baseball game at Ray E. Didier Field provides visiting fans with a traditional setting for small college baseball. While in town, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy the best of Cajun culture, catch quality Southland Conference baseball, and enjoy a friendly atmosphere.
Didier Field has served as the home ballpark for the Nicholls State Colonels for over 50 years, having been originally constructed in 1960. The stadium has a seating capacity of 1,800. The Colonels are a member of the Southland Conference in NCAA Division I.
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Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
Ray E. Didier Field provides the basic ballpark staples to keep you satisfied through the game. The stand is a mobile trailer located behind the main grandstand.
Quality and Variety of Food Options. Your main food options include hot dogs ($3), nachos ($3), and hamburgers ($4). Extra chili and cheese are available for $1. Snack items include chips, pickles, and candy for $2 as well as popcorn for $3. An item that stands out as unique is "Da Cajun Bratwurst" for $5. This item includes a Cajun bratwurst topped with grilled onions and peppers.
Variety of Drink Options. Didier Field features bottled Coca-Cola products for $3. Bottled Dasani water is available for $3 and also hot chocolate, when available during cold games. Beer is available for $4, which includes the major brands of Bud Light, Coors Light, and Michelob Ultra.
Recommendation. Da Cajun Bratwurst is pretty tasty and will keep you satisfied. Also, it's hard to beat a hot dog while at the ballpark.
Ray E. Didier Field offers an atmosphere college baseball purists would love.
Stadium Aesthetics. Opened originally in 1960, Ray E. Didier Field has stood the test of time as the home ballpark for Nicholls State baseball. While the stadium may lack in a unified grandstand, it is able to accommodate large crowds for big match-ups with a seating capacity of 1,800. Fans also have multiple different viewing areas to choose from around the playing surface.
Didier Field features a natural grass playing surface and the outfield wall dimensions are 331-400-331.
The scoreboard features a small video display underneath, otherwise, it's a traditional board. There are two signs on both sides of the centerfield wall, one which lists postseason accomplishments and the other which lists former Colonels now playing professionally.
In-Game Promotions and Entertainment. One of the favorite promotions at Didier Field is the Raising Cane's Challenge. If the Colonels score three or more runs in the game, fans can pick up a voucher for a "buy a combo, get a combo free" deal at the local restaurant. Given the popularity of Raising Cane's across Louisiana, this is a great deal. Didier Field also features piped in music between inning changes and various announcements from the PA. There's an occasional trivia question as well. Don't expect any minor league antics throughout the game.
Seat Location Recommendations. Didier Field offers five sets of bleachers for fans to choose from. The main grandstand is located behind the backstop and features seatbacks in the center along with bleacher seating to the sides. Two smaller sets of bleachers are on both sides of the main grandstand. Two more sets are further out and feature chairback seating in the lower half. Members of the athletics association have special tailgate section located at the end of first baseline. Grab a general admission seat in the bleachers in the main grandstand for your best view.
While a lot of cities in Louisiana refer to their region as "Cajun Country", Thibodaux defines that term as a city situated on the bayou in extreme south Louisiana. With a population of about 14,500, Thibodaux is a small college town which thrives off Nicholls State University. While the area isn't filled with an endless supply of attractions and restaurants, there are a few quality options you should consider while in town. Also, keep in mind that you are within driving distance to New Orleans.
Where to Eat. Be sure to make a visit to Fremin's Restaurant. Located in an old drug store, Fremin's offers an up-scale dining experience in downtown Thibodaux. Spahr's Seafood is also a great stop for Cajun flavor. It's always hard to resist Raising Cane's in small town Louisiana. If you are looking for the bar/pub scene, be sure to check out Rene's and Rox's Bar.
Attractions & Entertainment. The Bayou Country Children's Museum is a nice stop for traveling families who need a break in the sports action. You can also check out the Wetlands Acadian Cultural Center for history about the region.
Where to Stay. For a comfortable stay while in Thibodaux, check-in at the Carmel Inn and Suites.
Despite being in a small city where the sports headlines are dominated by bigger programs, there's something about attending a Nicholls baseball game that feels like home. Many of the fans seems to know each other and share a passion for the university and program.
Typical Attendance. For your typical weekend series, expect to see about 200 - 500 fans in attendance. When the Colonels are putting together a strong season, crowd sizes can increase to the 700 range. While stadium capacity can hold much more, these seats are usually filled when cross-state rivals like LSU, UL-Lafayette, or Tulane come to town. You can also expect bigger crowds when conference rivals UNO and Southeastern Louisiana pay Thibodaux a visit.
Crowd Noise & Engagement. Fans stay into the game and are knowledgeable both about the team and the game of baseball. Expect big outbursts when a run is scored or a call is missed, but a low-key experience outside of those occurences.
Unless you're from the nearby coastal Louisiana region, getting to Thibodaux will be a bit of a trip. However, as soon as you reach the ballpark, getting through the gates and to your seats will be a breeze.
Transit to and from Stadium. Thibodaux is located about 70 miles southwest of New Orleans and approximately the same distance south of Baton Rouge. If you're traveling in from the New Orleans area, take I-10 West and exit onto I-310 South. After about 10 miles, you'll exit onto Highway 90 South. You can then turn right onto LA 208 after about 13 miles and head towards Thibodaux.
Parking. Ample parking is available just across the street from Didier Field in the Guidry Stadium parking lot.
Ticketing & Gate Entry. The ticket booth is located behind the main grandstand. There isn't usually a line and the staff are quick and friendly. You'll get your tickets and go through the entrance gate without any hassle.
Moving around the stadium. You shouldn't encounter any issues moving around the ballpark. While the walkways behind the bleachers can be a little narrow at times, typically there aren't a lot of others passing by at the same time you do. Restrooms are located down third baseline. While they are a little dated, the restroom size is adequate for the crowd. Each set of bleachers has wide walkways and aisles.
The overall return on investment at Didier Field is strong. General admission tickets start at as little as $7. Concession prices are reasonable and parking is free. The overall experience comes with a minimal out of pocket cost to baseball fans.
A few "extra" components highlight the overall experience at Ray E. Didier Field.
Nicholls Baseball flags post around the ballpark at the top of the bleachers add a nice touch to the stadium feel.
There's also a plaque honoring the late Tony Budreau in the walkway down first baseline.
In the outfield there's a sign which lists the Colonels' postseason accomplishments and another which lists each former Colonel currently playing professionally.
Member Review by justinrsutton on Jun 20, 2014
Located about sixty miles southwest of New Orleans, fans of college baseball can swing by Thibodeaux, Louisiana and watch the Nicholls State Colonels play ball at Ray E. Didier Field. While the location may be slightly off the typically traveled path, fans of baseball have the opportunity to catch quality baseball at a great price and enjoy other aspects of Southern Louisiana.
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