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Official Review by Meg Minard, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
Regency Furniture Stadium (RFS) is the home of the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs baseball team. The team is part of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball; an independent baseball league not affiliated with an MLB team. The stadium has hosted several concerts in the past. It served as the playing field for the USA Softball Women’s National Team in their preparation for the International Softball Federation (ISF) Women’s World Championship in 2014.
Talk about having a good time, this is the place to go. I’m a baseball purist where I go to a baseball game for the game; not for any extra entertainment. But even I couldn’t help but enjoy myself at this ballpark with its variety of non-baseball entertainment. Read on for more information.
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".
There's a solid choice of concessions at RFS. The first base side offers the Gold Glove and Domino's Pizza. The Gold Glove has traditional ballpark fare: burgers, chicken sandwiches, chicken tenders, hot dogs, sausages with some of the offerings include fries and the prices range from $3.50 to $7.50.
The vegetarian options (veggie burger and turkey burger) are made to order at RFS and are $4.75.
The third base side of the concourse offers a Maryland variety of food options in the Hall of Fame Seafood concession stand. Here is where you will find the crab dip w/pretzels ($8.00), fish and chips ($8.50), and crab cake platter ($12.00). It also serves the traditional burgers, hot dogs, and chicken sandwiches.
Sodas are Pepsi products and range from $2.25 (kid's soda) to $7.50 (souvenir soda with free refills).
Sam Adams Boston Lager ($6.50) can be found on the first base side of the concourse. There are additional varieties of beer offered throughout the concourse. There is even a special brew offered by Coors specifically for the Blue Crabs - Blue Crab Lager Draft ($6.50) and is provided at the Hall of Fame Seafood concession stand.
There are concession carts that include Chick-fil-A, Brian's Fabulous Elephant Ears, and Turkey Hill Ice Cream. There is also a concession stand just before the grassy berm in right field.
No outside food or drink is allowed in the stadium.
No surprise, there are chairs/end tables scattered on the concourse to wait or rest. The furniture is provided by Regency Furniture; the naming rights of the stadium. The concourse is covered and protected from any weather conditions.
The concourse is plenty wide and easy to navigate. The first base side gets shade just a bit earlier than the third base side. Be sure to bring sunscreen if going to a day game as all seats are exposed to the sun. One can walk the entire concourse and that is recommended. You can view/participate in the kid's zone on the right field area of the concourse ($5 admission to the park; $2 for the rock wall climb).
There is a bumper boat area beyond center field which is quite unique to a ballpark. It's $2 for a bumper boat ride.
It is a very kid-friendly ballpark. At one of the games I attended, they even had kids lining up across from each other in front of the dugout so when the players entered the field, they gave (and received) high fives to/from those kids.
There's the Picnic Pavilion and the Legends Club on the left field side which can be rented out for large parties.
There is a manual scoreboard on the left field wall. Very nicely done.
The home side is the third base side and bullpens are down along the left and right field lines.
The net is only four or five sections behind the home plate area; sections 11 - 16 or so. There're plenty of seats to sit behind the net as well as plenty of seats to sit net-free, as well as a lawn area in right field.
I'm not a mascot fan. They smell, they attract hordes of kids or cause other kids to scream in terror, and many mascots prance on the dugout while the game is in play, blocking the view of the game for those of us who are purists. Pinch, the mascot for the Blue Crabs, isn't so bad. He's... well... a big blue furry crab. He does prance on the dugout but that is only done between innings. And there's a Tye Dye Guy who wears tie dyed t-shirts and / or pants and colorful hats who also entertains the crowd between innings. Both help to make the game fun without ruining it for the purists. That's an admirable skill and they do it well.
The music selection is fine. It's mostly country except for the walk up songs. The one disappointment is music is blared when announcing the home team starting lineup. And one can't always hear announcements as they are said when the music is playing. There is an effort to reduce the volume but that is not always effective.
The starting lineups are posted on a chalkboard on the concourse, near the main entrance (a little to the left after you enter the ballpark).
When Regency Furniture Stadium first opened, it was in the middle of nowhere. Things have grown in Waldorf, MD. There are housing developments being built near and around the stadium. There is a new high school that opened for the 2014 school year that is across the street from the park.
Currently, there are no restaurants, pubs, or hotels within walking distance. Within about a five or ten minute drive any chain restaurant and shopping center you can think of are available on US 301.
In La Plata, about a five mile drive from the ballpark, is a Holiday Inn Express and a Best Western if you have a need to spend the night. Also in La Plata is The Green Turtle, a sports bar/restaurant. This is a chain mostly in the Maryland/Virginia area of the United States. Many of its offerings include crab and other fish entrees. It is about a four or five mile drive to the ballpark.
The biggest turnout for a Blue Crabs game is on July 4th as the organization provides a fantastic fireworks show after the game. There is a full house for July 4th. Other games, the attendance is minimal.
The fans are friendly and welcoming. Some know the game; some do not but are there for the other entertainment and all seem to enjoy themselves.
I did not notice any public transportation options to RFS so driving is the way to get there. When attending a July 4 game, get there early as traffic builds up on the way to the stadium. You may also want to wait a bit after the game to exit the stadium. Other games cause no issues with arriving or departing the game.
There is no charge for parking.
The concourse is plenty wide for people movement even during a full crowd. Except for the suite area behind home plate, one can view the playing area when traversing the entire concourse.
Security check is painless... just don't bring outside food or beverage or you'll be walking it back to your car.
Restrooms on the first base side are minimal (only three stalls in the ladies room). The third base side restrooms have many more stalls, so head that way after the game.
It's quite worth the ticket price to attend a Blue Crabs game. Ticket prices range from free (children under five) to $13 (field level seating). The Blue Crabs offer a whole variety of promotions so be sure to check their website.
At the July 4th game I attended, they provided a free ticket and hot dog to the July 5th games (it was a double header). You can't beat that.
A program is offered when entering the game. Rosters and game notes are provided in the office (on the left when entering the stadium across from the starting lineup chalkboard).
Offering free tickets and a hot dog to a game (two games) is worth a mention.
An email was sent from the team offering a free ticket to fans because of parking and traffic issues during the July 4 game. That is very customer service oriented.
Bumper boats at a baseball stadium are noteworthy.
And there is a nursing mother's room available which is not seen at very many ballparks.
Being able to convince a baseball purist that a game can be enjoyable beyond the baseball game is quite notable.
If you live in the area or are visiting during the summer months, be sure to check out a Blue Crabs baseball game or two and definitely bring the kids or grandkids.
Member Review by gtcrawley
Regency Furniture Stadium is the current home of the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs of the independent Atlantic League. This spanking new stadium, built in 2008, is located in Waldorf, MD, not far from Washington, DC.
The password is: fun.
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