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Official Review by Ryan Bohannon, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
Riddle-Pace Field on the campus of Troy University is a smaller stadium in the world of college baseball, but that doesn't mean much, as the stadium is quite nice. Riddle-Pace Field underwent a drastic renovation (the entire previous seating and press box structure was demolished and replaced) prior to the 2003 season, and has had other improvements made to the facility in the last few years as well, making it one of the finest in the Sun Belt Conference. The stadium holds around 3,000 fans at full capacity, and has a mix of chair back seats, which I was told are always sold out, along with bench backs and bleachers. Regardless of where you sit, the stadium has great sightlines that leave nothing to be desired. There are no “field level” seats, as the stadium is built about 8 feet (or so) above the field, but no matter where you sit you can get a great look at the action. You will be “above” everything so you get a better look at adjustments made by the position players and whether or not a runner really can stretch that single into a double!
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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".
The food is about what you'd expect at any college stadium. Just your standard hot dogs, burgers and soda. However, they do serve beer at the on campus stadium, which is a nice touch.
One of the first things that struck me as I walked into Riddle-Pace Field is how proud Troy is of their baseball past and how they have displayed this pride through out the concourse under the stadium. Troy has a pretty good baseball history, including two Division II National Championships, several NCAA Tournament appearances and multiple All-Conference and All-American players. This past coupled with recent successes has the Trojan fans excited about their baseball program. If you find yourself in Troy, get to the field early and take a moment to stroll through the concourse and look at the walk of honor. It is really neat. The folks in Troy have a lot of fun with the crowd, much like you'd see at a minor league stadium. The games all feature different contests while the teams change sides, and they even have the radio Voice of the Trojans sing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," a la Harry Caray. The game I attended was against an in-state conference foe. This just added to the experience, as both fan bases showed up in good numbers.
Troy is a small campus in a small town. The campus is easily navigated, but there isn't much to do. If you are looking for tailgating during baseball or a quick spot to grab a drink, this isn't the best place to do that, so bring your own or dine before getting to the game.
The fans are all very engaged with on-the-field happenings and knowledgeable about both the game of baseball and the players. They are more than willing to share their thoughts on players who have exceeded expectations this year and those who have fallen short.
Riddle-Pace Field is very easy to find just off George Wallace Drive in Troy, Alabama. The baseball stadium is the first thing you see as you turn onto the campus, so it is very easy to find! There is plenty of free parking right in front of the stadium, as well as behind and along the side of the stadium. I wouldn't recommend parking in the side lot nor the back, as home runs and fouls make frequent target practice of the parked cars.
For a smaller program in the world of NCAA baseball, Troy has a very nice facility. Despite being a compact stadium, the sightlines are great and the fans bring a passion to the game. A wider selection of concessions would be nice, though.
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