Ripken Stadium (map it)
873 Long Drive
Aberdeen, MD 21001
Year Opened: 2002
There are no tickets available at this time.
Official Review by Geoff Crawley, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
Ripken Stadium is located about 35 miles northeast of Baltimore in the town of Aberdeen, Maryland. Described as a baby version of Oriole Park at Camden Yards, it is home to the short-season Single-A Aberdeen IronBirds. As you read about the greatness of this place, bear that in mind. This is Single-A baseball. Single-A.
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".
Look, I'm gonna say this up front: I don't like crabs. Sorry. They are like underwater bugs to me. (In their defense, crabs aren't really singled out; unless it's tuna, or, if I am feeling especially adventurous, tilapia, I don't like any seafood.) However, I know that I am in the minority here, ESPECIALLY here at Ripken Stadium, as literally every single item on the menu is crab related. (I might be exaggerating a little there.) More on the greatness of this joint's crabs later. You have all your standard ballpark fare, PLUS Rip's BBQ, which is very good.
They have deep fried Oreos.
DEEP. FRIED. OREOS.
You have a good choice of over a dozen different beers on tap for $4.50 or $6.00, cans or bottles (24 oz or a double-deuce) for $5.50. Wine is $6.00 a glass. And by "glass" I mean a plastic cup.
So, for me, this place is a five because of the Oreos alone. Then I get to Bo Brooks Crab Shack.
Now, again, I don't like seafood, and I don't like crabs, but this place was OFF. THE. CHAIN. Located next to the right field bleachers, you got "" at ridiculously low prices "" crab cakes, steamed shrimp and crabs at OUTRAGEOUS prices. A dozen is $24, two dozen for $36, and a bushel - 5 dozen - for $110. I'm told they are large and very, very good. I had to ask, because I'm not eating those things.
Seriously, it's worth buying a ticket just to get a bushel of crabs, they're so cheap.
Packed. The stadium was PACKED. Normally, at minor league baseball, the team has to use activities and whatnot to get the crowd involved. Not here. They were into it here. They had rally towels, for crying out loud.
Yeah, there's nothing here. There is a Courtyard by Marriott next to the stadium with a bar in it, but that's it. There's other stuff you can drive to in Aberdeen, but it's all chain places. If you must do one, do The Greene Turtle, just on the other side of Interstate 95.
Aberdeen is close enough to Baltimore that the Baltimore crowd fell is on display here. The fans are knowledgeable and passionate and LOUD.
I could not believe how loud and rowdy the crowd was. They were all over the umpire on bad calls, they heckled the opposing players, they were AWESOME.
I'm not sure if they were just that great or if I was just not expecting much because it was Single-A. But whatever, I was impressed.
The stadium is right off I-95, the main interstate on the East Coast. It is easy to find. Free parking is plentiful, and the bathrooms are clean.
A surprisingly good stadium. Everything is well-priced, including tickets, so you can bring a family of four here, eat well, and have a great time for around $60.
This place has a legit buzz. There is a kids area with a speed gun to measure. If you buy a shirt from the team store, you can get it personalized for 75¢ per letter and $1.00 per number. I am a huge fan of that. They have face painting. And, as mentioned before, Fried Oreos and Rally Towels.
If you find yourself in Aberdeen for some reason, it is highly likely you will be staying at the Courtyard by Marriott anyway, so you need to make it your business to go to a game. Get a bushel of crabs and take it back to your room. Stay for the game first, though. You won't be disappointed.
Geoff Crawley is the Mid-Atlantic Regional Correspondent, moderator of The Voice of the Fan, and host of a weekly podcast.
Member Review by FuriousShepherd on Jan 24, 2012
Last visit here was in 2010.
This is a great stadium. My only issue is that the crown was tiny. Granted, it was a weeknight but I still expected a reasonable crowd since the weather was prefect. Maybe there was something more interesting going on nearby. I estimated a crowd of about 500-700 fans. The staff was super friendly and had lots of time on their hands. The food was good and there was a nice variety. The field and stadium were both excellent. I hope to get to another game this year.
Member Review by ballparkreviews on Aug 23, 2012
I hear a lot of people (including the author of the official review on SJ) rave about Ripken Stadium, but I find it to be somewhat underwhelming. Yes, the concessions are quite good, but other than that, there is little I really like about this park. After first visiting in 2002, I saw a game here again in 2012 and found the park felt a bit worn. There were places where the concrete was chipped and a few seats appeared to be broken or bent. While the park follows the template that has been used for most new parks, I have found the sightlines to be poor here because the seats are not sloped enough. In addition, ticket prices are on the high side with the cheapest seat being $9.50. Still, the Ironbirds seem to be selling out most games, so they must be doing something right.
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830 Long Dr
Aberdeen, MD 21001