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Russell C. King Field

Spartanburg, SC

Home of the Wofford Terriers

3.7

N/A

Russell C. King Field (map it)
Memorial Dr
Spartanburg, SC 29303


Wofford Terriers website

Russell C. King Field website

Year Opened: 2004

Capacity: 2,500

There are no tickets available at this time.

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Tracking the Railyard

A quick stroll across the Wofford College campus reveals the history and beauty within. Wofford got its start in 1854 -- on the same site where it stands today -- and has provided a quality education to future broadcasters, NFL owners, politicians, CEOs and religious leaders in that time. As much as this campus is a landmark, though, Wofford turned to another Spartanburg landmark to provide a home for the Terriers' baseball team for many years.

Spartanburg's Duncan Park, the home of the former Spartanburg Phillies for over three decades, also served as the host of Wofford's baseball club for several seasons in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Duncan Park was built in 1926, and helped match two of Spartanburg's most historic residents. The Terriers left this cathedral after the 2004 season to return to their campus.

Russell C. King Field, the Terriers' on-campus home, fits perfectly into this picturesque campus. With stone columns near the stadium entrance, scenic buildings visible just behind the seating bowl and large magnolia trees providing shade down the right field line, it would be easy to imagine that this park was included in the school's original design. No matter the on-field product at Wofford, Russell C. King Field always gives you the feeling of being in the old South, and charm goes a long way.

3.7

What is FANFARE?

The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:

  • Food & Beverage
  • Atmosphere
  • Neighborhood
  • Fans
  • Access
  • Return on Investment
  • Extras

Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".

Food & Beverage    3

Most of the so-called "standards" are available for purchase at a Wofford game, and the prices are certainly fair. The entree-type offerings include hot dogs and corn dogs ($2 each), hamburgers ($3), sausage dogs ($3), nachos and cheese ($2.50) and jumbo pretzels ($2.50). Boiled peanuts are a preferred snack for fans in the Carolinas, and those seeking this delicacy will not be disappointed. Boiled or roasted peanuts ($2) can be purchased at the stand, along with popcorn ($2), Cracker Jacks ($2) and sunflower seeds ($1). Chips, candy and gum are $1, with Airheads or Blow Pops for a quarter.

Coca-Cola serves as the campus' bottler, making Coke products the beverage of choice. Be careful, though -- despite the sign at the stand advertising Coke Zero, it is not available at the stand. 20-ounce bottled sodas, water and Powerade products are $2.50 each, with shaved ice ($2 for a small size, $3 for a large) also presenting an option to cool you down on a typical warm spring day in the South Carolina Upstate. There was a stand (located along the lawn between the seating bowl and the restrooms) giving out free shaved ice on the day I attended, but the stand shut down after five innings, and I got the impression this was not a common thing.

The lone concession stand may be a bit difficult to locate if you enter the park through the gate along the first base line. The stand is somewhat behind the plate, and is technically outside of the park's confines. This is no worry, though, as a simple display of your ticket stub should alleviate any problems that may arise. Fans seemed to be moving freely about the ballpark and the surrounding area on the day I visited, so there should be very few worries.

Atmosphere    4

The ballpark is a perfect fit on the Wofford campus. It is nestled among large magnolia trees (the entire campus is a certified arboretum, with signs explaining many of the trees you see along your walk) and historic buildings. These buildings and trees offer shade along the first base line, with a large roof offering shade to a majority of the seating bowl. The weather gets warm in Spartanburg during spring days, but it is fairly easy to avoid the elements.

There is only one real concourse in the ballpark, and it is more of a sidewalk that winds behind the seating bowl. There is plenty of room to move, and pets are even allowed at a Wofford game. If you want to bring your furry friend out to enjoy some baseball, they are more than welcome, as long as you keep them away from the seating bowl. Fans are free to move about the ballpark, with many bringing blankets to sit on the grassy berm areas on the day I visited. This is not to suggest that the seats are uncomfortable, of course. We will talk more about one of the seating features later in the piece.

Wofford's home dugout is on the third base side of the field. This side gets a lot more sun, so if you are a supporter of the Terriers -- or a sun lover -- this is the place to grab a seat. All seating is general admission, so you are not locked into a particular seat for the entire game. Wofford's Terrier mascot also wanders around the third base side, so if you feel the need to high-five a dog mascot, that option is also available.

The scoreboard is located above the right field wall, along with a nearby banner reading "GO TERRIERS!!". The scoreboard is reasonably simple, featuring the number of the player at bat, ball/strike/out counts, a hit or error indicator and the game's line score.

Neighborhood    4

Spartanburg is one of the larger markets in the Upstate region, and there is plenty of choice to be had. Most of the available options near the campus have been discussed in our reviews of Gibbs Stadium (football) and Benjamin Johnson Arena (basketball), so these are good places to start.

If you want to grab a meal, go shopping or see a movie, check out Spartanburg's Dorman Centre. This shopping area is located along South Carolina Interstate 26 near its intersection with Interstate 85. Dorman Centre is a short 10-15 minute drive (depending on traffic) from the campus, and almost anything you would want to buy, eat or watch can be found on either side of the interstate.

Fans    2

Upstate rival Furman played at Wofford on the day I visited in spring 2013, and Furman brought a large group of followers from nearby Greenville. Furman's fans came dressed in their school's purple, made a lot of noise and almost seemed to be more of the home team.

Wofford surrendered an early lead to Furman on this day, and though this may have taken some of the steam out of the locals, there was not much noise made before that took place. The stadium became quiet -- almost eerily so -- throughout much of the game, almost giving the feeling of watching a high school game in a college park. The fans cheered when situations called for it, but stayed nearly silent for most of the rest of the game.

The fans are reasonably close to the field, and this could really help present quite the home field advantage for the Terriers. One would certainly hope that the crowds will become more vocal as the on-field product improves.

Access    3

Russell C. King Field is located just off South Carolina Interstate 585. As 585 ends, it turns into US Highway 176, which leads directly by the campus. There is a parking lot near the first base entrance to the ballpark; however, it is quite small and usually full for most games. This may lead you to scramble for parking somewhere else on campus, which may be a chore. If there is not an available space in that lot, the best option is to park at Benjamin Johnson Arena and walk to the baseball field. The walk is quite short (under five minutes) and allows you to take in the scenery along the way.

There are two ticketing areas at King Field. There is a table near the concession stand (home plate entrance), with a non-fixed booth on the first base side. Ticket purchases are cash only, so be sure to grab a $20 from the ATM before heading to the game. Also, if you plan to buy tickets online before visiting a game, keep in mind that the online ticket vendor linked from the school's web site does not list Wofford baseball as an available purchase option as of the time of this review.

The bathrooms are located in a building behind the plate, with a sidewalk leading to the building and a small sign pointing to the facilities. The bathrooms are appropriate for the amount of traffic they receive, and are reasonably clean and usable.

Return on Investment    5

Wofford baseball affords the opportunity to see Division I baseball in the Southern Conference for a great price. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for youths aged 3-12. Children receive free admission to Saturday games, and seniors receive free admission to Sunday home games.

A standard adult ticket, bottled soda and hot dog will cost just $9.50 at a Wofford game. Combine this price with free parking and a free roster sheet (by showing your ticket stub), and you have the option of sitting in the sun enjoying good baseball for less than the cost of some matinee movies. This is a tough price to beat.

Extras    5

The free roster sheet mentioned in the Return on Investment category is a nice added touch. Though it is not a full program, per se, it does allow you to easily identify the players on the field without having to scramble for your phone. These rosters are available by showing your ticket stub at the first base ticket booth.

Another nice perk at the first base ticket booth is the ability to purchase Wofford logo hats. The hats are just $20 -- cheaper than they can be purchased online -- and are a fitted product. Just about any size is available, which means anyone who wants a cap should be able to find one.

There is a banner on the left field wall that honors the 2007 Southern Conference champion Wofford baseball team. This team also made an appearance in the 2007 NCAA tournament. Though there is not a large collection of honors on the outfield wall, this is a nice tribute to one of the better teams in the school's history. The banner features a photo of the team as they celebrated their conference title.

There are numerous places for kids to run and play at Wofford games, as well. A wiffle ball field is set up along the grassy area behind the first base dugout, with the opportunity to "rent" (there is no charge) a bat and ball for kids to play throughout the game. There is also a bounce house set up in the same area, allowing children to bounce off some of the energy they may have acquired from sodas and sugary snacks. Both items are free, adding to the value at the ballpark.

Finally, rocking chairs line the top of the concourse, resting under the overhang that covers the seating bowl. These chairs present the image of sitting on your front porch watching baseball in a rocking chair. They are, understandably, among the more popular seats in the park. If you want to sample one of these rocking chairs, arrive early and stake your claim.

Final Thoughts

Southern charm can be found all over Russell C. King Field, which is a great thing in some places, and not so great in others. Though things may get a bit quiet from time to time, this is not necessarily always such a bad thing. There is relaxation to be found in simply sitting in a natural setting with few intrusions, aside from the ping of the bat and the occasional train (hence the stadium's "Railyard" nickname) making its way beyond the outfield fence. If you seek a low-stress environment in which to take in the outdoors and watch a game, you'll be hard-pressed to find a place in the same class as Russell C. King Field.

Russell King Field

I really enjoyed your review of this facility.It appears that this would be a fine place to watch a game.I really loved the field as it had the appearance of a nice place to spend an afternoon.
I do not understand why the fans,a.k.a. students,would be so quiet.Where is the team spirit? I do think your review mentally put me in the stands,kicking back and watching baseball.

by jerry | Apr 23, 2013 03:41 PM

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