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San Manuel Stadium

San Bernardino, CA

Home of the Inland Empire 66ers of San Bernardino

3.9

4.4

San Manuel Stadium (map it)
280 South E Street
San Bernardino, CA 92410


Inland Empire 66ers of San Bernardino website

San Manuel Stadium website

Year Opened: 1996

Capacity: 5,000

There are no tickets available at this time.

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Getting Kicks on Route 66

To the visiting fan, the Inland Empire may sound like something found in a Star Wars movie, but is rather a legitimate name for a region in Southern California. This 27,000 square mile area includes the cities of Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ontario. Not just substantial in size, U.S. Census Bureau considers it the 12th most populous metropolitan area in the United States.

While named after the large region, the team known as the 66ers call the city of San Bernardino their home and play in San Manuel Stadium. The stadium was built in 1996, but still has a rather modern feel to it. 5,000 is the normal capacity, but can accommodate much more with overflow seating in the grassy area surrounding the field.

The city of San Bernardino has hosted baseball teams with nicknames ranging from “Kittens” to “Spirit” to the 66ers of today. The current nickname stems from the historic route’s influence on the region.

3.9

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    5

While many minor league franchises are upping the ante on the menus, the 66ers have had one of the better minor league concessions for quite some time. The menu begins simple enough, starting with the hot dog for $3.50 (a jumbo size for $2 more). Now for those that enjoy a little excitement, there is a chili cheese dog ($6.75), a bacon-wrapped hot dog ($6.50), or a Martin's 1/2 lb Louisiana Sausage ($7.75), or Bernie's 1/4 lb Nacho Dog ($6.75).

Some other staples of the normal menu include the Santa Fe Nachos ($5), sunflower seeds ($4), roasted peanuts ($4.50), popcorn ($4.75), Cracker Jacks ($3.50), pretzel ($3.75), and a Southern California favorite, the churro ($3.25).

Some specialty items include baked potatoes, roasted corn, baked yam, and sliced caramel apples, kettle popcorn, cotton candy, and funnel cakes.

The Golden Sombrero specializes in Mexican cuisine and offers tacos (two for $4.75), burritos ($5.50-$8.75), as well as many side items including a quesadilla, sopes, and nacho fries.

O's American Kitchen offers pizza ($4), salad ($4), breadsticks ($3), and chicken ($4.50). Immediately behind the grandstand, the 66er fans can find "Grill Specialties." Here you can find the 66ers Roadhouse Burger, BBQ Chicken Sandwich, or a BBQ Tri-Tip Sandwich. On the side, you can get chicken tenders or a variety of fried potato options.

If you're running down the baseline for some sweets, novelty ice cream and candy is available for $3.75. ICEE brand beverages are available, while ice cream, root beer floats, ice cream sandwiches, crunch bar, and chill lemonade cups are also available. The stadium's claim to fame dessert-wise is the Waffle ice-cream sundae. This features fresh made waffles, vanilla ice cream, chocolate, caramel, maple syrup, whipped cram and fresh strawberries ($7.50).

For the individual trying to quench their thirst in the inland heat, options include smaller sodas that go for $4 and a large size for $5. For those trying to avoid carbonation, try bottled water at $3.50 or a Gatorade at $3.75. Fresh lemonade, strawberry lemonade, and even smoothies are available for $3-$5 depending on size.

For the adults, $7.25 will score you a margarita. The domestic beer options include Budweiser products, and are priced at $6.50 for a small and $8.25 for a large. The "premium" options include Bud Light Lime, Shocktop, and Hangar 24. To call a Bud Light Lime or Shock Top "premium" is laughable, but Hangar 24 is certainly one of the best craft brews in Southern California. Small premium drafts are $7.50 and the large is $9.

Extra points are to be awarded to the 66ers, who partnered with Hangar 24, to produce an exclusive microbrew only available at the ballpark for a limited time. Combining the flavors of a pilsner and wheat beer, the brew will be known as "Baseball Beer." Craft beer enthusiasts can only find this beer at the ballpark or at the parent brewery.

Atmosphere    4

Without a shadow of a doubt, the ballpark is the highlight of downtown San Bernardino, and therefore the crowds are often plentiful at the field. This results in hoards of children playing games in the vast open areas and the adults often cheering the 66ers and jeering the opposing players.

The atmosphere is easily most enhanced by Bernie. A rather colorful mascot, Bernie emits a "WHOO" sound constantly throughout the game that is sure to annoy a handful of fans, but is beloved by most of the fan base. The sound becomes quite contagious and before long, all of the fans are making the same sound whenever they spot Bernie. He often stands atop the dugouts taunting the opposing players and generating excitement from the 66er fans during live game-play. If you couldn't already guess, Bernie wears #66.

Lastly, after every run scored by the 66ers, a loud train horn sound blares from the speakers. This sound literally shakes the stadium. A great way of reminding the most absent-minded fans that "hey, there's some excitement going on here!"

Neighborhood    2

Unfortunately, the neighborhood is the only criteria that would not be in the discussion for a 5-star score. There are several open lots in the surrounding area as well as several businesses that are not necessarily conducive to a baseball crowd. For example, just outside the right field wall is Prestige Window Tinting, Lucky 7 tattoo, and Enterprise Rent-A-Car. On other sides of the stadium, fans will find Byers Trucking, California Vinyl Fence, Carmen's Custom Drapery, and Mac's Electronics. If the fans are running errands, this may come in handy, but for a convenient before or after game experience, be prepared to travel a bit.

Near the stadium are a variety of fast food options, including Weinerschnitzel, Subway, McDonalds, Carl's Jr, Pollo Loco. Other nearby eateries include Mardi Gras Restaurant, Ray's Downtown Deli, Phov 333 Noodle & Grill, & Alberto's Mexican Food.

To really appreciate the neighborhood however, try and take in some of its rich history. For example, if you head downtown, you'll find the Route 66 Hall of Fame where plaques can be found commemorating all of the people, places, and things that made Route 66 the most historic roadway in all of the United States.

Next up, you may want to stop at the site of the first ever McDonalds location. While no longer operating, this site opened the McDonalds legacy back in 1940. If you stop in, you are certain to find yourself gazing at all of the memorabilia and happy meal toys of the past.

Other notable things to check out during your visit could include the western headquarters of the Little League, the Hangar 24 craft brewery (found on an airplane hangar), or any of the great hiking trails nearby.

Fans    5

When first arriving at the venue, I quickly noticed a substantial queue to get into the stadium. It turns out that it was a bobblehead giveaway night. While there was a great showing, several fans were disgusted by the minimal inventory of the giveaway.

It appears that the most passionate fans are concentrated just behind home plate, rallying their team throughout the game. The fringe fans however, seemed to be concentrated down the left field line where a play area and picnic pavilion are located.

The fans are boisterous throughout the game and clearly are not afraid to let their players know when they aren't pleased with the on-field performance or make the umpires aware that a call was missed.

Clearly, the 66ers benefit from their affiliation of their local parent club. The team colors blend well with that of the MLB team nearby, & therefore all fans feel at home. The team also works with the nearby Ontario Reign (minor league hockey) to create the 66er Dance Team. Leveraging this local partner allows the dance team to have more of an annual position rather than just a seasonal one.

Access    4

The stadium is easily accessible, just a few blocks from the true downtown and just a few minutes from the 215 as well as close to the 15, the 10, or Southern California's most miserable roadway, the 91.

Parking is plentiful at $4 per spot and located rather close to the stadium.

The stadium has 3 main entrances and it is rather simple to get to any of the great seats in the park, from the picnic area to the gift shop.

The restrooms are clean, spacious, and easily accessible from any permanent seat in the house. If you plan to sit on the grass berm in left field, fans can expect to have a 300 foot walk to the nearest restroom.

Return on Investment    5

I think 66ers baseball is a rather phenomenal value for any member of the San Bernardino community or any sports fan inside or outside the Inland Empire. Tickets are a mere $5-$11 for most games and affordable for most fans.

The concessions likely offer better options on cuisine than anywhere else in the immediate area, so this is one of the few stadiums where it is a better choice to eat at the game rather than the local neighborhood.

Beyond the enjoyment of the game, buying a ticket to see the 66ers seems to be an investment in the community as the team seems to be the heartbeat of San Bernardino.

At any 66ers game, you will get a beautiful stadium, one of the best scoreboards in all of the minor leagues, and a rather entertaining evening.

Extras    2

Down the left field side is an extensive play area for the children. While most minor league parks have a bounce castle or two, this stadium has a rather extensive one for the children. There is also a spacious, well-kept area down both lines that were filled with children playing tag, baseball, and a variety of other games.

There is an on-site putting green on the right field side. While it is showing signs of age, you would think it would be fun for the players and staff to practice their short game during downtime.

Final Thoughts

On a more personal note, San Manuel Stadiums remains one of my favorite minor league stadiums of all-time. There always seems to be a great crowd on hand and the incorporation of sound effects into the game often evokes a chuckle (two strikes on a batter gets the Mortal Kombat "Finish Him" sound byte). The stadium itself is just gorgeous and the scoreboard is easily one of the best in all of the minor leagues.

The one opportunity within the experience remains the neighborhood needs to improve. Clearly, much of that is out of the team's hands, but there is nothing for fans in regards to a pre or post game experience & that really detracts from the overall effect.

With the new scoreboard and clearly a lot of effort in maintaining the park, it is a clean, safe, affordable and popular attraction for the members of the Inland Empire.

Follow Drew's travels through via username @big10drew on Twitter & Instagram.

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Crowd Reviews

Getting Kicks on Route 66

Total Score: 4.43

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 3
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 5
  • Extras: 5

To the visiting fan, the Inland Empire sounds like something found in a Star Wars movie, but is rather a legitimate name for a region in Southern California. This 27,000 square mile area includes Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ontario and the U.S. Census Bureau considers it the 14th most populous metropolitan area in the United States.

While named after the large region, the team known as the 66ers call the city of San Bernardino their home and play in San Manuel Stadium. The stadium was built in 1996, but still has a rather modern feel to it. 5,000 is the normal capacity, but can accommodate much more with overflow seating in the grassy area surrounding the field.

Beginning the 2011 season, the Inland Empire 66ers are an affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels.

Share your thoughts about San Manuel Stadium

Local Food & Drink

Brandin' Iron Saloon and Dance Hall  (map it!)

320 South E Street

San Bernardino, CA 92401

(909) 888-7388

http://www.brandinironsaloon.com/

Local Entertainment

Route 66 Hall of Fame  (map it!)

415 W 2nd St

San Bernardino, CA 92401

(909) 388-2934

http://www.route-66.org/hall_of_fame.htm

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