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Official Review by Richard Smith, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
The University of Maryland, College Park, was founded in 1856. It is recognized as the flagship school of the University of Maryland system.
The University of Maryland has traditionally been known as a basketball school. As a longtime member of the Atlantic Coast Conference, the university has seen a great deal of basketball success under coaches such as Lefty Driesell and Gary Williams, even winning a national championship in 2002.
The baseball program has not had much long term success. But there has been a major resurgence, with the team doing extremely well in the 2014 run towards the College World Series. Now a member of the Big Ten, the hope is that a new conference membership, teamed with the 2014 success will continue to push the team forward.
Opened in 1965, Shipley Field has a combination of synthetic turf in the infield and grass in the outfield. The facility was additionally named for legendary Maryland baseball figure Bob "Turtle" Smith. The original field is named after former Maryland baseball coach, Burton Shipley.
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".
The food offerings are pretty simple. But the variety and prices are not bad for a college baseball stadium in this area. Hot dogs are $3, with pretzels ($3), popcorn ($3.25) and cracker jacks ($3) making up the bulk of the menu. Sodas and water are $3.
The hot dogs are grilled right at the park down in the 3rd base corner. The smells coming from the grill are very nice.
The stadium sits in the shadow of Byrd Stadium and right behind historic Cole Fieldhouse. It really is in the middle of campus.
The team runs a good deal of promotions during the game. It is not quite at the minor league level, but it is obvious that the team is trying hard to make the game atmosphere appealing to the whole family.
There is a PA system and the normal player walk up type of music is played.
The neighborhood is a mixed bag. The baseball stadium is in the middle of the campus, so no businesses are directly nearby. Located nearby is the Stamp Union, where you will see many a fan enjoying a pre-game meal or buying shirts at the campus bookstore. The Maryland Dairy Ice Cream store here is a nice place to go ahead of the game.
The town of College Park is located directly south of the campus along U.S. Route 1. RJ Bentley's Filling Station, Potbelly Sandwich Works, Jimmy John's, Ledo Pizza, and Five Guys are all good options in this "downtown" area. Looney's Pub and Bobby's Burger Palace are two other great options, and are located in The Varsity building (8150 Baltimore Ave) north of the downtown area, and may be even closer to the stadium if walking.
The Sheraton College Park North Hotel at 4095 Powder Mill Road in nearby Beltsville is the best lodging choice, but it is not within walking distance of the campus.
You will always have the dizzying array of Washington, DC options to choose from. The College Park Station of the Washington Metro is close by, and is your best bet for getting to DC, as the traffic and parking situation is far from ideal.
University of Maryland baseball games are not quite a destination for fans. There will be a decent amount of local fans, but the bulk of the fan base is family and friends. One should also expect to see a decent amount of opposing fans in attendance. Since College Park is in the large metropolitan DC area, expect to see Big Ten school alumni make the trek to the stadium when their alma mater is playing.
The Terps fans need to make their love of their team more well known. They don't quite seem to have many traditions that keep the crowd into the game. Maybe with more extended success, the baseball fans will be more important.
The games also do not see large numbers of students. If the college can push attendance for students, that could certainly help the overall atmosphere.
The University of Maryland is not far from the Washington Beltway. But it is just far enough away that getting to the stadium is not too easy, either. U.S. 1 and University Boulevard are full of traffic lights, and will be very full of traffic, even on non-game days.
The best bet is to pre-pay for a parking space through the University. The $17 price tag is way too high, but at least you will know where you are going ahead of time. A map to your space will be provided when you pre-purchase. The Terrapin Trail Garage is a personal favorite, as it is relatively close to Shipley Field at Bob "Turtle" Smith Stadium, but still allows a quick way out of the area.
If travelling to the game via the Washington Metro, get off at the College Park Station and take the shuttle directly to the stadium.
General admission tickets are $8 for conference games and $5 for non-conference games. Youth tickets are $5 ($3). Groups are $4 ($2).
The prices are fair, but with almost no other Division I teams in the area charging for admittance, there may be some reluctance to pay even those fair amounts. University of Maryland students get in free with their ID.
In the concourse stop and take a look at the Terps in the Pros display. The amount of players is quite small at this point, but with extended baseball success expect to see this get larger in the coming years.
I love that the 3rd Base Grill provides the great grilled "smells" that seem to go hand in hand with baseball.
I couldn't find much about it, but I was fascinated by the obvious old warning track that actually cuts across the field in the left corner of the stadium. The left corner fence must have been pushed back in recent times. It certainly is an interesting feature.
Historic Cole Fieldhouse sits right behind Shipley Field at Bob "Turtle" Smith Stadium. Thinking about the amazing amount of basketball games and other activities that have occurred in that facility is almost mind boggling. There are current plans that the frame of that historic structure will become the heart of a new indoor football practice facility. If done well that could be impressive, but if done poorly it could be gut wrenching.
Shipley Field at Bob "Turtle" Smith Stadium is a nice facility. There is very little that will blow you away, but fans in attendance will see a very high level of play at a decent cost. With the renaissance of the baseball program, one would hope to see better and more engaged products on the field in the upcoming years.
Member Review by mmspatz on May 29, 2013
Even though the University of Maryland is the largest and by far most athletically prominent school within the Old Line State, Maryland Terrapins baseball still does take a considerable back seat at the school and in the state to the likes of Terps football and Terps basketball. Part of the reason may be because the program's best days are, at this point, far in the past. Terrapins baseball has not made an NCAA Tournament appearance since 1971. Still, despite the on-field struggles, the Terps do treat their fans to a good experience during their home games at Shipley Field.
Opened in 1965, Shipley Field holds 2,500 fans and puts together an interesting combination of synthetic turf in the infield and bermuda grass in the outfield. While the stadium isn't the easiest to find and the seats don't do too much as far as comfort, Maryland Terps baseball winds up and fires a good experience for fans who are looking for some intimate, competitive baseball.
8145 Baltimore Ave
College Park, MD 20740
9515 Baltimore Ave
College Park, MD 20740
8150 Baltimore Ave
College Park, MD 20740
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9040 Baltimore Ave
College Park, MD 20740