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Shipley Field

College Park, MD

Home of the Maryland Terrapins

3.3

N/A

Shipley Field (map it)
Fieldhouse Dr
College Park, MD 20740


Maryland Terrapins website

Shipley Field website

Year Opened: 1965

Capacity: 2,500

There are no tickets available at this time.

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Shipley Field Revealed

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.

3.3

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

A big part of the baseball experience in the United States is the food, and the University of Maryland definitely comes through with their Shipley Field selection. Located a bit to the left on the concourse behind home plate, Behind The Plate Concessions offers a wide variety of food. Hot dogs ($3), pretzels ($3.75), popcorn ($3.50), Cracker Jacks ($3.75) and sunflower seeds ($3.75) are just some of the food choices available, along with beverages like bottled water ($3.75), Pepsi products ($3.75) and Gatorade ($3.75). Hot chocolate is also available ($4), weather permitting. The prices are a bit high, and the stand is cash-only. The service is great, though, and the order comes out quickly. I had a pretzel and a Pepsi and was satisfied with my order. Condiments, utensils and napkins are to the left of the concession stand.

Atmosphere    3

When you walk into Shipley Field, the seats immediately stand out. The brick-red colored seats wrap around behind the plate and extend past each dugout. The seats are about 15 rows deep, and while they give you a great view of the game, they definitely aren't ideal. The seats only have a bottom; no armrests and no back, and are practically touching the neighboring seats. This is definitely enough to make a long game a bit uncomfortable, though some fans thought ahead and brought their own seat backs or cushions. The tight squeeze is even worse during games where fans pack in. Perhaps a saving grace, though, is the small concourse behind the seats. The roofed area allows fans to walk around behind the seating bowl, while still having a good view of the game. Some fans even set up their own lawn chair at the front of the concourse, choosing that over the red seats.

On the third base side of the concourse, there is a display on the wall that features 'Terps in the Pros.' This is a list of each Maryland baseball player who then went on to have a career in the major leagues. The picture for each player is the front of one of their baseball cards, making for a very unique and cool display. On the first base side of the concourse is a whiteboard that has an updated conference standings list, along with the lineups for each team. There is also a Terps Today program sheet that you can pick up when you walk in that shows the full roster for each team, along with some stats and schedules, completely updated for the game that you are attending.

The fans that came to the game were of all ages and had a decent turnout, even though rain caused about a 40-minute delayed start. This was impressive, considering drizzle was falling throughout the first few innings of the contest. Still, looking past the outfield wall gives you a great view of College Park; you can even see the upper bleachers of Byrd Stadium, the home of Maryland Terrapins football, past the foul line in left field.

Neighborhood    5

For Marylanders, College Park is really the closest thing to a 'college town' that you'll find in the state. A city of over 30,000 residents, a little over 50% of those in the town are between 18 and 24 years old. After the baseball game, head over to Baltimore Avenue on US Route 1. If you like Asian food, you've got Hanami at 8145 Baltimore Avenue and Pho Thom at 7313. If you prefer Mexican food, try Azteca at 9505 or Pupuseria La Familiar at 8145. Want a burger? How about Bobby's Burger Palace at 8150 or Potbelly Sandwich Shop at 7422? The point is that the food choices are as unique as the University of Maryland students, and you really don't have to go far to find them all. It also goes without saying that there is a fair share of bars in College Park. The Barking Dog and Looney's Pub are just two examples.

All in all, College Park is a safe place in a nice area where, despite the big size, the community is very tight-knit and close. There aren't any other schools that are in a major Division I conference in the state of Maryland, so if you grew up watching college sports in this state, chances are you latched on to the hometown Terrapins. A friend has advised me before that it's best not to stray too far from the city, but that isn't much of a problem since you could easily spend an entire day in College Park. A Quality Inn is just south of campus, in case you do spend the whole day here and don't feel like driving home in the dark.

Fans    3

Marylanders are strong in their support of the Terrapins. This applies especially to the football and basketball teams, but Maryland baseball isn't much of an exception. Even on a rainy day against a team that is in the cellar of the conference standings, fans will still come out to support their Terps. Fans are of all ages; during my visit, there were quite a few young kids who seemed to enjoy the game and loved going after foul balls that went into the stands. The fans don't have the same kind of unity that you might see at, say, a Terps men's basketball game; there's no student section at the baseball games and the student turnout isn't too special. Still, the fans cheer when they are supposed to and are always positive to both the opposition and the home team, even as the Terps' starting pitcher struggled and labored through the first inning, as was the case in the game I attended. While the fans at the basketball games may have a bit of a 'reputation,' the baseball games are definitely family and kid-friendly.

Access    3

The trip to College Park is a very easy one. From Baltimore, you'll be going down Interstate 95 for about 25 miles of the 30 mile trip. There are plenty of signs along the way that can help you get to campus. If you're coming from Washington, DC, you won't be on any major highway, but it is still only about a 40 minute drive.

Once you're actually on campus, locating Shipley Field does get a bit tricky. There is no actual address for the stadium and when it came to finding it on campus, I actually had a pretty hard time. I ended up asking someone, who helped me realize that Shipley Field is to the right of Byrd Stadium, the home of Maryland football. I parked on the lawn parking outside the front of Byrd Stadium, which was free, and took the two-or-three-minute walk around the right side of Byrd to get to Shipley Field.

Bathrooms inside Shipley are to your right and left just as you walk into the entrance, and they are adequate. Everything at the stadium is cash-only so if you do need an ATM, walk across the street and into Adele H. Stamp Student Union. There's a SECU ATM on the second floor.

Return on Investment    3

Maryland baseball games are one of those events where the overall value really depends on the game. Tickets are $8 for the general public and $5 for youth and seniors, which is definitely not chump change. Combined with the higher-end food prices, Terps baseball could potentially make a dent in your pocket if you're bringing out the family on a nice weekend afternoon. The facility is well-built and well-kept, though, and the Terps face a number of high-profile opponents. Check the schedules beforehand and come out accordingly. Maryland isn't close to being a top-ten school yet, but to be the best, you must beat the best. Until then, what you get as far as value really depends on which team is in the visitors' dugout.

Extras    3

One extra point goes to the Terps In The Pros wall on the third base side of the concourse. It's a sense of pride for Maryland fans to see former Terrapins that made it to the big leagues, including two that are currently playing (Justin Maxwell and Brett Cecil). College baseball doesn't have nearly the same impact to the pros that college football or college basketball does, since players can sign with MLB teams right out of high school. This makes it extra special when you're able to see players like Maxwell and Cecil who played two or three seasons with the Terrapins before being drafted and making a major league team.

A second extra point goes to the foul ball policy. While professional teams always let fans keep foul balls, college teams have to be a bit more wary. The Terps find a great medium, where any kids who return a foul ball are entered into a t-shirt raffle at the end of the game.

The final extra point is for the PA announcer, who is very enthusiastic.

Final Thoughts

Shipley Field at the University of Maryland will give you an above average baseball experience. While the state of Maryland loves their sports, college baseball has a bit of a harder time catching on here, as is true in many other states. If the school is able to turn a corner and really start competing again in the conference as they did in the late 60s and early 70s, DC and Maryland residents, already behind the Orioles and Nationals, will gladly welcome yet another baseball contender to the area.

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Local Food & Drink

Hanami Japanese Restaurant  (map it!)

8145 Baltimore Ave

College Park, MD 20740

(301) 982-9899

http://www.hanamijapanese.com

Pho Thom  (map it!)

7313 Baltimore Ave

College Park, MD 20740

(240) 582-7530

Azteca Bar & Grill  (map it!)

9515 Baltimore Ave

College Park, MD 20740

(301) 474-8226

http://www.azteccantina.com

Bobby's Burger Palace  (map it!)

8150 Baltimore Ave

College Park, MD 20740

(240) 542-4632

http://www.bobbysburgerpalace.com

Pupuseria La Familiar  (map it!)

8040 Baltimore Ave

College Park, MD 20740

(301) 474-8484

Local Entertainment

Lodging

Comfort Inn & Suites Near University of Maryland  (map it!)

9040 Baltimore Ave

College Park, MD 20740

(301) 441-8110

http://www.comfortinn.com/hotel-college_park-maryland-MD611?source=gglocaljn

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