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Official Review by Jason Bullock, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
"The million-to-one shot came in. Hell froze over. A month of Sundays hit the calendar. Don Larsen today pitched a no-hit, no-run, no-man-reaches-first game in a World Series." You may ask yourself, what does this quote have to do with Georgetown baseball? It was written by one of the best sportswriters of the 20th century, Shirley Povich, whose name adorns the front of the home of the Hoyas baseball team. A copy of the edition of the Washington Post with the article about the aforementioned perfect game can be found on the wall behind the main grandstand at Povich Field.
While Georgetown University is located in Washington, D.C., the Hoyas play their home games in Bethesda, Maryland, about 11 miles away. Shirley Povich Field is located in Cabin John Regional Park, having opened in 1999 and serving as home to GU since 2000. The stadium holds 1,500 spectators and is also home to the Bethesda Big Train, a collegiate summer league team.
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".
There is a concession stand at Povich Field, though it is, unfortunately, not consistently used for Hoya games. No food or drink was available at either game I attended this 2013 season. I asked a couple of fans if it was ever open and they stated that it had been a couple of times, but it is not a regular occurrence. If you are thirsty, outside of the field on the third base side you will find two vending machines that carry Powerade and Coca-Cola products. The machines take credit cards, but that didn't work my last visit to the park, so bring cash.
Your best option is to take advantage of the surrounding tables in the park and bring a picnic lunch. Grills are also available for use if needed.
Approaching Povich Field, it has the look of a professional minor-league stadium. The brick facade and architecture of the main entrance give you an 'old-time' stadium feel and are warm and inviting. Admission is free, so there is no hassle getting through the gate. On the back of the main grandstand ,you will find tributes to Povich and Hall of Famer Walter Johnson, who played for the Washington Senators and is buried in nearby Rockville.
One of the first things I noticed when entering the seating area was that there are no benches - everybody gets their own seat! They are made of hard plastic with a fold down seat, but offer sufficient width and leg room, which is really appreciated and added to my personal comfort watching the game.
I sat in many different areas and didn't find a bad seat in the park. The home team dugout is on the first base side, and most fans of GU appear to sit on that side. There is a good sized scoreboard in left-center field that gives you the all the typical info you will find at college stadiums, along with the time and temperature. Bullpens are located down the first and third base sides, and the player benches are elevated so they they can see what's going on in the field of play.
You won't find a mascot, band or any between-inning antics during the game. The PA announcer is strictly business, announcing the player at bat - along with walk-up music for the home players - and playing a variety of songs during breaks in play.
There is so much to do inside of Cabin John Park that I didn't even need to check out the rest of the neighborhood to rate this category. There are multiple baseball fields located in the park, and there is a good chance you will catch the younger kids playing ball the day of a Hoya game. If you've had enough baseball, there are tennis courts, an indoor ice skating rink (with rental skates), hiking trails and picnic areas, just to name a few options. One must-see is the miniature train ride (seasonal) that takes you through two miles of the park. You can find everything you need to know about the park on their website here.
For those that don't have a love of the outdoors, Westfield Montgomery is close by, with all of the typical mall stores and eateries. However, I encourage you to explore the park and enjoy what it has to offer - you can go to the mall any day!
Hoya fans are gracious and supportive of their team. With their home field being located a good distance from campus, it's not easily accessible for students and I haven't seen many at the games I have attended.
Located minutes off of I-270 in Bethesda, Povich Field is easily accessible from Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. Leave yourself plenty of time to allow for some of the worst traffic in the country, especially if you are going to an afternoon weekday game. There are two main entrances to Cabin John Regional Park off of Westlake Drive - if you're heading north, it's the first one on the left just past the shopping mall. The entrance is easy to miss, so look for the train on top of the sign (it also advertises Shirley Povich Field).
For those needing accessible seating, there are a few seats behind home plate. Restrooms are located in the ticket office building directly behind home plate. They are small but sufficient - if they are full and you can't wait, there are others located outside the main gate behind third base, next to the soda machines mentioned earlier.
Admission and parking are free at Povich Field for GU games. In a setting with so many other things to do for free or minimal cost, a day at a Hoya ballgame is an event that won't deplete your entertainment budget.
An extra point is given for the location/neighborhood . Cabin John Regional Park is a great location for Povich Field.
Even if you are not a big college baseball fan, a visit to catch the Hoyas in action and a day at the park is well worth the trip.
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