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Official Review by Brian Merzbach, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
One of the drawbacks with having a college campus located in the heart of a city is that there isn't always enough real estate to find room for a sports facility. This is apparently what happened at Temple as their baseball field is located some 15 miles north of Philadelphia on the Ambler campus of the university. Skip Wilson Field, named after the longtime baseball coach at Temple, is a very basic facility nestled into a residential setting. It opened in 2004 and has a capacity of about 1,000.
Temple University, while not a well-known baseball school, has had some success over the years with 14 NCAA appearances.
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There is no concession stand, but you are free to bring in whatever you like. The day I was there a guy was selling hot pretzels at the souvenir table, but there was no sign for them so not sure if that was really an official offering.
Other than occasional cheers from the crowd, there is little in the way of any sort of atmosphere at Skip Wilson Field. A PA announcer does announce each batter and there is music played between innings. But otherwise this is a very pure experience for watching a college ballgame. Seating consists of two small bleacher sections - one down each line. There is a small grassy area behind the backstop where fans also can sit. Many fans also bring in their own lawn chairs and set them up in view of the field.
Skip Wilson Field is located in a residential area, so the closest restaurants are about a 10 minute drive away. The Temple softball field is located directly adjacent to the baseball field, so when there is a game going, the sounds from there can be overheard.
As with most college games in the northeast, most of the fans that attend are family or friends of the players in the game. So they tend to be very supportive and vocal at times. Because of its location so far from the main campus, it is doubtful that many students ever make the trek to take in a game.
While access is easy enough for people with cars, having a park located off campus means that most students will not be able to see the games. The park can be accessed from exit 339 of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. There is a huge parking lot located in front of the park. The only restrooms at Skip Wilson Field are those of the port-o-john variety.
Other than gas money to get to the field, you will not need to spend any money to attend a game here. There is no fee to enter the field, parking is free, and there are no concessions to buy.
The team provides a nice free program that includes rosters for both teams. Also, the team has banners displayed along the left field wall, one for each appearance they have made in the NCAA's.
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