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Spitz Stadium

Lethbridge, AB

Home of the Lethbridge Bulls

3.6

3.4

Spitz Stadium (map it)
2601 Parkside Dr. S
Lethbridge, AB T1J 4W3
Canada


Lethbridge Bulls website

Spitz Stadium website

Year Opened: 1924

Capacity: 3,000

There are no tickets available at this time.

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Hit and Running with the Bulls

Henderson Stadium opened its doors in 1924 in Lethbridge, AB and has been the home of baseball in the small city ever since.

A bricks-and-mortar grandstand was opened in 1975, just in time for professional ball to come to town; the Lethbridge Expos of the Rookie level Pioneer League played two seasons at Henderson Stadium before changing affiliation and becoming part of the Dodgers organization, an association they would maintain until 1983.

Pro baseball would be absent from the Lethbridge landscape until 1992 when the Mounties, Pioneer League affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, arrived. They changed their name to the Black Diamonds in 1996 and they played at Henderson Stadium until 1998.

Replacing the Black Diamonds in 1999 was the Bulls, playing in the Western Major Baseball League. The WMBL is a summer collegiate league which has been likened to A-class baseball in terms of overall talent level.

The Bulls have enjoyed a good deal of success, including four Western Division titles and a WMBL championship in 2015. But they were also linked to tragedy in 2011 when Tanner Craswell and Mitch MacLean, two Bulls players, were murdered in a mass shooting. So the Bulls have been through both great highs and great lows as an organization.

Spitz, a local sunflower seed manufacturer, began a long-term sponsorship of the diamond in 2008, changing the name to Spitz Stadium. Since then a number of improvements have been made to the stadium, making the fan experience that much better.

3.6

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

There are three concession stands around Spitz Stadium: a small scale stand beyond the right field bleachers, a larger stand under the grandstand, and an even larger setup by the patio area beyond the left field stands.

Choices are fairly basic, including pop, peanuts, chips, candy bars and, surprise, surprise, Spitz-brand sunflower seeds.

By the left field patio, you'll also find freshly barbecued burgers and hot dogs, a tasty treat that kicks the food options up a notch.

All three locations also have some alcoholic choices, including beer as well as harder stuff.

Atmosphere    3

It's a relaxed atmosphere at Spitz Stadium, with the crowds seemingly out to enjoy a nice summer evening as much as the game, but there's nothing wrong with that.

In case you haven't heard, do be aware that Lethbridge has a reputation for wind. Lots and lots of wind. If the temperature is chilly, that wind will cut right through you if you're out in the bleachers or the patios. You'll be much warmer and more sheltered if you go for the grandstand seating.

Some well-done landscaping and hardscaping around the left field patio add a nice touch to the appearance of the stadium, making the fan experience that much more pleasant.

Neighborhood    3

Spitz Stadium is located a half block off Mayor Magrath Dr., one of the main arteries in Lethbridge, on the north end of Henderson Park, a huge green space that features a lake, a public swimming pool, Japanese gardens and an 18-hole golf course. While there aren't a ton of dining options in the immediate vicinity, Henderson Park is lovely and you're only a 5-10 minute drive to just about everything worth driving to in the city.

Only a couple blocks north, and across Mayor Magrath, you'll find the Firestone Restaurant in the Coast Lethbridge Hotel. A couple blocks further north, back on the east side of the road, are two more upscale restaurants at the top of what used to be Lethbridge's water tower. The Cut & Char Chophouse is the place to go for steak; Rogue features a completely new menu every four months, so you need to check ahead to see what kind of food they're serving. It's a very distinctive location with a very unique view of the city.

Across Magrath from the water tower is a KFC and you'll find a Burger King about a block further west along 3 Ave. S.

Heading south on Mayor Magrath you're only a few minutes from just about every franchise restaurant in the free world, whether it's McDonalds, Taco Bell, Boston Pizza or Swiss Chalet.

Fans    4

Personally, I prefer my audiences to be a little more demonstrative but, while the crowd at the game I attended was fairly sedate, they still cheered at all the right times, telling me they were engaged and paying attention.

The Bulls have some of the more dedicated fans in the league, drawing a little better than 1,000 per game in 2015 and 2016 (top three for per-game attendance in the league), and that's pretty nice to see at this level of ball. Seats in the main stands are mostly occupied, with things thinning out as you get out to the bleachers, so it still feels fairly full most nights.

Access    5

Getting to and from Spitz Stadium is really easy.

Mayor Magrath Dr. runs north-south and will quickly deliver you to either end of the city. Only a few blocks north you'll get onto the Crowfoot Highway (Highway 3) which can quickly move you east-west across town. Either way, you can easily get around Lethbridge in minutes.

Parking at the diamond is plentiful enough for a typical crowd and it is free. Just be forewarned: the spots nearest the grandstand are very vulnerable to foul balls, so park there at your own risk. There is more parking around the Henderson Park grounds and in surrounding neighbourhoods so you should be able to find a spot to drop off your car with relative ease.

Lethbridge Transit runs buses up and down Mayor Magrath regularly so that's also an easy option.

Inside the diamond it's pretty easy to get around. Walking paths are wide enough to accommodate the number of spectators without any serious bottlenecks.

Return on Investment    4

Game day bleacher tickets are only $10 each. The best seats in the house on the patio or right behind home plate, with table service from the concessions, go for just $20 each. As a result, it won't break the bank to attend a Bulls game, no matter where you sit. That's pretty good value for your money.

Do be aware though: if you have to sit in the bleachers way out in right field, next to the visitor's bullpen, the view isn't good. The benches out there are pointed at centre field, so you'll have to look to your left to see most of the action, and the action in the infield is partially obscured by the patio tables and seats located between the third base bleachers and those right field bleachers. At least you aren't paying a ton for that location.

Extras    3

A number of recent stadium improvements have improved the fan experience. A new scoreboard with a big video screen were added in left field, offering replays and live action. Trees have also been added beyond the outfield fence to beautify the park. More renovations are planned for the near future including adding more seats, improving the patios and much more.

There are two memorials at the park in memory of Tanner Craswell and Mitch MacLean. A display case just inside the main doors features pictures, jerseys and equipment from the fallen young men. In center field, a second memorial depicting their names and jersey numbers is mounted on the wall.

T-Bone, the Bulls mascot, makes his way around the stands during the game to entertain the kids and help with various giveaways and promotions.

Final Thoughts

There's really nothing like going to see a ballgame on a warm summer evening. The Lethbridge Bulls provide a nice opportunity to get out and enjoy quality ball at a great price. Spitz Stadium doesn't necessarily have all the bells and whistles that a Major League park might provide, but it gives the fans a fun, almost pastoral experience that harkens back to the golden age of baseball while still giving the audience many of the modern upgrades a 21st Century fan is looking for.

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Crowd Reviews

Spitzing in Lethbridge

Total Score: 3.43

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

Henderson Stadium opened its doors in 1924 in Lethbridge, AB and has been the home of baseball in the small city ever since.

A bricks-and-mortar grandstand was opened in 1975, just in time for professional ball to come to town; the Lethbridge Expos of the Rookie level Pioneer League played two seasons at Henderson Stadium before changing affiliation and becoming part of the Dodgers organization, an association they would maintain until 1983.

Pro baseball would be absent from the Lethbridge landscape until 1992 when the Mounties, Pioneer League affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, arrived. They changed their name to the Black Diamonds in 1996 and they played at Henderson Stadium until 1998.

Replacing the Black Diamonds in 1999 were the Bulls, playing in the Western Major Baseball League. The WMBL is a summer collegiate league which has been likened to A-class baseball in terms of overall talent level.

The Bulls have enjoyed a good deal of success, including four Western Division titles. But they were also linked to tragedy in 2011 when Tanner Craswell and Mitch MacLean, two Bulls players, were murdered in a mass shooting. So the Bulls have been through both great highs and great lows as an organization.

Spitz, a local sunflower seed manufacturer, began a long-term sponsorship of the diamond in 2008, changing the name to Spitz Stadium. Since then a number of improvements have been made to the stadium, making the fan experience that much better.

Share your thoughts about Spitz Stadium

Local Food & Drink

Firestone Restaurant & Bar  (map it!)

532 Mayor Magrath Dr S

Lethbridge, AB T1J 3M2

(403) 329-3473

http://www.firestonerestaurant.ca

Ric's Grill  (map it!)

103 Mayor Magrath Dr S

Lethbridge, AB T1J 4Y8

(403) 317-7427

http://www.ricsgrill.com

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