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Official Review by Marc Viquez, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
Four Winds Field was originally built in 1987 and with its open concourse and semi-wrap around concourse, it proved to be a template for future minor league facilities across the country. Still, there was a need for improvement, but its forward thinking design made it much easier to renovate and incorporate a few of the area’s surroundings.
The 5,000 seat stadium can hold up to more customers on its grass seating and has seen attendance numbers increase since renovations began in 2012. The hard work has paid off, and there is a lot to enjoy here at the ballgame.
The stadium originally opened in 1987, and the team began play as the South Bend White Sox in 1988. In 1994, the team switched their name to the Silver Hawks and changed affiliations to the Arizona Diamondbacks beginning with the 1997 season. It has been a strong affiliation with several players beginning their careers with the Silver Hawks including Justin Upton and Brandon Webb.
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Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
The ballpark features a copious amount of options to choose from during the course of the game. Among the basic baseball staples of hot dogs, peanuts and beer, you might be interested in one of the gourmet hot dogs and hamburgers that are prepared right in front of you. For $6 try a Chicago, reuben, fiesta, porker or mac and cheese foot long hot dog at the Franx concession stand or sink your teeth into a jalapeno popper, bleu moon or pit boss (with pulled pork and house made slaw) burger for $7 at the Burgerology stand. These are big sandwiches for a somewhat bigger appetite.
If you are still hungry for more, enjoy Italian and Polish sausages, Philly cheesesteaks and Philly style nachos at the Smokies Sausage Shack for around $5-$7.50. For the adults, there is the Tiki Hut in the outfield that is a perfect setting of baseball and open bar atmosphere.
The atmosphere is a cut above many other Single-A ballparks. Recent renovations included a new gift shop, added attractions in the outfield and a new entrance behind center field that includes a statue of local legend and baseball hall of famer Stanley Coveleski, for whom the ballpark was formerly named when built.
The main concourse is covered and offers mostly open views of the playing field, the lower level seats are close to the action on the field and a brand new scoreboard hovers in left field. It is a ballpark that feels almost like a brand new ballpark, but is one that was creatively renovated, creating a fabulous vibe for everyone who purchases a ticket to the game.
There is a lot for almost every age here at Four Winds Field that should bring the fans back multiple times throughout the summer. The outfield concourse highlights many of these wonderful points from the Tiki Hut, team gift shop, children's play area, playground and water fountain. There is something for everyone.
The team gift shop is a converted synagogue that was originally built in 1901, making the home of Silver Hawks merchandise a rather unique shopping experience. Just outside of the front door is a fire pit with wooden benches and the Tiki Hut has ample space and tables for the adults. These are two areas where there is still a view of the ballgame, but one can definitely get preoccupied with friends during a nine inning game. Not that there is anything wrong with that. The grass berm area lines up the left side of the outfield and offers room for blankets and stretching out.
The biggest attraction might just be for the kids or the parents who need a place to entertain the young ones for a few hours. The Hawks provide two areas of interest for the little ones with inflatable slides, bouncy house shaped like the team mascot and basketball nets. It costs $5 for the game, but the kids look like they are having a lot fun with the numerous activities. On the other side of the outfield stands in the right field corner is a jungle gym and water fountain that gets the thumbs up from many who splash through the water or climb the ropes.
The stadium is located in downtown South Bend and near a few places of interest, while a few more suggestions would require to travel by car. Fiddler Hearth is within walking distance and offers great stew and drink selections. It is a wonderful little Irish pub that should not be missed.
Another gem is the Evil Czech, a few miles away in Mishawaka that offers great food and hand crafted beers that includes the Jamaican Coffee Stout, Vanilla Rye Porter, English Toffee IPA and the unusual Habanero Black IPA. Of course, Notre Dame's campus is worth a visit and so is Barnaby's for great pizza and roast beef sandwiches.
An impressive crowd is often on hand for the Silver Hawks games and the fans are fortunate to have a beautiful ballpark in their community. A lot of folks enjoy the game from their seats, stretch out on the lawn seats or from a stool in the Tiki Hut. When there are so many vantage points to watch the game, the fans are sure to come out by the masses.
Being a downtown ballpark, one would think it might be somewhat difficult to get to the ballpark, but there are plenty of signs guiding travelers to the stadium. There are various parking lots that cost $5. It's a little steep, but perhaps the norm in many downtown facilities. The area is in between the Indiana Toll Road to the north, and state roads 20 and 31 to the south. SR-31 is under construction in 2014 that will bypass the business section that will provide faster service in the future.
Attending a game is rather affordable with ticket prices ranging in price between $9 and $11, much cheaper than a night at a movie and a price point that will keep fans coming back on promotional nights throughout the week.
My first visit to this ballpark was in 2007 and everything that was described to me about future renovations, which at the time were still in the planning stages, were exactly as described from my recent visit. The ballpark looks sharp, offers various food options and high interest areas for the children. It is also a ballpark that did not need to be razed and replaced with a new facility. This is a great example of a ballpark renovation done correctly.
Member Review by paul
South Bend. A city known first and foremost as the home of the University of Notre Dame. It is a place that has seen a steady decline in its population and industry over the past 50 years. Near downtown South Bend sits Coveleski Stadium, home of the Silver Hawks, a class A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Baseball has long been a part of the fabric of South Bend. The city has been host to teams from the Studebaker plant, Negro League teams, and a professional women's team - the South Bend Blue Sox. Since 1984, there has been a minor league team, and since 1987 Coveleski Stadium has served as that home base.
Member Review by paul on Jun 28, 2012
As of 2012, Stanley Coveleski Regional Stadium bears little resemblance to the rundown ballpark that stood in its place just a year or two ago. In January 2012, the sale of the team was approved to Swing-Batter-Swing LLC, and sole shareholder Andrew T. Berlin. For a mere $4 million, the ballpark now has outdoor suites, a new home plate suite, a splash zone water fountain in right field, a new inflatables play area in center field, and a new team store in left field.
Bleacher seating is being replaced by new and modern plastic stadium seats, and the center field gate is a welcoming entrance to the new Cove. What stands now is exactly the reason why it is worthwhile to invest in your local ballpark. What was once a below average experience is now better than many ballparks in the area.
The stadium originally opened in 1987, and the team began play as the South Bend White Sox in 1988. In 1994, the team switched their name to the Silver Hawks and changed affiliations to the Arizona Diamondbacks beginning with the 1997 season. It has been a strong affiliation with several players beginning their careers with the Silver Hawks including Justin Upton and Brandon Webb
Member Review by devroid on Jul 03, 2012
With the new renovations and an emphasis from the owner on the fan experience this is a first rate place that the locals should be proud of. I've been to about 5 games so far this year and I have yet to encounter an employee who doesn't have a smile on their face and an attitude to match. Always looking forward to my next visit.
Member Review by Michael David on Nov 08, 2012
I know 'the Cove' went through some renovations recently, but it's wasn't all that great during my visit. Just your basic drab stadium. There were some fun game for kids which is nice, and the mascot did a great
Member Review by Tccrapsdealer on Sep 10, 2013
Today, I went to Four Winds Field (formerly Coveleski Stadium) for the first time since the renovations. Other than the field turf, I think the park has been much improved. I love the fact that you can now walk all the way around the field. I wish more stadiums had this feature.
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