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Official Review by Ryan Norris, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
The Santa Clara University Broncos have played at Stephen Schott Stadium since it opened in 2005 at a construction cost of $8.6 million. $4 million of the total was donated by former SCU baseball player and Oakland Athletics owner Stephen Schott.
You enter the stadium from behind home plate and make your way past the snack bar to the main rotunda that stretches from third base, behind home plate, to first base. From this walkway, you can go down to the lower level, complete with chair-back seats or to the upper-level bleachers.
As one of the newer facilities in the conference, Schott Stadium certainly is a nice place to watch a game. The sightlines are great, the stadium clean, and all parts of it accessible.
The SCU Broncos currently play in the West Coast Conference, typically known for their basketball powerhouses of Gonzaga, Saint Mary’s and BYU. However the WCC also has formidable baseball programs with Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine both making appearances in the College World Series. The Broncos made their only appearance in 1962 as runners-up to the University of Michigan. The Broncos most recent NCAA Tournament appearance came in 1997.
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There's nothing that sticks out as particularly special at Schott Stadium, though the prices are quite reasonable compared to other venues around the Bay Area.
The main courses include a grilled chicken sandwich ($6), cheeseburger ($6), garden burger ($5) hot dog ($4) and nachos ($7).
The peripheral items are pretzels, churros, nachos, popcorn (all $3), candy ($2) and whole fruit ($3). You can get a 16 oz soda for $2 or a 32 oz soda for $3. The most popular items of the evening were definitely hot chocolates and coffee ($2 each) as it was a bitingly brisk evening.
The stadium itself is quite aesthetically pleasing as it is clean and has great sightlines. I also liked that there are condos beyond the right field fence which made it feel a bit like a big league park. It is also beneficial to get close to the action as there are only 1,500 seats at Schott Stadium.
I feel like the experience suffered a bit from the cold. About a third of those in attendance gathered behind home plate in front of the press box and luxury suite to use the brick facade as a wind-blocker, steaming coffee and chocolate in tow.
The main detraction in my eyes beside the sparsely attended game itself was that there were very few indicators of where you were and who you were watching, etc. There were few banners and insignia displayed around Schott Stadium.
Santa Clara University is located in a suburban neighborhood outside of San Jose. The immediate neighborhood is college-centric with good bars and restaurants nearby where you can grub with a group or spend a night with a date.
There are places to stop by for a sandwich or a slice of pizza in the neighborhood as these options may be cheaper (and sometimes better) than the ones in the venue. You can grab beer on nearby Franklin Street at The Hut or a bite at Mondo Burrito.
Aside from the options available the neighborhood is clean, safe and beautiful. This student-focused, somewhat upscale neighborhood is a nice place to explore before or after the game. It's a little bit of a sleepy town with most of the nightlife happening in San Jose.
The university is not far from where the San Francisco 49ers are building their new stadium.
As I mentioned before we just can't handle the cold in California and the seats showed that. To compound the problem for the home team, more than half of those in attendance were supporters from the visiting team Cal Poly, from San Luis Obispo, 200 miles south.
I could be wrong but it seemed there wasn't much of a connection between the fans and their team. The fans there were certainly engaged with the game and paying attention, I just didn't sense much passion. Much like the basketball game experience, many of the lively fans were in the luxury suite near the pressbox.
The campus is located between three major freeways: 101, 880 and 280. All of these allow easy access to surface roads leading to campus. These surface roads are well maintained and easy to navigate, even if it's your first time in the area. The major parking lot for Schott Stadium is located right off the El Camino Real and are easy to get in and out of. Trying to avoid paying for parking? Street parking is just as easy, just watch for signs.
Getting around the stadium is easy because of the wide walkways and I don't think it would change much when the game is sold to capacity. There is one set of bathrooms behind the press box near the equally accessible snack bar.
The nearest Caltrain station is about a half mile away which services the Peninsula from San Jose to San Francisco.
Tickets (starting at $7 for adults) and concessions are very reasonable considering the fine facility the Broncos play in. However, if my experience is the norm I'm not sure the return can be much greater than a three. Schott Stadium surely is a good place to watch a game but it has a ways to go to match the experience of the nearby Sunken Diamond.
Schott Stadium does not do a good job of honoring their past, in my opinion. While the Leavey Center has retired numbers and championship banners displayed, Schott Stadium had neither. Like I said before, there isn't much in the way of insignia anywhere at the stadium. This did make for a nice clean look and feel and perhaps that is what they were going for.
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3200 The Alameda
Santa Clara, CA 95050
787 Franklin Street
Santa Clara, CA 95050
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