• Search by team or stadium name:

Buy the latest issue of Stadium Journey Magazine - Subscribe Today!

Stadium Journey Sports Magazine Subscriptions

Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium

Taoyuan County, Taiwan

Home of the Lamigo Monkeys

3.0

N/A

Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium (map it)
Linghang North Road
Taoyuan County, Taiwan 337
Taiwan


Lamigo Monkeys website

Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium website

Year Opened: 2010

Capacity: 20,000

There are no tickets available at this time.

Reviews

Local Information

Share
this

New Kid on the Block

Completed in 2010, Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium is the newest park in the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) and has housed the newest franchise in the league, the Lamingo Monkeys, since its opening. The 20,000 seat park probably comes the closest in Taiwan to what an American would expect as far as amenities and extras in a ballpark. But an inconvenient location in an inconvenient area hampers your ability to easily get to the park to see what it has on offer.

[For the purpose of this review, all prices are given in approximate US dollars based on the exchange rate at the time of the visit. All transactions at the park are in New Taiwan Dollars (NTD).]

3.0

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

Baseball parks in Taiwan, similar to those in Korea, do not have any restrictions on bringing in outside food, or beverages. Because of this, small vendor carts will line the street opposite the park on game day with cheap and tasty food and drink options. While many of the parks in Taiwan have limited consumable options, Taoyuan International at least approaches what an American would come to expect at the ballpark.

There are typical concession booths, as well as smaller stands dotting the interior walkway at the park. While there are many Chinese standards (including chicken in a multitude of forms, pork, and seafood), there are also more American-friendly fare, such as sub sandwiches (called the "Subber"), hot dogs, burritos... and even corn dogs. And if you're in Taiwan watching a ballgame, you might as well chow down on one of those cheap--yet sizeable and excellent--corn dogs for a little touch of home.

Heineken beer is a surprising seeming monopoly at Taiwanese parks and is available at certain vendors, as well as their own specialty concession stands at the top walkway of the park. Of course, you have the option of bringing your drinks of choice, as well.

Atmosphere    4

Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium is the newest in the league, and probably the most familiar-feeling for a Western visitor. The main entry foyer at home plate has a giant plasma TV showing US games when you walk in, so it already feels a little like home. An interior walkway runs the course of the park from outfield to outfield, where you'll find the expected food and merchandise vendors, as well as restrooms. Inside the seating area, one row of seats going from left to right field is split by one walkway halfway up, and then a walkway at the top of the seating area, with some more vendors.

The outfield has two sections of bleachers on either side of the batter's eye, with the one in right on the "home" side of the field rising an extra level. The upper deck runs above the infield grandstand, and the upper deck and the outfield bleachers are only open when crowd levels require them. A selection of luxury boxes reside behind home plate, by the broadcast booth. For those looking for some shade during the often punishing Taiwanese afternoons on the weekend (or to avoid the frequent rainstorms), the first half of the lower deck or the fully-covered upper-deck are the places to go.

Seating is closer and smaller than most Westerners are expecting, but it is in no way uncomfortable. Unlike the older stadiums in Taiwan, all the seats here seem to provide an unobstructed view of the game, as well as the two big scoreboards in right and left that keep you up-to-date on the action.

Between-inning entertainment is not the usual contests or trivia you might expect, but almost exclusively dance numbers by the cheerleaders, sometimes assisted by the Lamingo Monkey mascot, who schmoozes with fans in the home section during the game. As a Westerner in the crowd, expect to have to give the Monkey at least one high-five. There is no seventh-inning stretch, but some extended breaks every three innings so the grounds crew can fix up the field. There's no national anthem or exchange of lineups cards, either. The umpires come out and bow to the crowd, and the game gets going.

There is a little more of a Western-style baseball entertainment here, with a contest or two on best sign in the crowd and one trivia contest between innings. Keeping with the digital age, there is also a team iPhone app sing-along in the later innings, where fans turn on their apps to show a colored light and doing a choreographed song. After a home win, there will be an on-field ceremony and interview for the MVP players of the game on a stage constructed right after the game ends. The one or two honored players will usually throw souvenirs to fans after the show is over.

The main entry gate is by home plate, and others won't open unless the crowd is big. The line moves fast once the gates are open due to the lack of any bag check, so it isn't really a problem.

Neighborhood    1

The Taiwanese capital of Taipei is just a twenty minute high-speed rail ride away, and is probably the best option for lodgings when visiting the park.

Fans    3

For fans not familiar with Asian baseball customs, watching a game will come as quite a shock. Firstly, there is a breakout of territory in the stadium for "home" and "away," centered around the dugouts of the corresponding teams (third and first base, respectively, in this case). The home fans center from home plate to the outfield on the home side, and the visiting fans sit from home plate to the outfield on the visiting side. On top of the dugout is a "stage" area where the cheerleading (in its literal form) happens. One or two MCs lead the cheering, along with the mascots and the cheerleaders. The visiting fans also get their own cheer section above the visiting dugout if their team MC and/or mascot makes the trip.

Cheering is very much different from the American baseball standard. The team at bat is constantly singing songs to cheer on the batter at the plate. These are from standards that every fans knows, and is usually accompanied by banging plastic noise-makers, sounding horns, or choreographed hand gestures. The singing is also orchestrated by a team band, with a drum and usually some horns. Waving giant flags often accentuates the cheering. If a batter makes an out, or especially if a defensive player makes an exceptionally good play, the fans of the defensive team will counter-sing about the achievement.

Say what you will about Taiwanese baseball stadiums with their lack of niceties and other distractions that Americans have come to expect, but when Taiwan fans come to a baseball game, they come to watch a baseball game. With serious gambling scandals as recently as 2008, the popularity of baseball took a big hit in Taiwan, which had the second-largest league in Asia before the scandals ravaged the league and forced over half the teams to close up shop. But 2013 has seen a resurgence in popularity for the remaining teams in the Chinese Professional League, thanks to the first-half stint in 2013 of former MLB-star Manny Ramirez with one of the teams and the Taiwanese national team's surprising performance in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

The Monkeys are the newest kid on the block, and they are also struggling in the standings (such as they are). Their fan base is the smallest of the remaining teams, and they compensate with piped-in fan noise, which is a mortal sin in game day presentation from my perspective. Still, the average person at a CPBL game (even with the fake crowd noise) is a bigger baseball fan than the average MLB attendee, and it shows. A fun time is had by all at the park.

Access    2

For someplace so close to a high-speed rail station and the biggest international airport in Taiwan, it is not particularly easy to get to Taoyuan International Baseball Field. Taoyuan International Airport has free shuttle buses to the high-speed rail station, which also is only two stops and about 20 minutes from Taipei ($10 round trip). Once at the high-speed station, you can either take the free local 172 bus, or get a shorter cab ride ($3-$4 one way), or a longer walk (20-30 minutes) for free. Unusually long bus rides also come close to the park from Zhongli and Taoyuan City regional rail line stations.

After the game, the CPBL runs free buses back to the downtown areas of the surrounding cities, as well as the high-speed rail station, or you can walk or grab one of the cabs that congregate at the stadium after games. Trains run back to Taipei until around 12:00 AM. Given the lack of amenities around the park, staying in Taipei is recommended.

As with many places in Taiwan, free scooter parking is available wherever you can fit your bike on the street. There is a parking lot located on the lower level of the stadium, mostly used by those from the surrounding urban areas. The park can be reached on highways 113 or 31.

The outfield bleachers have their own entrances and facilities and are only open when the size of the crowd demands it. They are closed off from the infield grandstand until the end of the game. The second deck of the stadium is also closed off unless the crowd requires selling the seats, but they have access to the infield grandstand concesssions.

A note for Westerners: although this park has at least one Western-style toilet in all of its rest rooms, most are Asian squat toilets. If you don't know what that is, read up before you visit, or be sure you are waiting in line for a Western seated toilet. You do not want to learn squat toilet usage by trying.

For those fluent in Chinese, you can buy tickets at least a day before the game at the kiosks in any of the 7-11 stores that appear every two blocks or so in Taiwan. This is true for all the CPBL games in Taiwan.

Return on Investment    5

For an American watching a professional baseball game in Taiwan, you have to completely reset your cost expectations. The best seats in the house cost a little under $10 American (a little over $10 on the weekend), with half-priced tickets for students, the elderly, and the disabled for about $6 ($6.50 on the weekends), and open-seating bleachers at about $5 (when open due to crowd necessity). Food selections run from about $1-$3, non-alcoholic drinks run about $1, and the beer is about $2.

While the level of play may not quite be up the MLB standards, the experience alone is worth at least double the price of admission. Even taking into account the most "expensive" travel option (the $10 round-trip ticket from Taipei), it is still a bargain for a pro sporting event.

Extras    3

Taoyuan International is a little step up from most Taiwanese parks in relation to the extras Americans might expect. While there are no programs, parent company La New has at least added a layer of sophistication to the merchandise for the Monkeys. In addition to a regular team store (and space for the visiting team to set up shop on the third base side), there is a Monkeys boutique store with upscale merchandise for the team, and just down the hall is a shop for the parent company's trendy shoe line.

There are other little touches, such as the concrete baseball glove benches outside the stadium, near the inexplicable baseball bat sculpture. The main entrance foyer has a whimsical bat and ball decorated roof, right by the fan club sign-up desk.

As with all the parks in Taiwan, free WIFI is available.

Final Thoughts

Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium is undoubtedly a modern park with a lot going for it, but limited transportation options and an odd location hamper the fans ability to get there easily.

You must be a Stadium Journey member to post a comment.

Already a member? Sign in or Create a Stadium Journey Account

-- OR --

Crowd Reviews

Share your thoughts about Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium

Local Food & Drink

Local Entertainment

Lodging

w

© 2017 Stadium Journey