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Official Review by Tracey Mitchell, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
Thomas Stadium, the home of ETSU Baseball, opened in February of 2013. The 1,000-seat stadium features typical plastic stadium seating, an LED video board, two suites for rental opportunities, concessions and restroom facilities, and an artificial Turf playing surface. University Edge student condominiums, with apartment balconies that overlook left field and the Blue Ridge Railroad which borders the right field fence surround the outskirts of the stadium. The field also hosts two games a year for the Johnson City Cardinals, from the MiLB Appalachian League.
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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".
There is a very simple food list consisting of hot dogs ($3), popcorn and candy ($2), and soft drinks (Coca-Cola products) and water. There are no specialty food items or beer.
There are no bag checks and no signs posted prohibiting outside food or drinks, so you may want to bring something in with you to get you through nine innings.
Beyond the outfield walls there is a condominium complex and train track among shopping, restaurants, and city buildings further out. There is covered seating behind home plate all the way up to the press box. There is one entrance through the front of the stadium with two iron gates to pass through.
The concourse area at the main entrance houses the restrooms, concessions, and a hall of fame photo collage of past players. It also has a hospitality suite on one side and a president's suite on the other with the press box in the center.
The 1,000 seats are typical plastic stadium seats with plenty of leg room and they are sectioned off and numbered per your ticket. There is a large jumbotron/digital scoreboard over the left center field wall.
Thomas Stadium is just off campus, barely a block away. It is a safe walk to and from campus. The field has its own parking that is free, but signs are posted to warn about parking at your own risk due to foul balls.
There is a McDonalds and other restaurants that are visible from the parking lot and there are plenty of fast food restaurants on the strip on the side of the campus where the ballpark is located, as well as the Carnegie Hotel.
The fans are great, and consist of a good mix of students and families of all ages. There are no special traditions besides the singing of the National Anthem.
Thomas Stadium is located right off the campus within 5-7 miles from the Johnson City Mall and lots of shopping, hotels, and more restaurants. There is free parking at the stadium. Local JC transit buses stop at the corner of the entrance to the stadium. The restrooms are nice, clean and handicap accessible. The ticket sales staff are very friendly and all the staff are helpful.
There are season ticket options costing $125 for seats behind home plate and $75 for seats along the baselines. Individual ticket prices are $10 behind home plate and $5 along the baselines. Children under 3 are free. They have print at home options on their website or will call as well as buying at the gate. The $5 ticket for a ballgame is a good value. Programs are free upon entering the game.
For the avid baseball fan, Thomas Stadium is a great place to catch some college action for a good price in a beautiful, clean stadium close to restaurants and retail.
You can take a tour of Thomas Stadium by watching this video:
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