Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium (map it)
2400 N Casaloma Dr
Appleton, WI 54912
Year Opened: 1995
There are no tickets available at this time.
Official Review by Paul Swaney, Stadium Journey Co-Founder
The city of Appleton, Wisconsin first saw minor league baseball in 1891, and they have continuously had a team since 1958 (first as the Foxes, and then the Timber Rattlers as of 1995). Over the years the team has seen its share of affiliations to Major League Baseball, including ties to the Cleveland Indians, Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Browns, Boston Braves, Washington Senators, Baltimore Orioles, Chicago White Sox, Kansas City Royals, and Seattle Mariners. Since 2009, the Timber Rattlers have been affiliated with their natural geographic parent club, the Milwaukee Brewers.
There is nothing extraordinary about Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium (besides the length of the name), but it does provide a comfortable setting for minor league baseball.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
The newest behemoth burger added to an already stellar menu is the Southwest Grand Slam Burger. For $9, you'll get a pound of beef topped with bacon, beer battered onion straws, Wisconsin cheddar cheese, and BBQ sauce. For something spicier, Fang's Venom Burger, named after the team's mascot, is a burger topped with jalapenos, salsa, Cajun seasonings, and pepper jack cheese ($7.25).
The menu really is something special with local flair and ballpark staples, but the offerings are too numerous to list here. It may be worth checking out the full concession selection before heading out to a Timber Rattler's game.
There is a good selection of microbrews including three types of Leinenkugel's, Snake Tail Ale, Capital Wisconsin Amber, and Rattler Brau in 16-ounce or 24-ouce sizes ($4.25/$6.75). Mixed drinks and margaritas are also available ($5.75). Pepsi is the soda of choice with a small costing $3.25 and a souvenir sized large coming in at $5.75.
I was also glad to see cheese curds on the menu ($3.50), a must for a Wisconsin sporting event in my book.
The stadium itself is rather generic, with a single level of seats below a wide concourse. There are ten rows of red plastic seats in the sections between the dugouts. This is the place to sit, with plenty of leg room and cup holders. Behind those seats are metal bleachers that are far less comfortable, especially on a cold April day or night.
It's all about the details when you come to a minor league park. The talent is not why you are here. You're here for the love of the game of baseball and for the entertainment . For me, it starts up in the press box with the guy in charge of sound effects and songs to accompany each plate appearance. There were subtle jokes throughout the game, and it was fun to try and get inside the head of each audible decision.
You'll see your share of typical contests between innings, and the always popular dancing grounds crew. The team mascot, Fang, is omnipresent, doing a great job of mixing with the kids and fans.
Other options for the kids include a huge sand box in right center field, and playground in right field, as well as pitching games.
Similar to Milwaukee Brewers games, you'll hear Roll out the Barrel immediately after the more traditional Take Me Out to the Ballgame, to a greater fan response.
The stadium is technically in Grand Chute, although you're really just outside of Appleton. The Fox River Mall is just south of the stadium if you want to get some retail therapy in.
Heading along the Fox River, toward downtown Appleton, there is a string of bars and restaurants along College Avenue. The Wooden Nickel Sports Bar is a good option for a pre or post game drink.
For something a little more special, I can give a high recommendation to the Stone Cellar Brew Pub. This place is like happiness in a basement. For any brew pub, it starts with the beer, and theirs is very good. They have a sampler where you can get a four-ounce taste of the 9 beers they typically have on tap. My bartender was kind enough to cut that back to six in my case since the hour still read "a.m." and I didn't want to blur the game. They also have a terrific menu with an emphasis on local and organic products. I had the elk burger (local), with a side salad of local produce, and a scotch egg (one of my favorites). I have done a lot of reviews and don't write this often, but make sure this is part of your trip itinerary when you see the Timber Rattlers.
There's the typical mix of families and baseball lovers in the stands. During my visit, the fans remained for the entire game, even though it was a chilly gray day. They were very much into every play, and I overheard a lot of intelligent baseball conversations. If you love baseball, you'll be amongst friends.
Parking will cost you $5, a reasonable sum, but it seemed a bit like overkill to me. Once inside the stadium, you'll find wide concourses, fast-moving lines, and clean and accessible restrooms.
US 41 can be seen just past the right field fence, so you are within easy reach of getting where you need to go without any trouble. What this means: No need to leave early.
Box seats cost only $10, and are my recommendation as the best place to sit at a Timber Rattlers game. If you think you can put away a few hot dogs, then you may also want to opt for the all-you-can-eat seats down the right field line. Bleacher seats go for $8, and $5 if you want a lawn seat. For the difference in cost, the comfort afforded for the box seat is well worth it.
Add in the cost of the food on a great menu, and the parking, and one person can have an excellent baseball experience for $25. There's no doubt that you will get your money's worth.
One advantage to being affiliated with so many teams over the years is that there is a diverse collection of talented players that have played in Appleton. Players include Boog Powell, Goose Gossage, Dean Chance, Kenny Williams, Cal Ripken Sr., and Harold Baines. Earl Weaver was once a manager here. Two points for that collection of big names.
Another extra point for the Timber Rattler as the mascot. In the world of minor league baseball, there is no need for a boring team name, and the Wisconsin team nailed it here.
As I walked from my car to the stadium I thought I was in for a dull time, what I found however was great attention to detail and an overall good baseball experience. If you are a Brewers fan and want to see some of the up-and-coming talent, or if you just like your baseball, then a trip to Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium should be on your to-do list.
Member Review by mcskillet911 on Apr 14, 2011
It is absolutely the most fantastic minor league ball park experience I have ever had. The food is great, the games for the kids are great, the sandbox is a fun and fantastic idea, absolutely no complaints at all.
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