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Official Review by Gary Herman, Guest Reviewer
Volcanoes Stadium, which is referred to as "The Crater," opened in 1997 and it's of the home to the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes of the Northwest League. They're the Single A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants. The team recently extended their player development contract with the Giants for two more years through 2012. The stadium is located conveniently off I-5 in Keizer, Oregon. The team uses nearby Salem, the capital of Oregon as part of its name in order to entice corporate sponsors to advertise with the team, hence the name Salem-Keizer.
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 ballpark had a different array of choices if you come to the ballpark hungry. Unique items include the Famous Jerry's Lava Dog for $4.25 and the Killer Kielbasa for $7.25. Specialty stands include the Asian Wok, Cafe Ole, and Healthy Hut.
It certainly is nice to have the option to go heart healthy, or heart attack inducing. Additionally, there are several microbrews available for $4.75.
It was a cool night so the crowd wasn't that big. It was half full. They announced a crowd of 2,040. The stadium holds 4,200. People were into the game and they had a number of different promotions between innings which made for an entertaining night at the ballpark. There was a souvenir stand set up behind home plate as well.
The surrounding area that leads you to the ballpark is comprised of shopping center areas which included a Target department store as well as others. I didn't notice any restaurants in that area though.
Even though the crowd was small, they were into the game as they rooted on their local team. Their mascot, Crater, made the rounds entertaining the young kids that were there.
They had a Speed Pitch area set up. It cost $1 for 3 throws which benefited the Crater's Community Care Fund.
Getting to the ballpark was relatively easy since it's right off the highway. You just need to follow the winding roads that take you right to the parking lot which cost $3.00.
The ticket prices were rather reasonable for level of play. I wound up buying a ticket for $8 which was general admission. If I got the ticket in advance they take off a dollar which is a nice gesture.
In addition, they have reserved seats for $10, upper box for $12 and the diamond club is $20. Since it was Saturday night they had a prize wheel that allowed select fans to go home with different prizes throughout the game.
Thanks to my friend Kevin Feist, who coaches high school baseball, I was told to ask for a team executive named Jerry Howard. After a few innings, I found him and I mentioned Kevin's name and he invited me to spend the rest of the game in the diamond club suite so I really had a great time during my visit.
Overall, if you happen to be in the Northwest and you're a baseball fan I suggest that you try to take in a Volcanoes' game, so you can see and experience it for yourself.
Gary Herman is a Guest Reviewer from Royalty Tours USA.
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