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Official Review by Paul Hilchen, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
Nicknamed "Oregon’s Field Of Dreams," Volcanoes Stadium is the home of the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, the San Francisco Giants Short-Season Class A baseball team in the Northwest League. The team was founded in 1997, the same year the stadium opened. The team, formerly known as the Bellingham Giants, came from Bellingham, Washington after the 1996 season. The Volcanoes have been a very successful team since their inception, winning 5 NWL championships (’98, ’01, ’06, ’07 & ’08). The team also boasts several alumni that have reached the major leagues including: Joe Nathan, Ryan Vogelsong, Pablo Sandoval, Tim Lincecum & Buster Posey.
The stadium has a capacity of 4,252, which at first glance seems like a lot considering the seats only go as far as the end of the dugout on the third base side. The bullpens for each team are on the field, as they are at Wrigley Field in Chicago. It is not the most advanced stadium out there although there have been upgrades recently including a large video board just beyond the left-center field fence.
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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".
The food selections at Volcanoes Stadium are relatively standard stadium fare. Overall, the menu items here are less expensive than other sports venues, which is a definite plus these days. Hot Dogs and Burgers ($3 - $4), Soda (Pepsi products) $3 - $4, Beer $5 - $6 and so on. There are a few non-traditional baseball items available such as a Chicken Rice Bowl at the Asian Wok for $8, an Eruption Burrito at Café Ole for $8 or a SW Chicken Wrap at The Healthy Hut, also for $8. In the left field corner there is the Lava Lounge, which opens at the top of the 2nd inning, where you can get mixed drinks and beer.
A game at Volcanoes Stadium is baseball at its most basic level, which is a good thing. Most teams will run special gimmicks to get fans in the door, and there's nothing wrong with that. The stadium has a very cozy feeling to it that is very refreshing. As I walked around the stadium, it was my perception that most people there knew each other. Even though the Salem-Keizer area is decent size, it feels like a small town ballpark.
Volcanoes Stadium is adjacent to Interstate 5 on the north side of the Salem-Keizer area. The stadium is in Keizer proper, tucked in behind Keizer Station, a sizable shopping area. If the menu at the stadium doesn't interest you that much, Keizer Station has an Outback Steakhouse and a Panera Bread that might fit the bill.
Salem has many historical sites worth visiting while you're in the area. The State Capitol is a popular site to visit as well as the Willamette Heritage Center. The Willamette Heritage Center features a retrospective of the Mill that helped Salem thrive as well as a full history of the area.
If you want an outdoor adventure, Detroit Lake is a popular spot about an hour southeast of Salem. The Oregon Coast is approximately an hour west, and Portland is about an hour north.
There is a small town cozy feeling to the stadium. The game I attended was mildly attended. Some might see that as a negative, but the fans that were in attendance were very in tune with the on field activities. The crowd was fairly loud for its size. I did not see a lot of the unruly fans you would see at other venues. Many fans were building memories with their families and just enjoying themselves. It was clear to me these fans were here for the love of the game, which in my time reviewing stadiums, I can't say I've seen that often.
Volcanoes Stadium is off of I-5 at Keizer Station. You have to weave yourself through the area, but its not bad at all. There is a large parking lot, capable of accommodating a capacity crowd and then some. Inside there is plenty of room to maneuver about. The main thoroughfare is wide and can handle many fans at once. The bathrooms have plenty of room for all. There are plenty of spots for handicapped fans at the top of the box seat section.
Single game tickets range from $9 on the left field berm to $20 for the lower box seats. There are a couple specialty seating sections, one being the 4Topps VIP seating. Four swivel seats with table, in-seat waiter service and the best sightline in the stadium directly behind home plate for $120. The other is the Party Patio down the right field line. $900 will get you this area exclusive for large groups of up to 75 (additional tickets can be purchased for $12) with a private bartender. There is also an option to add a pregame meal. The stadium does have Skybox Suites. These are available on a 3 year lease and seat 12 in theater style seating.
I have to say that the value you get going to a Volcanoes game may or may not show it in the dollars and cents, but the experience you get when attending makes it all worthwhile.
Souvenirs are about what you would find at other stadiums. Caps $22-$30, Hoodies $30-$39, balls $5, shirts $13 and up. You can also get MLB balls and caps ($6, $20).
On the night of this review, it was Don Larsen night. Fans had a chance to get an autograph from the only man to throw a perfect game in the World Series.
There is a Kids Area behind the right field bleachers that has a batting cage, batting tee, a play structure and a bounce house. Parents should be cautious here because this area is not supervised.
Crater, the Volcanoes mascot, invites the kids on the field for the 7th inning stretch to sing "Take Me Out To The Ballgame," and also races kids around the bases in between an inning.
The big attraction for the 2017 season will be Eclipsefest. On August 21, Keizer, Oregon will be sitting in the path of a once in a lifetime total solar eclipse. The start time on that day will be in the morning and be the first ever "eclipse delay" in baseball history. Fans on that day will receive commemorative sunglasses to wear during the delay.
If you are a person that goes to a baseball game purely for the love of baseball, this is the place for you.
Member Review by Prince
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.
Member Review by MarcV on Jul 09, 2013
I have to admit that I was not too excited about watching a game at Volcanoes Stadium. I first visited the stadium in 2009, and was not impressed with what I saw. Thank goodness first impressions can be misleading, since my second time at the ballpark was much better than expected. The Salem-Keizer Volcanoes are members of the Single-A Northwest League and have called the cozy park home since 1997. The 4,252 seat stadium was privately funded for $3 million and was the first new baseball stadium built in the state since 1940. Since its inaugural campaign, the team has averaged 3,000 fans per game per season. Not too shabby for a ballpark I once snubbed my nose at.
Member Review by thatfoodguy on Jul 13, 2013
Having traveled the country, I have to say that this is one of my favorite minor league teams ball parks! Their employees are a delight and it is well worth the time and money. I was helped by a nice man named Thomas Weeks who made my family feel at home. One of the ushers named Mark was also helpful and we were pleased to see that the ball park hires people of all aptitudes. Loved the Volcano Burger and the $1 beer night! The ladies in the main concession also invited our son out that night and that was sweet. We would like him to come home now. Overall a success.
Member Review by 9InningKnowItAll on Oct 03, 2013
The location of Volcanoes Stadium is perfect. It is easy to get to and right next to a shopping area that includes restaurants and some great stores.
The stadium is beat up though and the jumbo tron / scoreboard only works some of the time.
Some of the food options are good but it can take 20 minutes to get a hot dog.
No real giveaways occur during the year for fans and there isn't much for activities in between innings.
Member Review by shamus170 on Aug 29, 2014
The first question that often comes to mind when hearing “Salem-Keizer Volcanoes” is why the hyphen? Volcanoes Stadium is in Keizer, Oregon, and the small city is really more of a suburb to the state capital of Salem (in fact, Keizer only became independent in 1982). After different iterations of baseball teams played in the Cherry City, the last would be the Dodgers, as they left to Yakima in 1990 when Salem’s community-college home was deemed inadequate. Baseball returned to the region seven years later, as the Bellingham franchise left for the new ballpark completed in Keizer. Under the affiliation wing of San Francisco, the Volcanoes have had quite a bit of success in the Northwest League, with five titles. Unfortunately, their home stadium does not stand up to the team’s on-field quality, as Volcanoes Stadium fails to deliver in several aspects, including a poor design, despite its relative young age.
6385 Ulali Dr
Keizer, OR 97303
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