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Official Review by Paul Donaldson, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
The ULM Warhawk baseball experience at Warhawk Field provides a nice atmosphere in a traditional small college baseball environment. From bleacher seating in the main grandstand, to tailgating seating along the baselines and a kids playground in the courtyard, the Warhawk baseball experience is family friendly.
Warhawk Field was constructed in 1983 and features a seating capacity of 1,800. Despite serving as home field for the Warhawks for over thirty years, the ballpark maintains a modern feel and clean look. The ULM Warhawks hail from the Sun Belt Conference in NCAA Division I.
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".
Warhawk Field provides the basic ballpark staples including hot-dogs, nachos, and soda.
Quality and Variety of Food Options. There two concession locations built into the walkways leading into the seating areas. However, typically only the stand located closer to the first base side of the main grandstand is open. The main entrée options include hot dogs, nachos, and Frito pie for $4 each. Chili and cheese are available on hot dogs at no extra charge. Snack items include peanuts ($4), popcorn ($3), pretzels ($3.50), candy ($2), and chips ($2). The concessions experience could be enhanced with a featured or more unique item on the menu, plus maybe local vendor food cart in the courtyard. However, your ballpark basics are covered.
Variety of Drink Options. Warhawk Field features bottled Coca-Cola products for $3.50. Bottled Dasani water is available for $3, while Powerade options are $4. Alcohol is not sold at Warhawk Field.
Recommendation. Featuring Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs, you can't go wrong with a good dog at a baseball game.
The atmosphere at Warhawk Field is a great fit for baseball traditionalists and traveling families.
Stadium Aesthetics. For a ballpark that's over 30 years old, Warkhawk Field has certainly aged well. This is a credit to the university community for recent upgrades and upkeep. With permanent seating that wraps from first to third bases, the view of the main grandstand is impressive upon driving up. There will be little doubt that you've arrived to a legitimate college baseball ballpark. The main grandstand features a small awning which provides shade to the seats directly behind home plate.
Warhawk Field features a natural grass playing surface and the outfield wall dimensions are 330-400-300.
Behind the main grandstand adjacent to first base is a kid's playground, which really adds to the family friendly environment at the ballpark. The playground sits in a grassy courtyard which wraps around the area behind the main grandstand. Behind the right field wall you'll notice the Doe's Eat Place sign. A free meal is waiting for fans if a Warhawks player smashes a homerun into the sign.
The scoreboard features a small video display in addition to a traditional board. You'll notice four retired numbers on the centerfield wall memorializing past Warhawk greats. Also, you can't miss the banners along the walkways behind the grandstand featuring past ULM baseball legends.
In-Game Promotions and Entertainment. Expect to see a few on-field promotions (such as a kid's base race) as well as games over the PA, including trivia. If you have the dirtiest car in the parking lot, you just might win a free car wash.
Seat Location Recommendations. There are several different seating areas for you to take in a Warhawks baseball game. Obviously, the seats directly behind home plate provide an unmatched view of the field, plus the comfort a bleacherback seat and shade of the overhead awning. In the main grandstand to the left and right of the bleacherbacks are regular bleacher seats. Down both third and first baselines are opportunities to plop a tailgate chair next to the brick wall. The area down third baseline is specifically set-up for tailgating with picnic tables and small overhead coverings. You can also grab a seat behind the left field wall.
Located in northeastern Louisiana, Monroe is the eighth largest city in the state with a population of about 48,000. Warhawk Field is situated on the northeast corner of the University of Louisiana-Monroe campus, adjacent to other athletics facilities including Malone Stadium, home to Warhawk football. The campus environment offers a safe and cozy atmosphere for visiting fans, while restaurants and other attractions are located within a couple of miles nearby campus.
Where to Eat. There are plenty of restaurants in the greater Monroe area worth a visit. Some of the local favorites include Enoch's Irish Pub & Café (507 Louisville), Pickle Barrel (1827 Ave Of America), and Danken Trail B-B-Q (7712 Desiard St). Not Just Pie (2117 Forsythe Ave) is a great local stop for a tasty assortment of pies, plus you can also order off their lunch menu (try the roast beef poboy).
Attractions & Entertainment. Just across the Ouachita River in West Monroe is the headquarters for one of Louisiana's most popular families, the Robertsons. Headliners of the now famous Duck Dynasty series, fans of the show should definitely make a stop at the Duck Commander Warehouse (117 Kings Ln), a location often seen on the series. The Louisiana Purchase Gardens & Zoo (701 Kansas Ln) is a pretty neat smaller zoo which allows you to get a little closer to the animals with smaller crowds. The zoo just opened a new splash pad which is great for the kids. The Chennault Aviation & Military Museum of Louisiana (701 Kansas Ln) is a free museum which honors the aviation and military history of northeast Louisiana. Another nice stop for traveling families is the Northeast Louisiana Children's Museum (323 Walnut S).
Where to Stay. The Courtyard by Marriott Hotel - Monroe Airport (4915 Pecanland Mall Dr) is located near the ULM campus and the Monroe Regional Airport.
ULM fans consistently support Warhawk baseball. Typically, crowd sizes at Warhawk Field are on the upper end of the average attendance in the Sun Belt Conference.
Typical Attendance.. Weekend series at Warhawk Field pull in crowds which usually range between 700 - 1,500 in attendance. When the Warhawks are in the midst of a 40 win season, crowds usually swell around 1,500 or more. The Sun Belt has undergone a lot of change in recent years which has changed up the common weekend opponents. This has likely contributed to wide ranges in crowd sizes. No doubt, the biggest weekend series of the year will be against the arch-rival UL-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns.
Crowd Noise & Engagement. ULM fans are vocal and support their Warhawks. Fans typically get into the game during big plays or blown calls. The crowd will clap in support of their pitcher closing out a team in the final inning.
Warhawk Field is very accessible, both getting to the stadium and moving around once inside.
Transit to and from Stadium. Situated in the northeast corner of Monroe, Warhawk Field is easily accessed of I-20 from both the west and east. Take Highway 165 north and then exit east on Desiard Street / Highway 80. You can then turn left onto Warhawk Way which will take you to the stadium area.
Parking. As you approach the stadium, you'll notice a paved parking lot to the left going down third baseline. When this lot is full, there's ample parking a little further down in the gravel/grass lot adjacent to first baseline. Parking is free around Warkhawk Field.
Ticketing & Gate Entry. The ticket booth and main entrance is located directly behind the center of the main grandstand. Lines are typically short and you shouldn't experience any issues getting your tickets. Credit cards are accepted here. You'll also quickly breeze through the entrance into the courtyard behind the grandstand.
Moving around the stadium. Getting around the ballpark is easy. Stairways are located at the ends of the grandstand and elevated walkways are accessible behind the grandstand. The main concourse is at the bottom of the seating area and wraps around. The concourse, aisles and rows are spacious and allow for good flow. Restrooms are clean and adequate for typical crowds.
The return on your investment for the ULM baseball experience at Warhawk Field is pretty typical. General admission for adults runs as low as $10. Concessions are a little higher than expected, but not much more than the average. Parking is free. Overall, you get to see a ballclub which is usually in the hunt for a post-season berth at a comfortable stadium which provides a traditional baseball atmosphere.
The ULM baseball experience comes with a few "extra" components which enhance the overall experience at the ballpark.
The retired numbers on the centerfield wall and banners around the exterior walkways add a nice touch. It's always nice to see ballparks memorialize past accomplishments.
For traveling families, it's definitely a bonus to have a playground area where the little ones can take a break from the on-field action.
If you are in need of some Warhawk gear, there's an apparel trailer behind the main grandstand in the courtyard.
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