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Official Review by Andrew Maurins, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
Pop quiz: if you had to guess which Wolf Pack sport has produced the most professional players, which one would you guess? The basketball team? The football team? The answer, it turns out, is neither of those. That honor goes to the Nevada baseball team, which has had no fewer than 19 different players suit up for Major League Baseball teams, and more than 90 players total have gone on to play professional baseball at various levels.
That’s thanks, in large part, to former manager Gary Powers, the longest-tenured coach of any sport at Nevada. In addition to all those big leaguers, Powers won 937 career games and three conference titles, and advanced to four NCAA Tournaments. In the time since his retirement in 2013, two different coaches have attempted to build on Powers’ legacy with their own successes at Peccole Park.
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 food and drink selection are adequate in both variety and quality, and are a bit more varied than they were last year. The lines are almost always short, credit cards are accepted, and beer is also available.
Food items at the main concession stand include hot dogs, Polish dogs and ice cream bars for $6, nachos or children's hot dogs for $4.75, pretzels for $5, popcorn or assorted king-size bags of candy for $4, and a bag of peanuts or a box of Cracker Jacks for $4.50. New to Peccole's main concession stand this year is the same Bottomless Popcorn made popular up the way at Lawlor Events Center for $10. The secondary concession stand on the third baseline offers cheeseburgers with fries for $10, jumbo dogs or bratwurst for $6, bacon-wrapped hot dogs for $8, garlic fries for $5 (all new to the park this year), cotton candy for $4, Dippin' Dots ice cream for $4.50 or $6.50, and bags of sunflower seeds for $4.50. They meet the needs of a typical baseball fan, and have broadened in selection from previous years.
Fountain drinks like Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Mountain Dew and Sierra Mist fetch $3.50 for a child's size, $5 for a souvenir cup and $6 for a large, while Gatorade bottles go for $4.50, and coffee and bottled water go for $4 (the secondary stand has assorted 20-ounce soda bottles for $4.50). New to this season is the Moonshot for $9, which is a cup of coffee with a shot in it, seemingly tailor-made for northern Nevada's often-chilly spring weather. Like other Wolf Pack sporting events, beer is also sold at the park, with a domestic draft or bottle (Budweiser, Bud Lite or Coors Light) fetching $8, and a premium draft or bottle (Shock Top, Lagunitas IPA or Founder's All Day IPA, though they often rotate) selling for $8.50.
The newly introduced bacon-wrapped hot dog is our recommended bite. Discounts on most of the above items are also available to Dugout Club boosters.
Games at Peccole Park are quaint, minimal affairs, and are representative of the usual college baseball experience.
Metal benches near left field and aluminum-backed benches behind the two dugouts comprise the majority of the park's 3,000 or so seats, with sections of individual aluminum seats behind home plate and green plastic seats in the "Dugout Club" on the first baseline rounding out the rest. They're adequate for what they offer, even without cup holders, and all but the general admission section face the infield near most of the action. New to the park this season are a couple of seat-covering tarps on the far end of the general admission section. With the exception of the pitcher's mound, all of the turf is artificial, and its symmetrical dimensions run 340 feet down the left and right field lines, 380 feet to left- and right-center, and 400 feet to the batter's eye in straightaway center.
There are no frills to be found on Peccole Park's scoreboard, with innings, runs, hits, errors and the number of the batter at the plate the only stats shown. The same is true for the entertainment, with the game's only music confined to the short breaks every half inning on the stadium's serviceable PA system, to the possible delight of baseball purists.
The sections behind home plate and the dugouts are assigned seats, while open general admission seats are next to left field. The latter seats offer a nice view of the ballpark and beyond, and we offer more information on those in the "Extras" section. Things to consider before a visit include the ballpark's lack of covered seats (there are long-term plans to rectify this), the cash-only ticket booth at the main gate, and northern Nevada's infamously fickle weather. And don't say we didn't warn you on that last part: it's not uncommon to need both sunblock and a good jacket for certain games.
Peccole Park is bordered by Evans Avenue to the east and south, and by newer additions to the university's medical school to the north and west.
The Joe Crowley Student Union and its various dining options are a short walk away, and an equally quick drive will bring you to one of several local haunts. These include "the Wal" - a.k.a. Red's Little Waldorf Saloon - on North Virginia Street, and GourMelt off of Sierra Street further south. Your potential choices will increase the closer you get to downtown.
This is also true for hotels and other attractions. If you're traveling with kids, check out the Children's Discovery Museum on Center Street, or the National Automobile Museum on Lake Street if they aren't in tow. The University Inn offers a stay that's close-ish to the ballpark, while a stay at the new Courtyard Marriott across from Greater Nevada Field on the right weekend might put you in the perfect spot for a total baseball visit. Shows, bars and restaurants are what's happening here, and the greater Truckee Meadows area has Lake Tahoe and Virginia City for potential day trip destinations.
Wolf Pack fans at Peccole are usually small in number, but are always engaged in the action, and are no better or worse than most college baseball fans.
Typical attendance is right about the average for the seven teams comprising the Mountain West Conference - still only about a third of Peccole Park's 3,000 or so seats. While cheering and booing at appropriate times, there still aren't a ton of them for most games, which are an even mix of a few hundred diehards and a few hundred more casual fans. The annual singing of "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" by the park's regulars at the 7th Inning Stretch is a welcome sight in an otherwise sedate affair.
Arriving at the ballpark is easy for most every game day, and getting into the park is just shy of a perfect score here.
The Sierra Spirit bus operated by the Regional Transportation Commission is the most reasonable public transit option. For 25 cents per rider from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm most days, a bus will make half hour rounds throughout the University and downtown areas. Reno-Tahoe International Airport is about 15 minutes away by car.
Most of the parking around Peccole is behind the center field wall and foul lines, and getting into and out of these free areas on non-school days is not a problem. Knowing the usual risk involved in parking where foul balls tend to land, we recommend parking a few rows behind the high center field wall, if possible.
The park's two main entry gates don't strenuously check visitors, but there's one thing you should know here before attending a game. If you plan on buying tickets at the main gate the day of a game, please bring cash. The ticket office is not set up to take credit cards at this time, but oddly enough, we were told that a paperless option is available for entry.
For the usual crowds, the park is spacious and easy to move around in, albeit not open from the main concourse area. The permanent restroom on site is also sufficient for the park's needs, and reasonably clean. There's a number of handicap accessible parking spaces behind the third baseline, and a smattering of accessible seats throughout the stadium.
We believe the price for an outing at Peccole Park is just right - it's no-frills sports entertainment on a budget.
Single game tickets start at $7 for the outfield general admission section, and go up to $9 in the two reserved sections behind the dugouts, and $11 behind home plate. Youth and senior tickets in the outfield section are just $5. Group purchases of 20 or more tickets can bring costs down to $5 each in the outfield or $7 each in the reserved areas. Tickets for a whole season - usually between 20 and 25 home games - start at $130 in the outfield and "Dugout Club" booster area, $145 in the reserved sections and $190 behind home plate, with youth and senior season tickets in the outfield only $45. Mini-plans in increments of four games ($28 outfield, $32 reserved) and eight games ($46 outfield, $54 reserved) for any dates you choose are also available.
Another way to save even more money at the park is the $2 Tuesday games, where general admission tickets and hot dogs are (naturally) just $2 each. For most other home games, a standard ballpark hot dog and a soda won't eclipse $15.
Peccole Park benefits from some nice views from inside its confines, something which sets it apart from most of its peers in the Mountain West. From the hills beyond left field to the downtown Reno skyline and Sierra Nevada mountains beyond right, you have to assume the field was oriented with these views in mind. If you can, try to time your visit during a night game when the skyline is lit up, and get a seat in either the reserved section behind the visitors dugout or the general admission section near left field.
Other extra features common at other ballparks include pictures and numbers of Wolf Pack players who've made it to the majors on tarps behind the baselines (these were formerly on the left field wall), and some custom stone work of a large Wolf Pack baseball at the main concession stand. While not really an "extra," it's also nice to see an outfield wall that isn't covered with advertisements.
Lastly, the Wolf Pack athletic staff members at the park were courteous, informative, and easy to work with, which is always good for a point in this area.
Member Review by ryannorris on Jun 17, 2013
During the early and mid-1980s the University of Nevada's baseball team's future was in serious jeopardy. Support for the team at their off-campus home dwindled and the program was nearly discontinued.
In steps William Peccole and his generous donation to kickstart a new on-campus ballpark. In 1988, Peccole Park opened on UNR's campus. After a few expansions the ballpark boasts a capacity of 3,000, permanent restrooms and concession stands, training rooms, and a paved parking lot.
In 2006, FieldTurf was installed to help with drainage and other issues that go along with playing in Northern Nevada.
Since Peccole opened, Nevada has been to four NCAA regionals (1994, 1997, 1999, 2000).
Member Review by AndrewMaurins on May 07, 2016
Many Wolf Pack fans are surprised to learn that former football coach Chris Ault was not the longest-tenured head coach at Nevada. Instead, that honor goes to former baseball manager Gary Powers, who led the program from 1982 to 2013. In the span of that 31-year career, Powers’ teams won 937 games overall, including 17 seasons of 30 or more wins, three conference titles and four NCAA Tournament appearances. His players also boast equally extensive achievements, like 17 All-Americans and more than 75 draft selections by Major League Baseball teams, including Chris Singleton, Lyle Overbay, Kevin Kouzmanoff and Braden Shipley.
The Wolf Pack’s home of Peccole Park saw its first sellout just last year, beating the previous record by more than 500 fans while accompanying the school’s first Mountain West Conference title since joining the league in 2012. New managers Jay Johnson and now T.J. Bruce have tried to add to that rich legacy in a ballpark that Powers himself had a hand in getting built in 1988. And after that first taste of success, Nevada fans and players alike are eager for more.
1661 N Virginia St
Reno, NV 89503
1 Ballpark Ln
Reno, NV 89501