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Official Review by Paul Swaney, Stadium Journey Co-Founder
In 2012, Kalamazoo College unveiled the results of their ambitious Athletic Fields Complex. This included a renovation of the football stadium (Angell Field), soccer/lacrosse stadium (MacKenzie Field), softball stadium, and baseball stadium (Woodworth Field). Also included in this project was the new Kalamazoo College Fieldhouse with locker rooms, coaches offices, athletic training facilities, equipment room, and laundry facilities.
Each field has a similar simple, but sharp looking scoreboard, and bleacher seating varying from 240 for the softball facility to 2,458 for the football stadium.
The Hornets compete at the Division III level as a member of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA). Other members include Adrian, Albion, Alma, Olivet,Hope, Calvin, Saint Mary’s and Trine. Kalamazoo hasn’t seen a lot of success in its program’s history, with their last conference championship coming back in 1927, although the team seems to be improving under the guidance of coach Mike Ott.
The baseball facility is the furthest from the main parking lot just off of Michigan Avenue. Tucked away in the northwest corner of the complex, Woodworth Field is a small, but handsome home for the Hornets baseball team. With bleacher seating for 312 fans, and plenty of other opportunities to set up a bag chair or picnic blanket, this is a nice place to spend a weekend afternoon and enjoy a ball game.
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".
There are no concessions available at Woodworth Field. Coolers are not allowed to be brought into the facility, but you should be able to bring in your own food and drink to enjoy during the game. Note that no alcohol is allowed.
The green natural grass field is a lovely sight to see on the symmetrical playing field. The outfield fence stretches 330 feet down each line, 365 feet in the gaps, and 400 feet to dead center field.
The bleacher seats are situated directly behind home plate and provide a good view, although there are many fans who bring their own chair and set up along the right field line or on the hill beyond the center field fence.
The scoreboard is basic, but provides all of the information you need to follow along with the game.
Kalamazoo, Michigan is a wonderful town, and there are numerous bars and restaurants worth visiting before or after the game. Beer lovers will know that Bell's Brewery can be found in Kalamazoo. Head to the Eccentric Cafe for good appetizers and sandwiches, and samples of more than 20 of the fantastic Bell's beers.
The Kalamazoo Beer Exchange is about a block away from Bell's, and is another great stop for beer lovers, and is a good post game destination. Starting around 6pm each night beer prices vary based on the demand of its customers, providing a unique and energetic atmosphere for its patrons. Sandwiches and entrees are tasty, and are served with homemade potato chips, still hot from the fryer. You can also find an electronic dart board, two pool tables, and three pinball machines here for further amusement.
If you would like to dine or drink within walking distance of Woodworth Field, then University Roadhouse is located just down the road and is a popular destination for fans before or after the game. Waldo's Tavern is also a popular destination within walking distance.
If you're staying overnight in Kalamazoo, the Comfort Inn is located halfway between Woodworth Field and Bell's Brewery and would be a good choice, with rooms starting around $100 per night.
You'll find about 100-150 spectators at most games, with the majority being friends and family of the players. This results in an atmosphere that may not get loud, but nonetheless is filled with tension, especially in close games. You'll frequently hear fans support players by yelling out their first names. This is clearly a group that is here to support the boys on the field.
Woodworth Field is easy to find, located just off of Business Route 131, just a few miles from either I-94 or US 131. There is a medium sized parking lot available for all of the facilities in the Athletic Fields Complex. It is a bit of a walk to the baseball field as it is the farthest venue from the lot in the complex. There is no charge for parking for baseball.
Restrooms are available, but are a little bit of a hike from the baseball field as they are housed near the football stadium. However, it is a nice surprise at a small facility like this to have a clean real bathroom rather than a typical port-a-potty.
Entry to a Kalamazoo College baseball game are free, parking is free, and there are no concession items so no charge there either. Bring your own food and drink, and enjoy the baseball game. This is a no frills experience, and the price is right.
Extra points for the investment that Kalamazoo College has made in its athletic facilities. The $16 million complex looks great, and provides outstanding opportunities for Kalamazoo College's student-athletes.
An additional extra point for the hill beyond the center field fence, which provides an excellent vantage point to watch the game.
This is probably not a destination for the general sports traveler, but if you are seeing another sporting event in Kalamazoo, like a Western Michigan baseball game at Robert J. Bobb Stadium at Hyames Field, then you may want to check the schedule and see if you can make it a doubleheader. Most attendees at Woodworth Field will be either supporters of the Hornets or the visiting team. You can expect to find a nice facility, just remember to bring your own snacks.
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1332 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo, MI 49006
355 E Kalamazoo Ave
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
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739 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo, MI 49007