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  • Andy Mantsch

Adelanto Stadium - High Desert Yardbirds

Photos by Andy Mantsch, Stadium Journey

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.00

Adelanto Stadium 2000 Stadium Way Adelanto, CA 92301

Year Opened: 1991

Capacity: 3,808

A Baseball Diamond in the Desert

Adelanto Stadium is quite literally in the middle of the desert. This isn’t an expression. Beyond the outfield walls lies a sea of sand and cactus. Adelanto, California does lie just south of the stadium, but even that feels like a small town with a few strip malls stoplights before you’re back in the desert again. To say this is a remote setting for baseball would be an understatement.

The stadium opened in 1991 at a cost of $6 million and has a capacity of 3,308 people. It was the home of the High Desert Mavericks of the California League until it 2016 when the club, along with Bakersfield was contracted by the league. The next season the High Desert Yardbirds opened shop in the independent Pecos League capturing a league championship in it maiden season.

However, a funny thing happened midway through the clubs third season in 2019 when league commissioner announced that the Yardbirds would be leaving the stadium and operate the rest of the season as a road team. The team attracted a pitiful 40 fans a game and was cited as the main reason for the club’s departure by

However, field conditions were also poor that included the dirt infield showing patches of grass and the field being flooded that cause the Birds last game to be delayed two hours begging the question on how you can flood a baseball field in the desert.

It is all part of a long history of trials and tribulations of the ballpark and perhaps the Yardbirds or another form of baseball will be back in Adelanto that despite its critics has managed to host pro baseball close to 30 seasons. However, will professional baseball return to High Desert in 2020?

Food & Beverage 2

There’s really only one concession stand that serves food here, although there is a kettle corn stand and a shaved ice stand to choose from as well. Stands accept debit and credit and are fairly speedy.

The main menu is largely the basic ballpark food with a few upgrades. Specialty items include the SoCal Nacho Dog ($7), Maverick Super Nachos ($7.75), Wooly Bully Burger ($7.75) and Texas Ranger Burger ($9.00). Beyond these items the menu consists of the usual, including hot dogs ($3.50), pretzels ($3.75) and chicken tenders with fries ($7.50).

Drink options are pretty basic here. Drinks are primarily can or bottle with Gatorade ($4) and bottled water ($3.50) as options in addition to soda ($4). Beer is available for $6 for 16oz. and $8 for 24oz. cans. Probably the most interesting option is wine for $7.

I’d recommend one of the 4 specialty items off the menu, but there’s no real distinguishable choice of beverage here.

Atmosphere 2

There really isn’t much at Adelanto Stadium that speaks to any true ambiance beyond the desert wasteland beyond the outfield fence. There is uniqueness in the setting, but not enough else to support it.

The stadium itself is as basic as it gets. A grandstand extends from 3rd base around to 1st base with berms in left and right field. These berms may have been grass-covered once, but as will happen in a desert it has largely died. The infield has a visually pleasing circular cut of the grass as well, but again the grass on the field is a bit patchy. There is a cool looking terrace seating section down the left field line, but unfortunately it was not open during my visit.

There’s not a lot in particular to speak of in terms of in-game entertainment either. There’s some of the usual minor league promotions on the fields and Wooly Bully (the Mavericks mascot) makes his way around the field and entertains fans. Strangely, the PA announcer often speaks in Spanish, something I had never heard before at a minor league game.

Attendance at Adelanto Stadium had waned over the years and reached an all time low in 2015, so seats are abundantly available. The grandstand is elevated and there are field views from anywhere in the concourse, so you have your pick of seats without sacrificing your view. The desert sun can get hot, so during day games you may want to sit further from the field in the last rows of the stands. These seats are the only in the park that receive shade from the grandstand awning.

Neighborhood 1

Neighborhood? What neighborhood? The area around the park is completely desert, so I wouldn’t recommend walking anywhere from the game. Adelanto is not far down the road, but it’s mostly chain restaurants and strip malls…and even those aren’t in abundance.

The two foods options that show up most when investigating the area are Rubio’s (Mexican food) and Bravo Burgers. Both are very affordable, but if you’re looking for upscale dining expect to be out of luck.

While some of the mountain views from the surrounding desert can be stunning, there are no real attractions here to speak of. Adelanto is not somewhere you’re going to spend a vacation.

Only 2 hotels show as truly Adelanto local. These are the America’s Best Value Inn and the Days Inn Adelanto. I’d strongly recommend making this stadium a pit stop and not a vacation spot.

Fans 1

With attendance figures at 40 fans per game it is easy to understand why this section gets a point. There was a time when this was not the case, even for the Yardbirds first season. Maybe many are bitter for affiliated ball leaving, perhaps there is some bias towards indy ball, but the club posted a 101-71 record and a league championship in three years at the stadium.

Apparently the High Desert Mavericks had a once mighty fan base with a strong reputation., but attendance had fallen steadily over the years. The club ranked 9th out of the 10 California League teams in attendance according to during its last several seasons in town.

Access 3

The stadium is incredibly easy to access locally, assuming you regularly drive to and through the Mojave Desert. Other than that, you’re going to be driving to the middle of nowhere from just about anywhere you’re coming from.

Public transit really isn’t an option, but it doesn’t need to be because of the general ease of entry and exit from the park. If you’re flying in for a game, Ontario Airport is only about an hour south down I-15.

There is only one large parking lot around Adelanto Stadium. This is a park where there really aren’t any other options to park because there’s really nothing else around it at all.

The only gate for the stadium is right behind home plate. I’d strongly recommend buying tickets in advance, but not because of sellout potential. The ticketing windows are very limited and slow, meaning you might hit a lengthy line despite the lack of overall attendance.

Once in the park, it really couldn’t be easier to move around. The concourse is wide and elevated, meaning you’ll have an excellent view of the game from just about anywhere. Restrooms are on the 1st and 3rd base lines and are fairly large for the stadium, although not particularly pleasant.

Return on Investment 3

According to the team’s website, all seats are General Admission tickets and cost $8. All seats are first come first serve with the exception of season tickets and skyboxes. This price point was similar to when the California League was in town and is what one should expect from the Pecos League. It is cheap and if you truly love to sit and watch baseball, the value can’t be beat,but if you want more in a stadium experience, this is a pretty low level park.

Extras 1

This park is pretty cookie cutter overall, and extras don’t abound. It has the feel of a park that once relied heavily on community engagement, but as that has waned so has the baseball experience. The unusual environment though offers a bit more than a visually unique perk. The elevation, thin air and size of the ballpark means you’re more likely to see home runs here than your average park. When all else fails, we all like the long ball, right?

Final Thoughts

Far from the nicest stadium in baseball, Adelanto Stadium is long way drive to get to. Probably too long for what you’ll get. This one is for the die-hard baseball fan and the ardent ballpark traveler who happens to be in San Bernardino or Rancho Cucamonga watching affiliate baseball.

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