Photos by Paul Baker, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.43
Alumni Baseball Diamond
Fairfield, CT 06824
Year Opened: 1951
Diamonds Are Forever
The Fairfield Stags are a charter member of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, and play their home games at the Alumni Baseball Diamond, an on-campus facility located on the northern edge of the campus. Baseball has been played on this field since Fairfield first sponsored a varsity team in 1951.
For the 2017 season Fairfield debuted a new grandstand at Alumni Baseball Diamond. The new structure seats 350, and features 80 chair back seats alongside new bleacher seating. A new press box sits atop the grandstand, and new banners line the outfield fence. The ballpark now features a gated entrance, a plaza area with picnic tables, new dugouts, bullpens, fencing and sound system. A new backstop with modernized netting for improved sight lines was installed. The Stags baseball team now enjoys new state of the art locker room facilities. The project, which was financed through private donations, cost $750,000.
The Stags made their first NCAA tournament appearance in 2016. One Fairfield alumnus, Keefe Cato, has played in the Major Leagues.
Food & Beverage 0
There are no concessions available at Alumni Diamond. Veteran Stag fans will bring their own refreshments to enjoy during the game.
Baseball at Alumni Diamond is a baseball purist’s dream. There are not a whole lot of bells and whistles here to distract from the action taking place on the field. The solid PA system at Alumni Diamond is put to good use for between innings music and lineup announcements.
For a more unique perspective at a Fairfield Stags game, take in all or part of the game from the outfield. Some of the dorms overlook Alumni Diamond in right-center field, and during some games you can find students enjoying the action, heckling visiting outfielders and unwinding from their studies with a few beverages. Mixed in with these students are several family members of Stag ballplayers. It’s a good-natured, fun time, and a much different experience than what you will find in the grandstand.
Fairfield University is located in affluent Fairfield, CT, a town with a population of about 60,000 located on Connecticut’s “Gold Coast” in the southwest corner of the state. Forbes Magazine rated Fairfield as the ninth best place to live in the United States, and the best place in the northeast.
Fairfield University is a typical northeastern campus with lots of green space and a great college vibe. The university is located in a largely residential area, with not much for visitors to do in the immediate vicinity. Just a mile or two south of the campus is Route One, which is a commercial zone filled with restaurants and lodging options. Visitors to Fairfield will likely search out this area before or after the game.
Within walking distance of Alumni Diamond is The Levee, Fairfield’s on-campus sports bar. Serving a limited menu of basic Italian fare and beverages, it’s a decent option right after a Stags game.
Crowds at Alumni Diamond can be classified as “friends and family,” as attendance generally ranges from 100-250 people. Many of the fans in attendance have some kind of connection with the players on the field, and as a result are quite knowledgeable about the team and are really into the game.
Fairfield University is located on a beautiful wooded campus in suburban Fairfield, in a region known as the “Gold Coast” of Connecticut. Easily reached from both Interstate 95 and the Merritt Parkway, fans driving to a Stags game will be pleased to find ample free parking within easy walking distance from the Alumni Baseball Diamond.
Driving is the primary method for arriving at the Fairfield University campus. Visiting fans will simply take exit 22 (North Benson Road-Route 135) off of Interstate 95 and head north for about a mile on North Benson Road. Fairfield University will be on your left. Be warned that the traffic in this part of Connecticut is often heavy, and traffic jams are routine. Out of town fans looking to avoid the legendary Connecticut traffic with alternative methods of transportation can take Amtrak’s busy northeastern corridor trains to the Fairfield train station. From there, shuttle busses arrive regularly to transport students (and Stag baseball fans) to the campus 10 minutes away.
While Fairfield is a wonderful place to live, it’s not exactly a destination location. Fans coming to the area will most likely continue on to New Haven, located a half hour north on I-95, Hartford, an hour north on I-91, or New York, an hour south on I-95. The casinos of eastern Connecticut are located about 90 minutes to the east.
Recent renovations have greatly improved the comfort of attending a game at Alumni Baseball Diamond. The new grandstand seats 350 fans with a combination of chair back and bleacher seating. Fans who do not want to sit for the entire game can stake out some standing room along the top row of the grandstand. Additional vantage points run along the right field line, or along various points of the outfield. Many students will hang out beyond the outfield, where the dorms are located.
Parking is available in lots adjacent to the ballfield or across the street from Alumni Diamond. Additional parking is located in a large lot beyond left field. There are no bathroom facilities at the ball field, but fans in need of restrooms will find clean facilities at the neighboring Walsh Athletic Center, just on the other side of Rafferty Stadium.
Return on Investment 4
There is no charge for attending baseball games at Fairfield University. Parking in the lot adjacent to Alumni Diamond is also free of charge. Fans are welcome to bring their own refreshments into Alumni Diamond, meaning that an afternoon of Stags baseball won’t cost visiting fans a cent.
The beautiful Fairfield University campus, complete with tree-lined streets, interesting backdrops beyond the outfield fence, and Rafferty Stadium located beyond the right field foul line earn an extra point.
A second extra point is awarded for the renovations to this old ballpark, which greatly improved the comfort for fans while keeping the traditional feel of the yard.
Fans looking for lots of bells and whistles and the modern creature comforts present in many ballparks today will not find what they are looking for at Fairfield University. Taking in a game at Alumni Diamond may not be for the casual fan, but it is a baseball purist’s dream, where the baseball takes center stage and little to distract one from enjoying the action down on the field. Better yet, you won’t have to reach for your wallet even once during your visit to Alumni Diamond.
Fans making the trip to Connecticut for a Fairfield Stags game should keep in mind that this is the northeast, and the college baseball season runs primarily through March and April, when the weather in this part of the country can be unpredictable. Postponements, cancellations and changes in schedule and venue are commonplace. Be sure to be flexible with your plans when visiting.