top of page
  • Gregory Koch

Alumni Field - UMBC Retrievers

Photos by Gregory Koch and Richard Smith, Stadium Journey

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.14

Alumni Field at UMBC

1000 Hilltop Cir

Catonsville, MD 21250

UMBC Retrievers website

Alumni Field website

Year Opened: 2004

Capacity: 1,000

Playing Fetch

The University of Maryland-Baltimore County is located in the Baltimore suburb of Catonsville, about 15 minutes west of the city. Known as UMBC for short, the school’s athletic teams are known as the Retrievers and are best remembered for the basketball team’s shocking upset over Virginia in 2018. However, the Retrievers’ baseball team has also enjoyed some success, winning two conference titles and making three NCAA Tournaments.

The Retrievers’ baseball program calls Alumni Field home. Alumni Field is located within the UMBC Stadium Complex, which also includes the lacrosse and softball stadiums. Currently, the Stadium Complex is undergoing major renovations. While the baseball stadium remains open during this construction, the experience will be somewhat different than it has been in the past. Once the renovations are complete in time for the 2023 season, a UMBC baseball game may look quite different than described here. However, this article reflects the experience as of April 2022.

Food & Beverage 0

There is no concession stand at Alumni Field, but fans can bring their own food and drink. A new concession stand serving the whole Stadium Complex is under construction, so this may change in the future.

Atmosphere 2

At least for now, Alumni Field is a very basic stadium. That may change following the renovations, but for now, the field is in the middle of a construction zone. Many areas are blocked off by fencing or tape, and there are trailers and unfinished structures surrounding the stadium. Although the bleachers behind home plate are open, accessing them requires walking down a wooden staircase, up a steep hill, and finally back down the bleachers to your seat, as the top entrance to the bleachers is blocked off by the construction. There is also a footpath down the right field line, and many fans will bring their own chairs or stand along that path. It is set back quite a bit from the field though, and fans cannot get any closer due to the construction. There is a basic scoreboard in right-centerfield which shows the linescore and count. Beyond the stadium itself, there really isn’t much going on here. The team plays music during breaks in the action, but that’s about it. Even compared to some other parks in the northeast, there isn’t much going on here.

Neighborhood 3

Alumni Field is located on campus in the Baltimore suburbs, and there is not much going on in the immediate vicinity. Even elsewhere in town, there isn’t much other than a few chain restaurants. UMBC won a hard fight with the US Postal Service to get a Baltimore mailing address, but it isn’t actually located in the City of Baltimore. Your best bet is to make the short drive to the actual city, where you will find many restaurants and other entertainment options. Miss Shirley’s is a particular favorite if you head there.

Fans 3

UMBC averages a couple hundred fans a game, which is actually decent for this level of play in this part of the country, but due to the nature of the stadium, they are spread out more than they would be at some other places. Although some fans choose to sit in the bleachers, others sit in their own chairs or stand along the path, and the crowds there can stretch to the foul pole or beyond. This means that even as fans get into it, the energy isn’t as loud as it would be if the fans were more packed together. If you are sitting in the bleachers, it is often quiet enough to hear the Retrievers’ broadcaster calling the game from the press box behind you.

Access 2

With the caveat that this rating will change significantly once construction is complete, Alumni Field is not the easiest stadium to get to or around right now. Almost everyone will access the UMBC campus via Maryland Route 166, an extension of I-195 west of Interstate 95. After getting off Route 166, normally you would proceed to the second roundabout and turn right to get on campus, but the Stadium Complex entrance from campus is blocked off due to construction. You will therefore need to park at the BW Technology Park by turning right at the first roundabout, before you even reach campus. Park in the rear of the lot if possible, then walk through the gate back there and past the softball stadium in order to reach the baseball stadium. As noted above, getting to the bleachers can be a bit of a challenge, as the hill you need to walk up (and eventually down to get out) is very steep. You may want to bring your own chair or just stand along the right field line. Of course, this will all change once construction is finished, and the experience will be better off for it, but fans will need to bear with the team until that happens.

There are no permanent bathrooms at Alumni Field, but there are a couple of port-a-potties down by the softball field. Walk down the path back towards the lot and you will find them. There are some port-a-johns closer to the baseball field, but they are within the construction area and not accessible to the public. Presumably they are for the construction workers to use while on the job.

Return on Investment 4

Admission is free, parking is free, and you won’t spend anything on concessions because there aren’t any. However, there isn’t enough here to earn the top score.

Extras 1

Look for the signage along the outfield fence honoring Retrievers baseball accomplishments, including an America East Conference title in 2017.

Final Thoughts

For now, Alumni Field is just your typical, very basic, northeast college baseball stadium. However, there are ongoing renovations that may change that and significantly improve the experience here. At the moment, the construction makes it more challenging to watch a game here than it once was, but hopefully it is worth it in the end.

14 views0 comments
bottom of page