Bart Kaufman Field – Indiana Hoosiers
Photos by Marc Viquez, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.43
Bart Kaufman Field 1873 N Fee Ln Bloomington, IN 47408
Year Opened: 2013
IU's Home for Baseball is a Hit
Bart Kaufman Field is the home of the Indiana University baseball program; an impressive ballpark in the Big Ten and a vast improvement over the Hoosiers old home Sembower Field that was built in 1951. The $19.8 million facility was dedicated in 2013 and is a welcome addition to the sporting facilities on campus.
The 2,500 seat venue features a limestone backstop, synthetic turf, lights, home and away locker rooms, and expanded media facilities. An open concourse wraps around to the back of the right field picnic area. In 2018, an LED scoreboard was installed in left field measuring 26.8 feet high and 48.7 feet wide.
The stadium was named after former IU ballplayer Bart Kaufman who played from 1960-1962. He finished second in the Big Ten with a .452 batting average to future Detroit Tiger Bill Freehan who batted .585. Kaufman would pledge $2.5 million of his own money towards completion of the Hoosiers new ballpark.
Food & Beverage 3
There is one concession stand inside the stadium near the entrance on the first baseline featuring a menu that is very much the standard at most major collegiate ballparks in the Big Ten. The items are affordable and feature all your baseball favorites.
The price of a hot dog, nachos, and pretzels are a reasonable $4, foot long hot dogs and cheeseburgers are $6, and popcorn, Cracker Jacks, and peanuts are $3. Coca-Cola products are served in a 32-ounce cup for $4. There is no beer served on the college campus at the ballpark.
Bart Kaufman is a good looking and impressive ballpark with crowds usually hovering near the 2,000 mark, which on a warm evening sets the tone for a perfect night. Its design mimics the limestone look that is also featured at the softball complex located next door behind the right field fence and blends in well with Assembly Hall and Memorial Stadium across the parking lot.
The stadium offers red plastic seats behind the backstop and aluminum bleacher seating down each baseline. A picnic area is located behind the right field corner and beyond the stadium's wall is grass seating offering fans a free look at the game.
The LED scoreboard creates a focal point for the stadium offering crystal clear pictures of players and stats and the opportunity for advertising, social interaction, and in-between inning gimmicks. The visiting bullpen features the script Indiana logo in a distress-style that provides another focal point inside the stadium.
There are numerous choices for eating, drinking, and shopping nearby that are within a couple of miles. Mother Bear's is probably the number one place for pizza in town. The pies are baked in a deep dish allowing the cheese to caramelize around the edges. The place always seems to be packed and parking is limited near the restaurant.
Lennie's is another fine choice, with a lot more parking, that features sandwiches, pizza, stromboli, and beer brewed by the Bloomington Brewing Company. Kirkwood Ave. is the heart of downtown Bloomington featuring shops, bars, and restaurants bordering the entrance of many of the picturesque grounds of the Indiana campus.
A little north of town is Oliver Winery; the beautiful gardens, water fountains and picnic areas around the lake offer a romantic spot for couples or a great place to enjoy wine with friends.
Another colorful and touristy area is Nashville, Indiana, located in nearby Brown County offering some of the best biking/hiking trails in the country and an eclectic downtown jam-packed with shops, restaurants, and Quaff On! Brewing Company.
Hoosier fans are a dedicated bunch who support their sports teams with a great passion. That can be the case for the baseball team that has averaged crowds around the 2,000 mark since the stadium debuted in 2013.
Bart Kaufman Field is located in the same parking lot and complex of Assembly Hall and Memorial Stadium and is located off of SR 46 that intersects both I-69 and SR-37. The parking lot is vast providing more than enough spaces to park and once inside there is plenty of room to navigate. The only gripe might be the tall staircase that leads visitors to the main entrance.
Return on Investment 4
Ticket prices for all games are $5, while children tickets are $3. The parking is free and concession prices are reasonable and feature what you need at a ballgame. There is a sprinkling of promotions that offer posters, hats, and t-shirts to the first 500 fans, plus two games where you can bring your dog to the park. There are also two games were one can purchase an All-You-Can-Eat ticket for $8 and all kids under the age of 18 can eat free on Tuesdays. The biggest crowds might just the be the games against in-state rival Purdue.
One point for the LED scoreboard that provides a very nice touch and focal point at the ballpark.
A second point for the script Indiana mural that is another focal point in the visitor’s bullpen down the right field line.
A final point for the possibilities the ballpark possesses for the future. The IU program could feature many more theme nights, food variety and perhaps more promotions at the impressive new facility.
Bart Kaufman Field is an impressive addition to the campus of Indiana University. The limestone design, modern comforts, and spacious amenities create a beautiful canvas to enjoy baseball for the foreseeable future in Bloomington.