Baum-Walker Stadium at George Cole Field - Arkansas Razorbacks
Photos by Michael Davis, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.43
Baum-Walker Stadium at George Cole Field 1255 S Razorback Rd Fayetteville, AR 72701
Year Opened: 1996
Hogs Style Baseball
Baum-Walker Stadium at George Cole Field is one of the finest college baseball stadiums in the country. The stadium is home to the University of Arkansas Razorbacks in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The stadium opened on April 13, 1996 with the Razorbacks winning 9-2 over Auburn.
Baum-Walker Stadium has been renovated four times in reaching its current seating capacity of 10,737, making it the fourth-largest college baseball venue in the United States and the second-largest in the SEC. The playing field is named after George Cole, the former Arkansas Athletic Director and namesake of the Razorbacks old baseball stadium. The stadium itself is named after Charlie and Nadine Baum, Walmart investors and financial backers of the venue. On January 31, 2019 the stadium was renamed Baum-Walker Stadium at George Cole Field in recognition of longtime support from the Walker Family.
Food & Beverage 4
Baum-Walker Stadium is well equipped to provide above-average food and beverage services. There are permanent concession stands, vendors, and food trucks that provide a reasonable variety of food and drink options to satisfy all fans. There are the traditional hot dogs, peanuts, pretzels, popcorn, pizza, and nachos, all at a cost of $5 or less, and then there are higher-priced items at the concessions stands as well, such as smoked sausage ($7), bacon cheeseburgers ($10), and regular cheeseburgers ($8).
The next echelon of food options at Baum-Walker Stadium would be the BBQ, and those items can be found in the food trucks. A food truck is located on each side of the baselines for easy access for fans. T-Boy’s BBQ trailer serves pulled pork sandwich and nachos, chicken sandwiches, and smoked chicken nachos – these items all cost $9, while a foot-long corn dog or curly with queso (cheese) are $6. There are also plenty of dessert options; Blue Bunny Ice Cream and Dippin’ Dots are well represented inside the stadium.
Baum-Walker Stadium serves Pepsi products – a 20oz bottle with Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Dr Pepper, or Aquafina water costs $3. However, the better value is the 32oz souvenir cup for a dollar more. Gatorade is also available for $5, and a hot beverage for those cold February and March games is $3. There is no alcohol sold inside Baum Stadium.
In addition to the concessions, however, the unique baseball experience at Baum-Walker Stadium is watching the game from the Hog Pen. The Hog Pen is the general admission area in left field, and this area is a picnic/park area where fans bring in lawn chairs and coolers. All food and beverages brought into the Hog Pen are to be kept in that area and not allowed inside the concourse at Baum-Walker Stadium. But overall, some could say that the food and beverages available for sales inside the venue meet expectations, but the low pricing and the BBQ extras raise the ranking for this section.
Baum-Walker Stadium provides an elite atmosphere, as the fans show up with their smokers and tents for tailgating well before the 2-hour gate opening time before first pitch. The atmosphere never dies down to a quiet baseball game, and this is due to the exceptional Razorbacks fans. The “Calling of the Hogs” is a tradition at all Razorbacks games. The Razorbacks fans begin a hog call with a “Woo,” which increases in volume and includes raising the arms with fingers wiggling up and down. The arms are brought down during the “pig” and the hands are clenched into a fist. “Sooie” is accompanied with a fist pump. After the third call, “Razorbacks” is added with two additional fist pumps. The fans are always loud and involved no matter the opponent, so the atmosphere is constantly electric during Razorbacks games.
The Razorbacks atmosphere has the typical activities you see at other baseball games from the game day operations crew. There are promotional contests and activities between innings, and the Razorbacks mascot Ribby interacts with fans via photos and high fives while walking throughout the stadium. Ribby also joins the RBI girls (Arkansas Pom Squad) between innings on top of the players dugout for entertainment. Dressed in baseball uniforms, the RBI girls perform dance routines and lead the traditional singing of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the seventh inning stretch, as well as help with the Calling of the Hogs.
Baum-Walker Stadium has one of the largest video boards in collegiate baseball. Overall, the atmosphere at Baum-Walker Stadium is exceptional, making it one of the best not just for college baseball, but for any level of baseball.
Baum-Walker Stadium at George Cole Field is just south of the University of Arkansas’ campus in Fayetteville. The city itself is on the outskirts of the Boston Mountains, within the scenic Ozark Mountain. Fayetteville is a model college town – the stadium is next to the Randall Tyson Track Center on the corner of 15th Street and Razorback Road. There are two restaurants across 15th Street beyond the outfield wall of the stadium; El Patio Mexican Bar & Grill and Foghorn’s. But if you want more choices near the stadium then just down Razorback Road on MLK there are chain places like Sonic, Arby’s, Subway, and Zaxby’s.
However, the best option for food and beverage before ballgames would be on Dickson Street, the city’s main artery within walking distance from the University of Arkansas’ campus; Dickson Street has a long list of bars, restaurants, and other entertainment options for visitors, such as Hammontree’s Grilled Cheese, Bordinos Restaurant & Wine Bar, or Pickleman’s Gourmet Café. There is plenty of live music as well, so be sure to check out George’s Majestic Lounge, or Willy D’s Piano Bar.
Plenty of available lodging is around campus and in downtown Fayetteville. The Chancellor Hotel is a great choice, or there is a Staybridge Suites near Baum-Walker Stadium. There are also chain hotels such as Candlewood Suites and Hampton Inn off I-49 at the MLK exit, and if you can’t secure lodging in Fayetteville, then there are other options in Springdale to the north towards the airport, or in historic Fort Smith; Fort Smith is about 45 minutes south of Fayetteville, off I-40.
The Fort Smith area offers plenty of options for those who wish to do more during their time in Fayetteville than watch baseball. In Springdale at Arvest Ballpark you can find the Texas League Northwest Arkansas Naturals, which is the double-A team for the Kansas City Royals. However, once you attend a Razorbacks baseball games, the Naturals may disappoint you, so some non-baseball things to visit in Fayetteville include the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks, Clinton House Museum, Arkansas Air Museum, and the Columbus House Brewery and Tap Room.
If you look up the attendance records for NCAA baseball, Arkansas fans are a constant top 3 in average attendance. This could easily tell you that the fans are also some of the best around when it comes to college baseball. However, the statement is more real when the stadium attendance is over 8,000 fans, with temperatures in the high 30s to low 40s for a non-conference game. Razorbacks fans are generally out in full force ahead of the first pitch with tailgating in the parking lots, and on Sundays you will even see a group of fans gathering for a devotion service, so they can be in their seats in time for a 1pm game. In fact, almost the entire crowd will be in their seats a full 15 minutes before the game’s first pitch.
These fans aren’t the normal baseball fans that roam around the ballpark looking for other things to do – these fans are actively involved in the game. Of course, this is baseball in Arkansas and the Calling of the Hogs is done in full force throughout the game. Razorbacks fans are loud throughout the game and never quiet down, but what makes these fans even more impressive is that they are sitting in their seats; the concourse and concessions stands seem to only be used before the game, in-between innings, and at the end of the game, and not during play. Simply put, Razorbacks fans are the reason the atmosphere at Baum-Walker Stadium is one of the best in college baseball.
Baum-Walker Stadium has one of the best fan-friendly parking setups of any college baseball facility. Of course, there is reserved parking for baseball season ticket holders/Foundation Members in the lots across from the ballpark’s entrances, but just across Razorback Road is free public parking. However, just like any sports event, the earlier the better for a stress-free parking experience.
There are 5 gate entrances into Baum-Walker Stadium; these gates are labeled A-D and the Hog Pen Gate for the General Admission seating in left field. The stadium enforces the clear bag policy; fans can bring in one clear bag (no larger than 12” x 6” x 12”) AND one small clutch purse (no larger than 4.5” x 6.5”, the size of the palm of your hand, with or without a handle or strap). All bags and purses that do not meet the above requirements will not be permitted. Although permitted, childcare items including diapers must also be carried in an approved clear bag. The stadium also does have ADA seating and companion seating on the concourse level.
Baum-Walker Stadium has a wide and spacious concourse with an open view to the playing surface, although you will see plenty of fans standing behind the seating areas. The signage is visible and clear for all fans to concessions, seating areas, and restrooms. In addition, re-entry is permitted at Baum-Walker Stadium with the appropriate re-entry hand stamp and ticket. Overall, the access to and around Baum-Walker Stadium is just as joyful as the rest of the game day experience.
Return on Investment 5
Arkansas baseball single game tickets are cheaper during the week than weekend games. On weekdays game prices range from $8-$10, with weekend games being $2 more per ticket. The exception to this is the LSU series; single games ticket prices are raised to $12 and $15, respectively, but no matter what the game you are spending less than $20 per ticket. Note: The Arkansas website does add service fees to each order, raising your cost. However, there is an outstanding return on investment, considering that Razorbacks baseball in more of an experience than anything else. There is plenty of free parking with easy access and respectable concessions prices for a stadium to justify these ticket prices. The overall ROI is well worth a visit to Baum-Walker Stadium.
Baum-Walker Stadium is one of the best ballparks in college baseball and perhaps the country. The large signage listing former Razorbacks players that have reached Major League Baseball is impressive, as is the trophy case filled with Razorbacks baseball plaques and memorabilia, and the individual steel beams that are decorated with pictures of former Razorbacks players that made it to the majors.
In addition, the Bullpen area with its picnic tables and grills is a plus, as it allows fans to bring in coolers to enjoy baseball in a family outing setting rather than in plastic seats. But the Razorback fans themselves inside Baum-Walker Stadium are what really creates one of the best atmospheres in college baseball.
The Southeastern Conference has the best overall college baseball stadiums in the country, and Baum-Walker Stadium is one of the top echelon ballparks in the conference. The venue is impressive; better than most minor league ballparks around the country. There really isn’t a single negative about the ballpark, food, atmosphere, fans, or the return on investment. Any college baseball fan should make a baseball trip to Fayetteville to watch Hogs Style Baseball.