Photos by Gregory Koch, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.29
Bolding Stadium 700 Wynne Dr Farmville, VA 23901
Year Opened: 1994 Capacity: 500
Small Town Baseball in Virginia
Located on the campus of Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, Charles “Buddy” Bolding Field has been home to the Lancers’ baseball team since 1994. The stadium was originally known as Lancer Stadium but was renamed after longtime head coach Buddy Bolding in 2009. Bolding continued to coach the Lancers until 2013, making him one of the few coaches to coach in a stadium named after him. '
Food & Beverage 0
No food or drink is available for sale at Buddy Bolding Field. However, fans are free to bring their own and many bring drinks from the on-campus Starbucks or food from various fast-food places located nearby. We recommend doing so or eating before the game. If you are desperately thirsty, there are a couple of water fountains located by the restrooms but it is better to bring your own bottled water. Note that alcohol is not permitted in the stadium.
Buddy Bolding Stadium has a basic layout of a few sets of bleachers separated from the field by netting with a brick façade serving as a backstop behind home plate. None of the bleachers have backs, but if you are in the top row, you can lean against the back fence or the press box depending on where you are. Be sure to get there early if you want these seats – they are the first to get taken. All seats offer a great view of the action as the stadium only seats 500 fans. There is a scoreboard in right-center field which shows a linescore, and theoretically can show video or at least graphics, but this functionality was not working for most of our visit.
There is not much to keep fans engaged here other than the usual walkup music. The sound system is crisp and clear and the public address announcer does the standard announcements, advertisements, etc. but not much else. For a baseball purist, this will be fine, but fans looking for something comparable to a minor league baseball game or a Lancers basketball game will be disappointed.
Farmville is a quaint, small town, and while it’s in the middle of nowhere, there is still plenty to do here. Although there are typical chain places, your best bet is to check out the local color at places such as Walker’s Diner or Riverside Café, both of which are very close to the stadium. In fact, everything in Farmville is very close to the stadium, because it’s a very small town. Just head off campus and turn onto Main Street and just about everything will be right there.
Although Buddy Bolding Stadium only seats about 500 fans, the place is regularly near capacity with Lancers fans. They are knowledgeable about the players, the team, and the history of this program. You will see Lancers fans from across the community come out to support their team game in and game out from longtime fans who remember the Division II days to young kids taking in their first ballgame. The fans can get loud despite their small size, particularly after big Lancers plays.
There are a few roads into Farmville, but regardless of how you get into town, you are going to have to drive quite a bit. Most likely you will end up taking either State Route 45 or U.S. Route 460, but if you’re coming from any sort of populated area, Farmville probably isn’t close to you. Lynchburg is the closest remotely large city, and it’s a full hour away. Richmond is about an hour and 15 minutes, while Washington, D.C. is about three hours.
Once you’re on campus, there are several lots available near the stadium free of charge, although they have been reduced in size in recent years due to the construction of the new tennis courts. Additionally, these lots are used by commuter students on weekdays so you may encounter more crowds if coming for a weekday afternoon game even though the attendance at the game itself will generally be less. There are lots further away if you have to use them as well.
There are restrooms on site which are small, but given the small crowds at least in absolute numbers, shouldn’t be much of an issue.
Return on Investment 4
Admission to Lancers games is free, as is parking. You won’t pay anything for concessions because there aren’t any. However, given the rather barebones experience, there isn’t enough here to earn the top score.
Look for the banners down the right field line honoring Lancers greats of years past.
Longwood baseball has a loyal fan base despite a relatively short time in Division I. Unfortunately, the stadium they have does not befit this fan base. It is a rather barebones stadium with little going on. The fans are the main reason the experience here is as great as it is, but if the team itself put in more effort to improve the experience like they do for basketball, it would be even greater.