Photos by Paul Baker, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.29
CCSU Softball Field 413 Ella Grasso Blvd New Britain, CT 06050
Year Opened: 2010 Capacity: 250
CCSU Softball Field
The CCSU Softball Field opened in 2010 when the school renovated both the Blue Devils’ baseball and softball fields. The field features state-of-the-art field turf as well as separate enclosed bullpens for both teams. Batting cages are located down the right field line, with seating for spectators located in several sections.
Founded in 1849 as the State Normal School, CCSU is Connecticut’s oldest public university. Total enrollment at CCSU is almost 12,000 students, over half of whom live off campus. 96 percent of the student body hails from Connecticut.
The Blue Devils compete in the Northeast Conference, where they have won two conference titles and qualified for six NCAA Tournaments.
Food & Beverage 0
There are no concessions available at a Blue Devils softball game. There is a lovely little pavilion in between the baseball and softball fields, but it is utilized to prepare meals for the teams and not as a snack bar for fans. Fans are welcome to bring their own snacks into CCSU Softball Field.
An afternoon at a Blue Devils softball game is as simple and laid-back as it gets. There is nothing to distract your attention from the action going on down on the field. No music is played at all during the game. No walk-up songs, no between innings tunes. The PA announcer does his job unobtrusively, adding to the old school presentation. A small scoreboard in centerfield displays only basic game information.
If you enjoy being able to chat with your neighbors in the stands, hear the chatter of the fielders and coaches barking instructions to the players, then CCSU Softball Field is the place for you. If the schedules line up, you’ll be able to move about the athletic complex and take in several games at once.
Central Connecticut State University is located in a residential neighborhood on the northeastern edge of New Britain, a suburban city of 73,000 people located 12 miles southwest of Hartford. CCSU Softball Field is located on the eastern edge of campus, alongside the school’s other athletic facilities, including CCSU Baseball Field, Arute Field and Detrick Gymnasium. While the area around campus is bustling, there are not many attractions in the immediate vicinity for visiting fans.
Fans wanting a unique experience before or after a CCSU game should check out the East Side Restaurant, a German-themed pub complete with staff in traditional Bavarian gear and all the bratwurst you could possibly desire.
For a twist on a traditional American dish, visit Ted’s Steamed Hamburgers in nearby Meriden. Their method of cooking hamburgers in steam trays is unique to central Connecticut, and Ted’s has been featured on several travel shows such as Man vs. Food and Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. It’s a favorite spot for this writer.
Fans looking for a place to stay near campus should check out the Courtyard by Marriott and the Extended Stay America, both in neighboring Farmington. Beyond the local options, Connecticut’s capital city of Hartford contains a plethora of dining, lodging and entertainment options. Sports fans may want to pair a CCSU game with a Hartford Yard Goats game at Dunkin’ Donuts Park or a Hartford Wolf Pack game at the XL Center.
CCSU softball crowds can best be described as “friends and family.” Stadium Journey attended a Sunday afternoon game in late April with a crowd of about 50 present. This appears to be a typically sized crowd, as a scan of the 2022 box scores show crowds between 25-100 people.
With the majority of the crowd enjoying a personal connection with the players down on the field, it’s not surprising that the fans here are really invested in the game and knowledgeable about the team. Still, this is a very laid-back, friendly crowd. With CCSU’s location near the geographic center of the Northeast Conference, it’s not unusual to see visiting fans in attendance on a nice spring afternoon.
The CCSU campus is located on the New Britain/Newington town line, about a 15-minute drive from Hartford. Route 9 passes directly to the east of campus, connecting to Interstates 84 and 91 nearby. Driving is the primary method for arriving at this suburban campus. For fans utilizing public transportation, several CT Transit busses access CCSU, with the 140 bus stopping right at Arute Field.
Seating at CCSU Baseball Field consists of metal bleachers without backs in the small grandstand behind home plate. There are additional bleachers down the left field line, and some room for fans who wish to bring their own lawn chairs and set up shop. Netting and fencing obstructs views from all points in the ballpark.
Parking is available in a small lot adjacent to the baseball field, a short walk from the softball field. Should this lot fill, and it may on a spring afternoon where there are several events taking place, additional parking is available in the large lot on the far side of Arute Field. Rest rooms are located in the Pavilion located beyond the center field fence. They are clean and plenty large enough for a typical Blue Devils crowd.
Return on Investment 5
There is no charge for admission or for parking at CCSU Softball Field. With no on-site concessions, you will not spend a single cent at a Blue Devils softball game.
Banners honoring Blue Devils conference championships hang on the back façade of the visitors dugout, visible as you walk past. NCAA Tournament appearances are listed on the outfield wall.
In the northeast, most spring sports are not the big deal that they are in other parts of the country. The weather shortens the season greatly, and when the weather breaks, it doesn’t seem like people want to come take in a game. Still, small facilities like CCSU Softball Field are worth a look for any sports fan looking for some quality competition at a most affordable price.