- James Hilchen
CHS Field – St. Paul Saints
Photos by James Hilchen and Marc Viquez, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.71
CHS Field 360 Broadway St St Paul, MN 55101
Year Opened: 2015
A Saintly Good Time
Opened on May 21, 2015, CHS Field is home to the Saint Paul Saints. The Saints were born in 2003 and were a member of the Northern League until 2005 when they became members of the American Association. 2021 marked a new beginning of sorts for the team as the Saints left the independent baseball world and became the Triple-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. Between the beautiful ballpark, great food, unique promotions, and a very creative staff, CHS Field is one of the true gems in all of baseball.
CHS Field replaced Midway Stadium as the home of the Saints. Midway Stadium, which had hosted the Saints since 2003 simply became outdated and too small to hold the fans of a franchise that has proven to be extremely successful over the years.
Located in the Lowertown District of St. Paul, the $89 million ballpark played host to both the 2016 and 2019 American Association All-Star Games.
Food & Beverage 5
If you can’t find anything you like to eat here, you probably aren’t trying very hard. The ballpark offers a litany of different foods along with an abundance of choices for beer drinkers.
In addition to all the usual ballpark fare, CHS Field ups the ante on food choices. The poutine with smoked pork shoulder is a favorite among the fans. French fries with cheese curds and pork shoulder all smothered in brown gravy is a winning combination and highly recommended.
Bacon-wrapped blueberry bratwurst, pork belly pops (pork belly on a stick dunked in coleslaw), chicken and waffles with maple syrup, bacon and sausage gravy, and smoked turkey ciabatta are among the other unique items offered up.
On warmer days at the park, be prepared to stand in line for Snuffy’s Malt Shop. It may be a bit of a wait, but the shakes and malts are far superior to most ballpark shakes and you have a perfect view of the field action while waiting.
If you are a craft beer fan, you will be happy. There are numerous options throughout the ballpark to go along with the more traditional domestic options. Head to the left field corner where over 30 craft beers are available. If alcohol isn’t your thing, give local Killebrew (yes, that Killebrew, we are in Minnesota Twins country) Root Beer or Cream Soda a try.
This is what the Saints are known for…crazy promotions and between innings entertainment. They certainly deliver and what else would you expect from a team that includes Bill Murray as one of its owners?
Prior to entering the stadium, take a look to the left of the entrance area. There you will see plaques that celebrate the contributions of scouts that are in the Professional Baseball Scouts Hall of Fame. All inductees are honored by having their plaques displayed at three minor league and three independent club’s ballparks.
You can walk around the entire ballpark and it is highly suggested. In the right field corner is the Treasure Island Terrace. You can’t miss the black and yellow pirate ship which is a multi-level space that can be rented to groups during games. Also towards the right field corner is the team shop. The team shop is well worth a look, but generally very popular and therefore busy, so be prepared for a bit of a line. There is a kids play area behind the center field wall and in left field are great views of both bullpens along with a grass berm that sits directly behind the bullpens.
Down the third baseline is the must-see attraction at CHS Field. Between sections 118-120, is the City of Baseball Museum. Opened in May, 2019, the museum celebrates baseball in Saint Paul. Among the treasures in the museum are a Roy Campanella game-used bat, Rey Ordonez’ 1997 Gold Glove, a Toni Stone (first woman to play professional baseball for the Indianapolis Clowns of the Negro American League) autographed baseball, and so much more. Admission is free for fans during games and is also open during the team’s regular business hours of 9-6 Monday-Friday and 10-2 on Saturdays during the season.
Behind home plate sits Monument Pork (an homage to Monument Park in Yankee Stadium). The inductees are all past live pigs who were team mascots. It won’t take much time to see that pork plays an important role is all-things Saints baseball.
Lowertown is a fun area that boasts a large array of food and drink options, many within a few blocks of the ballpark.
The Ox Cart Arcade & Rooftop offers up some great food options (try the loaded tots sampler!). You can come in and watch a game on one of their televisions, play some arcade games, or simply relax before or after the game.
Big River Pizza is a great option for pizza fans and is one block west of CHS Field. The Buttered Tin is a terrific bakery that also offers up breakfast and sandwiches. It’s a good choice for a day game (they are open from 7-3 daily).
CHS Field sits a few blocks from the Mississippi River and there are plenty of walking areas right next to it. The Minnesota Children’s Museum and Minnesota Museum of American Art are also within a mile of the ballpark.
The Saints have given fans every reason to turn out and they certainly do. The fact that the team meets the expectations of regular fans above and beyond fielding a decent team makes the fans even more loyal, especially now with the Twins affiliation. As such, they are always engaged in the game and promotions, which makes the atmosphere even better.
With a full ballpark, there are always going to be some areas where getting around is slower than one would like. The team has done a very good job at trying to space things out well, keep lines moving, mark sections and restrooms well, and there are plenty of friendly employees and ushers that will help as well.
Return on Investment 5
You can get in the ballpark for as little as $5 for berm seating. $6 will get you a bleacher seat. For reserved seating, the outfield reserve is $15, with infield reserved and home plate reserved being $18. The Capital Box seats (directly behind home plate) are the most expensive at $30. I’d avoid the Capital Box simply because the views are so great from the other seats, you can save a few bucks for food/drinks and not miss out on anything.
Parking is available directly across the street but is a bit pricey at $20. Parking in the Union Depot parking lots will save $10 and is right around the corner from the ballpark entrance. Parking farther away will be even cheaper if walking a few blocks isn’t an issue.
Combine the ticket and parking prices along with average food and drink prices and you get a huge bang for your buck when attending a Saints game.
First and foremost, the City of Baseball Museum alone is worth the 5 stars here.
The on-field promotions are more unique than most ballparks and the cast of unique characters that interact with the fans throughout the game provides a fun experience.
CHS Field is trying to go green as much as possible. They collect runoff water to help irrigate the field and flush toilets. 12% of the electricity used comes from solar panels in left field and there are various recycling bins clearly marked throughout the park.
The entire staff couldn’t be friendlier. From the ticket takers to the ushers to the concessions folks, everyone seems genuinely interested in making sure the fans have a good time.
CHS Field is a mere 12 miles from the home of the Minnesota Twins, Target Field. With the major league affiliate being so close, there are opportunities to take in two games in the same day which is a fun option.
Moving to affiliated baseball in 2021 hasn’t changed what has always made CHS Field such a great place. From the employees, to the food, to the entertainment, to the amazing museum, it doesn’t get much better than this.