Photos by Michael Davis, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.14
Clay Gould Ballpark
1400 Allan Saxe Pkwy
Arlington, TX 76013
Year Opened: 1974
UTA Mavericks Baseball at Clay Gould Ballpark
The University of Texas-Arlington Mavericks makes their baseball home at Clay Gould Ballpark, on the southwesternmost corner of the campus located in Arlington, Texas. The campus, although hidden away between the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth, is just minutes away from the tourist attractions of Six Flags, Globe Life Field in Arlington, and AT&T Stadium.
Clay Gould Ballpark opened in 1974 and was originally named the Arlington Athletic Center. The stadium was built in conjunction with the softball venue, now known as Allan Saxe Field. The name was changed to its current name in memory of a former player and coach, Clay Gould, after his untimely death in 2001. Clay Gould Ballpark has a capacity of 1,600. The field is real grass, Bermuda TIF 419 with dimensions of 330 feet down both lines, 380 feet to the power alleys, and 400 feet to straight away center field.
An interesting side note is that the University of Arlington baseball program originally started in 1969 and played at Turnpike Stadium. Turnpike Stadium was a minor league stadium that later became the home of the Texas Rangers in 1972 and was renamed Arlington Stadium.
The university knowing the plans of the City of Arlington to bring a Major League Baseball team to Arlington started to find a place to play on campus. The UTA baseball team shared Arlington Stadium with the Rangers during the 1972 and 1973 seasons.
Food & Beverage 3
Clay Gould Ballpark features one concession stand at the main entrance of the ballpark located behind the backstop. The centrally located concession provides the basic ballpark fare of peanuts, popcorn, nachos, and other baseball amenities that one is used to seeing with a trip to the ballpark. The biggest surprise of the concessions is the cost of the food and beverages. The prices ($3 peanuts, $2.50 for a hot dog, $2 for popcorn, candy, and soda) really can get your attention and almost make it a must to get something even if you aren’t hungry.
The local taco chain, Fuzzy Taco, provides heavier options such as tacos, nachos, or chicken wraps. The prices for these are a little higher, but still below the price of the usual ballpark foods.
The ballpark serves alcohol with options of either $6 margaritas or 16 oz beers for $5. The beer choices are limited to Budweiser products.
The atmosphere provides more of a local high school feel. The fans all seem to know each other as they are either students or friends or family members of the players. The atmosphere changes when the two nearby schools, Dallas Baptist and TCU, annually play at Clay Gould Stadium. During the 2016 season, College World Series participant, Oklahoma State visited Arlington in a non-conference series.
The ballpark gives a big-time feel as the press box hosts announcers and radio teams for the game. The Texas-Arlington baseball program realizes that it can’t compete with the Texas Rangers, so the times for UTA baseball for Tuesday and Friday games are early evening, while the weekend’s games are in the afternoon. It is possible to see a Mavericks game on a Saturday afternoon and a Texas Rangers game that night. Overall the atmosphere is wonderful for a relaxing day or night at the ballpark.
Clay Gould Ballpark is located in the southwestern part of the University of Texas-Arlington campus. The neighborhood is very residential with an elementary school located next to the athletics fields.
Arlington is in the center of the DFW metroplex and is a self-proclaimed entertainment city with Six Flags, Hurricane Harbor, Globe Life Park, and AT&T Stadium. There are so many restaurant and lodging options in the area as well.
One local food stop near the ballpark is Sistah’s Mississippi BBQ, a small family-owned soul food and bbq place. Other food options are located more towards old town Arlington on the other side of campus. There you will find places such as Babe’s Chicken House Dinner, Flying Fish, Twisted Root Beer, Grease Monkey Burger Shop, and J Gilligan’s Bar & Grill.
Your lodging choice depends on where you want to be located in the Dallas Fort Worth area, but the Sheraton Arlington or the Holiday Inn near Globe Life Ballpark, are both convenient options when looking for lodging in Arlington.
The University of Texas-Arlington has an undergraduate enrollment of approximately 33,000 students, yet the majority of the students commute from nearby cities. The university has in recent years built student housing in the hope of providing more of a campus-type feeling to their academics. With that in mind, along with the fact that the majority of the home games are played on the weekends, the fans that arrive at the ballpark, are usually family and friends of the players.
Some students come out, but most of them are already part of the athletic community as they wear orange and blue for the sport in which they participate with the school. The sad thing about this is that the Mavericks baseball team is the most successful sport for the University of Texas-Arlington athletics program with four conference championships in 15 years while participating in the Southland Conference, including 2013, their only year in the WAC.
The ballpark is in a residential area of Arlington and provides little parking. Although the parking lot isn’t huge, it is easily suitable for the time being unless the ballpark neighbor, Allan Saxe Field is having a softball game at the same time.
The main entrance is right next to the ticket booth, providing fans with a smooth walk-up for tickets before entering the ballpark. All of the tickets are general admission, so get there early if you want either close to the field seating or a spot in the shaded areas under the overhang behind home plate. The seating behind the home plate is made up of actual plastic seats, while the two baselines offer to seat on aluminum bleachers.
The concourse is small yet, not having much there besides the concession stand makes it easy to move along. The restrooms are split with the men’s being on the first base side and the women’s being on the third base side. On the third base side, there is also a little patio area between the seating area and the bullpen.
Return on Investment 5
The free parking and cheap concessions are wonderful, especially for a Division I college baseball game. The $5 general admission tickets, and $3 ticket for students make for one of the best deals in the country. The product on the field is well worth the price, with the baseball talent that the program has sent to Major League Baseball. As a ballpark, Clay Gould is a great place to watch a game because it is simple and focused on the game.
The simplicity of the ballpark doesn’t provide many extra things other than the game, but the success of the program with the past Mavericks players reaching the major leagues such as John Lackey, Hunter Pence, Dillon Gee, Mark Lowe, and Michael Choice are a great extra for people to come to watch baseball at Clay Gould Ballpark. There is a billboard in the outfield next to the scoreboard that lists many other major league baseball players that have called Texas-Arlington home during their college careers.
The University of Texas-Arlington Mavericks is a wonderful part of the Dallas-Fort Worth college baseball scene. A college baseball trifecta because on a weekend, it is possible to watch three top-level college baseball games on three different campuses within a short drive. Just to the east is Dallas Baptist University’s Patriot Field while to the west is TCU’s Lupton Stadium, but those other two ballparks could become crowded, so if you want more of a baseball gem, that still gives you MLB prospects with lower prices than come visit Clay Gould Ballpark.