Photos by Gregory Koch, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.00
Clipper Magazine Stadium 650 North Prince Street Lancaster, PA 17603
Year Opened: 2005 Capacity: 6,000
Storming The Barn In Lancaster
Professional baseball has a long history in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, dating back to 1884 when the Lancaster Red Roses was founded. The team played in several minor leagues through 1961 and had a notable rivalry with the York White Roses, located only about 30 miles away. The nicknames were in reference to the nicknames of the cities of Lancaster and York, which themselves pay homage to their namesakes in England and the War of the Roses.
However, after the 1961 season, baseball left the Red Rose City until 2005, when the Lancaster Barnstormers joined the independent Atlantic League. The Barnstormers play their home games at Clipper Magazine Stadium in downtown Lancaster. The War of the Roses rivalry continues to this day, as the Barnstormers’ archnemesis is the York Revolution who play a short drive away.
Food & Beverage 4
Clipper Magazine Stadium has a good range of concession options. All the typical favorites are here, including hot dogs, burgers (from local favorite chain Fuddruckers), pizza, ice cream, and more. Alcohol is available through the seventh inning, and Pepsi soft drink products are sold as well. Prices are affordable, and it is nice to see tie-ins with Pennsylvania businesses.
Clipper Magazine Stadium has a 360-degree concourse, and you can see the field from almost anywhere on it. All seats are chairbacks except for some lawn seating in left field and a single row of benches at the bottom of the hill, and they all have a great view of the action.
A large videoboard is located in left-centerfield, and there are small digital boards above the seating bowl and below the suites which show basic information as well.
The Barnstormers have a mascot named Cylo. According to his official bio, Cylo is a furry red creature from Mascot, Pennsylvania (a real place in Lancaster County, surprisingly). His actual resemblance to a cow is tenuous at best, but that just adds to the fun.
Clipper Magazine Stadium is located in downtown Lancaster, so there are many places to visit nearby. Slugger’s Pizzeria is located just a couple blocks from the stadium on the other side of Queen Street, and Iron Hill Brewery is a short trip down Harrisburg Avenue. Although many cities in Central Pennsylvania have gone downhill over the past couple of decades, Lancaster seems to still be thriving.
The Barnstormers have consistently ranked towards the top of the Atlantic League in attendance, drawing over 3,000 fans a game on average. Many of the fans have been coming to Barnstormers games since the team was founded and are extremely knowledgeable about the players and the game. There are many casual fans and young families as well who are just there for a fun day at the ballpark. Regardless of their level of familiarity, fans are involved and cheer on the Barnstormers throughout the game.
As the Atlantic League is fairly compact in terms of geographic scope, there will often be a significant presence from the visiting team fans as well – they can expect to feel welcomed but may enjoy some good-natured ribbing from the hometown crowd as they try to drown out chants for the other team.
Clipper Magazine Stadium is located a short drive off U.S. Route 30, a major east-west highway in Pennsylvania, but actually getting from there to the stadium can be tough. Parking is poorly signed and GPS apps may be of limited use. If using an app, you may need to navigate to “Clipper Magazine Stadium Parking” rather than the stadium itself.
Once you actually get to the parking lot, staff will direct you where to go. If you do not need a handicapped space and are not a season ticket holder with a special parking pass, you will have to park beyond the centerfield fence. Fortunately, there is ample parking for everyone, although you will need to walk halfway around the stadium to get to the main gate and box office. There is a gate in centerfield as well if you want to go in that way and already have your tickets.
Return on Investment 5
Tickets start at just $8 for lawn seats and the most expensive seats are only $14. Tickets are $2 more expensive the day of the game, so buy in advance if possible to improve value. Concessions are affordable and parking is free, so a Barnstormers game is a great value for the whole family, for a group of friends, or for the seasoned baseball traveler.
There are several discounts available as well. Fans with a Rewardz Card to local gas station/food chain Sheetz (yes, both those words are spelled with a Z) can get dugout box seats (the best seats in the house) for just $10, a discount of 40%. First responders can get $4 off of field box seats, which is an almost 50% discount. Seniors 55 and over get $1 off any ticket, and kids 5-12 get a dollar discount on lawn seats as well. Lawn seats are free for kids four and under and for all children in sports uniforms.
All these factors combine to make a trip to Lancaster for a Barnstormers game an excellent value.
There is a kid’s play area down the left field line which includes a merry-go-round and a miniature golf course, among other fun activities.
When walking down the left field line outside the ballpark on your way in from the parking lot, there is a mural honoring former Barnstormers who have made the major leagues.
A team store is located just to the left of the home plate gate as you head into the stadium and features Barnstormers gear at affordable prices.
A fourth and final star for the 360-degree concourse and many vantage points to watch a game.
Although Lancaster has not had an affiliated baseball team for 60 years, that has not stopped the fans here from cheering for their local independent league team. You wouldn’t know from looking at Clipper Magazine Stadium that it’s Indy Ball rather than affiliated, and the experience here is as good as it is at many “real” minor league parks around the country, not that Barnstormers fans will let you get away with saying this isn’t every bit as real as an affiliated team. A Barnstormers game is a great experience and a great value for any fan, especially when the War of the Roses comes to town and the Barnstormers take on the nearby Revolution.