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  • Writer's pictureMeg Minard

Copeland Park – La Crosse Loggers

Photos by Meg Minard, Stadium Journey

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.43

Copeland Park 1130 Copeland Park Dr La Crosse, WI 54603 Map It

Year Opened: 2003 Capacity: 3,550


The Lumber Yard

The Lacrosse Loggers celebrated their 20th season in 2022. They play in the prominent summer collegiate baseball league, the Northwoods League. The team plays their home games at Copeland Park, a city-owned park on the Black River, which runs into the Mississippi River, just north of downtown on the Minnesota border.

The team won the Northwoods League Championship in 2012. Notable Loggers alumni include Mike Trout, Jordan Pacheco, Eric Thames, Chris Sale, and Matt Scherzer. The Loggers offer a fun, affordable evening out with the focus still mainly baseball with enough other entertainment for non-baseball fans to enjoy themselves. The UW-La Crosse Eagles (NCAA D3) also play their games at Copeland Park in the spring.

Food & Beverage 4

Most concessions are behind the first base seating area in a covered courtyard called the Festival Food Court. Food is on one side; adult beverages are on the other. Tables and chairs are between the two. The food is tasty and priced affordably.

Copeland Park Festival Food Court, Photo by Meg Minard, Stadium Journey

Snacks include chips, peanuts, Cracker Jack, and candy ($2 – $2.75). Fried offerings are cheese curds, tater tots, onion rings, and corn dogs, and range from $3 – $6.50.

Sandwiches consist of Klement’s hot dogs, burgers, bratwurst, and crispy and grilled chicken, and cost $4.25 – $6. Tuesdays are $2 hot dogs, corn dogs, fries, soda, water, and popcorn.

Across from the courtyard is a Grab and Go shop selling bottled soda, other soft drinks, packaged snacks, and ice cream ($2.50 – $4). A Snack Shack is to the left of that, selling Dippin Dots, pretzels, nachos, cotton candy, and other treats.

Domestic beers on tap are Miller Lite, Bud Light, and Coors; draft craft beers are Leinenkugel, New Glarus, Hillsboro, and Golden Road. A plethora of canned beer and hard seltzers are for sale. Domestic beers are $4 while craft beers cost $4.50.

All the food looks scrumptious. The ice cream cones are very popular in summer evenings.

Note: The concession lines can get long.

Atmosphere 4

The Loggers provide an excellent game-day experience for fans visiting the stadium.

The music is not played between every pitch and is at a pleasant volume. You can talk with those sitting next to you without yelling to be heard. And the music is not played over the announcer speaking as is done in most Northwoods League stadiums. Harmless fan participative games and contests include a ketchup and mustard race, a beer batter, name the player positions and name as many MLB teams as you can.

For seating, the grandstand consists of sections A – E with four rows of stadium fold-down seats closest to the field, then a walkway. The next four rows are stadium fold-down seats and the remaining five or six rows are bleachers with backs. The ten ‘upper’ rows in section C, behind home plate in front of the press box, are stadium seats. The seats are average width and there is average legroom. A net extends in front of the grandstand and covers the top of it. There’s no fear of getting struck by a foul ball there. Some sections behind the dugouts are net-free for your viewing pleasure.

Party decks are down both the first and third baselines. Some seats are in the right field above the outfield wall. The field is artificial turf and dirt. A video scoreboard in the left field shows the player at bat’s stats. A line score is provided beneath the video board.

The sun sets behind the press box so the grandstand seats get the shade. It does get dark in the grandstand seats when the sun sets. As the evening progresses, you may want to sit somewhere else or move to see your scorecard if you keep score.

Be aware of bugs that sting right through your clothes. Spray yourself with insect repellant before attending a game to help prevent that. You’ll get the bug heebie-jeebies most of the night if you don’t.

Neighborhood 3

Copeland Park is just north of the city of La Crosse on the Black River (which flows into the Mississippi River). It is a city park that hosts the Loggers, an Oktoberfest, and has a playground, fishing, basketball courts, a wading pool, and other park amenities.

The ballpark is a little less than two miles from the active downtown neighborhood of La Crosse. Plenty of restaurants are within a mile or two of the ballpark. We recommend Bodega Brew Pub downtown, Crooked Pint Ale House, Rosie’s Café (breakfast and lunch), or Fayze’s. For craft brews check out the 608 Brewery, Pearl Street Brewery, or Turtle Stack Brewery.

Lodging choices are within one to two miles of Copeland Park; none are within walking distance. The ones south are closer to downtown and are about two miles. Several Hilton, Marriott, and Holiday Inn brands line Copeland Ave and the river.

For other things to do while in town, visit the World’s Largest 6-Pack or stroll through Riverside Friendship Gardens. Enjoy a boat ride on the Mississippi River via La Crosse Queen Cruises. Or drive up the Grandad Bluff for scenic views of the town.

World’s Largest Six-Pack, Photo by Meg Minard, Stadium Journey

The two closest Northwoods League teams are the Eau Claire Express and the Rochester Honkers (87 and 72 miles, respectively).

Fans 3

Loggers’ fans enjoy singing “Roll out the Barrell” in the 7th inning, which fans sing in baseball stadiums throughout Wisconsin. Many fans seem to know one another. Families and kids make up most of the clientele, but you’ll see retirees, grandparents, young adults, and couples in the stands, as well. The 2022 average attendance was 2,180 fans per game, placing the Loggers in the top five attendance-wise in the Northwoods League.

Access 3

Copeland Park is just a mile off Interstate 90. The town has a small regional airport with flights to and from Minneapolis/St Paul or Chicago. Bus service to a Loggers game is available from downtown and other parts; Route 6 looks like the best one. However, service after a Saturday or Sunday evening game will be an issue as service ends around 6 pm.

Parking is the biggest concern, with only street parking and just a few noticeable spots for handicapped parking. Plan on hunting for a spot and hoofing it if you don’t get there early.

The team thankfully does not have bag and bag size rules. The stadium has a ramp on the first base side to get to the seating area. Clean and decent-sized restrooms are next to the merchandise shop before the food court.

Return on Investment 4

Although ticket prices are a buck or two higher than other Northwoods League stadiums attending a game here is still a worthwhile sports entertainment investment. Single-game tickets cost $8 – $15. All-You-Can–Eat-Seats (plus three alcoholic drinks) run $25 – $28. Military men and women with ID get in free. Food and beer prices are below other Northwoods League venues, especially if you go on a Tuesday.

Extras 3

The merchandise shop sells an informative program (including a scoresheet) for $1. It has a recap of the previous game, league standings, fun facts, the Loggers schedule, team rosters, and player stats.

Showing appreciation to military members by letting them in free is of special note. Having the music volume at a level where fans can hear their conversations and the music stopped when the announcer is talking is something that should be common at ballgames, but it’s not anymore. It’s a bonus at a Loggers game.

Final Thoughts

The Loggers organization delivers a remarkable evening out of baseball. Copeland Park is on the Black River, which flows into the Mississippi River just north of vibrant downtown La Crosse WI. It’s worth checking out if in town or traveling across the Midwest.

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