Riders Field – Frisco RoughRiders
Photos by Michael Davis, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.43
Riders Field 7725 Gaylord Pkwy Frisco, TX 75034
Year Opened: 2003
The Riders of Frisco
Located in Frisco, Texas, Riders Field has been home to the Texas Rangers’ Double-A affiliate Frisco RoughRiders since April 3, 2003. The ballpark was built by one of the best architecture firms, HK, Inc., and is unique compared to other ballparks. The infrastructure for the ballpark is like condos or apartment villages, and the outer concourse is a dirt trail through various trees, simulating a park-within-a-park scheme.
The stadium was known as Dr Pepper/Seven Up Ballpark (2003-2006) and then shortened to Dr Pepper Ballpark until 2020. The Dr Pepper Snapple Group declined to renew the naming rights agreement in 2017, but the facility was still called by the corporate name until the start of the 2021 season when the ballpark was renamed Riders Field.
There are about 8,000 seats inside the stadium, but the general admission area located on the outfield grass berm brings an additional 2,000 people, for a total capacity of 10,316. The field is real grass with ballpark dimensions of 335 feet down the lines, 364 feet in the power alleys, and 409 feet to the center field.
The Frisco RoughRiders have a history of success since arriving in Frisco, having won the 2004 Texas League Championship. Dr Pepper Ballpark hosted the 2005, 2009, and most recently the 2017 Texas League All-Star game. The ballpark also hosts other events throughout the year, the most popular being Dirk Nowitzki’s Heroes Celebrity Baseball Game, an annual sold-out event in Frisco.
Food & Beverage 5
There are plenty of food options inside the ballpark – the RoughRiders offer up traditional ballpark fare including hot dogs, hamburgers, nachos, pizza, peanuts, and pretzels from concession stands behind home plate as you enter the ballpark. Prices start as low as the $6.50 hot dog. The best way to offset your cost, though, is purchasing the basket combos, as all baskets are served with seasoned fries or kettle chips – these combos are $12 for a cheeseburger or chicken tenders and $9.50 for the hot dog combo.
Another variety of food offerings here is Tex-Mex – this concession offers tacos al carbon, quesadillas de pollo, and a cheese quesadilla costing $14.
However, in Texas food means BBQ, and on the first base side of the ballpark is Frisco Smoque BBQ, which has four items on the menu. BBQ nachos are $14 and have one meat and toppings, or you can get the BBQ sandwich for $10, or the mac & cheese BBQ sandwich for $11, both of which come with one meat and one side choice.
The fourth item is the BBQ plate, which includes two types of meat and two sides for $11. Smoque’s meat choices are pulled pork, pulled chicken, sausage, and chopped or sliced brisket, while their sides are baked beans, potato salad, coleslaw, kettle chips, and mac & cheese.
There is another concourse on the third base side of the ballpark where Ono Pacific Grill has cheesesteaks, beef skewers, and sweet chili wings. The soda options are Dr Pepper and 7-Up products, and regular soda will cost you $6.50. Though the price is a bit steep, the value of buying a souvenir soda cup for $8.50 instead is well worth the extra cost. Other non-alcoholic beverage options include Snapple, bottled water, or milk for $4.50.
The alcoholic beverages are above average compared to other venues. While you’ll find the standard Budweiser and Coors beer selections, there are also a variety of other choices such as Shock Top, Shiner, Red Hook, Goose Island, Sierra Nevada, St. Arnold, and KCCO.
The beer prices are $9/16oz domestic bottle, $11+/16oz premium bottle, or 24oz domestic bottle. There is also a house wine available for $9/glass, while mixed drinks cost $10; the Yardstick Margarita is the highest-priced drink at $12. Alternatively, if you are looking for more of a selection, then the Herman Marshall Whiskey Saloon near the left field foul pole offers a place out of the sun, along with TVs, beer, wine, and spirits.
Riders Field offers a little bit of everything for fans. The main fan attraction was originally a pool area in right field. However, in 2016 the RoughRiders became a pioneer with the first-ever lazy river – the formerly named Choctaw Lazy River has 400 feet of gentle waves in a figure-eight, and holds 68,000 gallons of water at a depth of 3 feet.
The new attraction cost $1.5 million, giving the Frisco RoughRiders the largest body of water in professional sports. The lazy river area also includes an 18-foot water curtain and a 113-linear foot waterfall to rinse off or keep cool during the hot afternoon games.
The bullpens are built into the stands on either side of the ballpark, which allows fans to feel closer to the on-field action, and in left field, there is a party deck that can be rented to host business meetings or parties. There is also a playground opposite the lazy river near left field, which kids ages 5-10 may enter through the 8th inning.
The gameday operations crew keeps fans engaged just like the rest of minor league baseball does, with a cheer squad and the RoughRiders mascots Deuce & Daisy providing entertainment, along with contests between innings.
The overall atmosphere is consistent with the great entertainment of minor league baseball. However, it does a wonderful job of taking it to the next level and attracting large numbers of fans. Riders Field has been tops in attendance across the minor leagues over the years; the ballpark is one of the best in the country and the product on the field is solid, with a pipeline to not only the Texas Rangers but other Major League Baseball clubs as well.
Riders Field is located off the Dallas North Tollway in Frisco, next to Stonebriar Mall and Comerica Center. There are plenty of restaurants within a couple of blocks, such as Wild Pitch Sports Bar & Grill and Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille, both of which are an easy walk from the ballpark. Also, there are four hotels within walking distance of the ballpark – Drury Inn and Suites, Hilton Garden Inn Frisco, Embassy Suites by Hilton, and the Hyatt Regency Frisco-Dallas.
Frisco is located 25 miles north of downtown Dallas, and with a population of about 150K, Frisco has become one of the fastest-growing cities in Texas. As far as entertainment the city has a lot to offer, including Stonebriar Mall, Comerica Center, Toyota Stadium, and The Star, the Dallas Cowboys football headquarters and training facility. Comerica Center serves as the home court for the Texas Legends of the NBA’s G League and indoor football’s Frisco Fighters, as well as the practice facility and corporate offices for the Dallas Stars, while Toyota Stadium is home to FC Dallas of the MLS.
The RoughRiders continually have strong attendance and sell-outs are common, especially when a Texas Rangers player is rehabbing his way back to Arlington. Frisco was the pioneer in the latest MLB trend of moving the minor league team closer to the parent club, allowing the local fans to see the future of the professional team. The fact that Frisco and Arlington are separated by only 29 miles allows Rangers fans to not only show up, but also to support their double-A team with the same passion, knowledge, and dedication they give the Rangers.
Fans at the game show their support by wearing Riders’ apparel. Of course, Rangers’ apparel is well represented around the park, as fans continually show pride in being a minor league pipeline to the Texas Rangers.
Located just 25 miles from both downtown Dallas and Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, Riders Field is accessible by multiple modes of transit. If traveling from downtown Dallas the drive is rather easy to make, as the ballpark is just off the Dallas North Tollway; from DFW Airport use Highway 121 towards McKinney to get to the ballpark. There has been recent construction around the ballpark, so traffic could be slow on the ingress/egress, and there is no public transportation at this time to the ballpark.
There are two parking garages and three lots that open two and a half hours before game time. Parking costs $5 if purchased in advance, otherwise, it will be $10. However, free parking is available at Stonebriar Mall just a couple of blocks from the ballpark, near the outfield entrances.
There are three main entrances to the park: center field gate, left field gate, and home plate gate. The ticket and will-call offices are located near home plate on the first base side of the ballpark (on RoughRiders Trail). There is also a ticket office near the outfield entrance toward Embassy Suites and Stonebriar Mall; however, this office doesn’t seem to be open for every game.
The stadium’s infrastructure has eight pavilions, and these pavilions house the concession stands, concourse, and suites on the second level. There are two ways to navigate around the ballpark – the inside concourse down the baselines or on the other side of the pavilions. The outside path is unique compared to other ballparks, as the access is a dirt trail through trees that weaves around the ballpark. The signage around the ballpark is easy to read and provides a wonderful guide; the bathrooms are located on the back side of the pavilions.
Return on Investment 4
Tickets to Frisco RoughRiders games typically run between $11 and $37. Also, for most people having to travel on the tollway adds cost, as does not being allowed to bring in outside food and drinks, but the cost can be reduced with free parking at the mall.
The RoughRiders do have nightly promotions and ticket plans that can lower the ticket cost, though. One of the better promotions, BBQ and baseball, is the first Sunday home game of every month, and includes 4 tickets, 4 RoughRiders souvenirs, and a $20 Rudy’s BBQ gift card – a $150 value for only $40! But regardless of the cost, Riders Field is unique and features a wonderful atmosphere, so it is a must-see for anyone that loves baseball or is visiting the Frisco area.
The stadium has unique architecture, and the RoughRiders Teddy Roosevelt logo is an interesting twist in minor league apparel. The lazy river is a huge plus – while many ballparks have added a pool, no other park has a lazy river. In addition, the Frisco RoughRiders play a major role in the Texas Rangers organization, so watching a major league player during a rehab stint is an exciting opportunity for RoughRiders fans.
Riders Field offers one of the best minor league baseball experiences, with an intimate setting in a populated area. The Frisco area is becoming a sports fan’s destination paradise, and the area continues to grow. If you’re in the Dallas area be sure to give the ballpark, the lazy river, and the Frisco RoughRiders a visit – seeing this park is well worth it for the unique entertainment experience.