Photos by Paul Baker, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.57
200 Bloomfield Ave
West Hartford, CT 06117
Year Opened: 2006
Home of Hartford Hawks Hardball
The University of Hartford baseball team plays on campus at Fiondella Field. It is located alongside the school’s other athletic facilities, including Al-Marzook Field and Chase Family Arena. Baseball has been played at the school since 1958, originally as a Division II school, and in Division I since 1985. Before the Hawks had a permanent on-campus home in 2006, the team would play at various local diamonds, including Beehive Field in New Britain, Muzzy Field in Bristol, Ray McKenna Field in East Hartford and Memorial Field in Simsbury.
The ballpark was named in honor of Robert Fiondella and family in 2009. The Fiondellas have been actively involved in promoting athletics as part of the overall educational experience in the greater Hartford area.
The Hawks are still waiting for their first appearance in the NCAA Baseball Tournament. Two University of Hartford alumni have reached the major leagues, Hall of Famer Jeff Bagwell and Earl Snyder.
Food & Beverage 3
There is a small concession stand behind the grandstand at Fiondella Field. A basic menu is featured here, including hot dogs, nachos, pretzels and other snacks. Bottled Coca-Cola products are sold here. Coffee and hot chocolate are popular items on chilly April afternoons. Fans are also welcome to bring their own snacks into Fiondella Field, provided no alcoholic beverages are brought in.
The game day presentation at Fiondella Field is typical of most college ballparks in the northeast. It’s a laid-back, comfortable experience without a whole lot of extra noise to distract from the action taking place down on the field.
PA announcements are limited to lineup changes and the occasional sponsor announcement. Music is played between innings at a comfortable volume. Fans are enthusiastic about the action taking place, and many enjoy a personal connection to the players on the field. Fans are close enough to hear (and participate) in the chatter going on from the dugouts. It’s a baseball purist’s dream.
The University of Hartford is located in West Hartford, surrounded by an affluent residential neighborhood, including the Hartford Golf Club. There aren’t any restaurants located within walking distance of the campus, meaning fans will have to travel a bit to find pre or postgame entertainment and dining options.
Downtown Hartford, which contains a great many restaurants and places of interest, is just a ten minute drive away. Likewise, fans looking for a place to stay after a Hartford Hawk game will have to venture downtown for options.
Should schedules line up, the brand new Dunkin’ Donuts Park, home of the Eastern League’s Hartford Yard Goats, or the XL Center, home of the American Hockey League’s Hartford Wolf Pack, are located less than three miles from Fiondella Field.
Crowds at Fiondella Field for Hartford Hawks games can be categorized as a “Friends and Family” type of crowd. Typically ranging in size from 100-250 people, many of the fans have a close personal connection to the players on the field, and are really involved in the action.
The University of Hartford campus straddles the towns of West Hartford, Bloomfield and Hartford. Located just a few miles from both Interstates 91 and 84, the campus is easily reached by car. Detailed driving directions can be found here.
Visiting fans using public transportation can take CTFastrak Route 153 or CTtransit Route 56, both of which access Union Station in downtown Hartford. More details, including fares and schedules, can be found here.
Fiondella Field is located on the northern edge of campus alongside the University of Hartford’s other athletic facilities, including Al-Marzook Field and Chase Family Arena. The facilities all share a concession stand and restroom facilities.
Seating at Fiondella Field consists of aluminum bleachers in a grandstand that stretches from first to third base. Netting obstructs the view from all seats, and the poles that hold up the netting provide further obstruction. There is additional standing room down the right field line for fans who wish to take in the action without the obstruction of netting. Fans are welcome to bring in their own chairs if they wish to sit in this area.
There is ample parking in the lot next to Fiondella Field. Restrooms are located in the building right behind the grandstand.
Return on Investment 4
There is no charge for attending baseball games at Fiondella Field. Parking in the lots adjacent to the ballpark is free, and concessions are reasonably priced.
An extra point is awarded for the proximity of Fiondella Field to the other University of Hartford’s athletic fields, and for the opportunity to catch multiple games for no charge should the schedules line up.
Jeff Bagwell’s number 27 is retired, and can be found on the right field wall at Fiondella Field, along with a mural of Bagwell from his time at Hartford. There is also a mural of Hartford’s other alumnus to reach the major leagues, Earl Snyder, on the left field wall.
Fiondella Field is typical of many of the college ballparks that dot the northeast. It’s a no-frills, basic facility where the action taking place on the field is the focus. If you like your baseball presented without a whole lot of distraction, you’ll enjoy your visit to Fiondella Field. Fans looking to take in multiple ball games in a single day should visit when the nearby Hartford Yard Goats of the Eastern League or New Britain Bees of the Atlantic League are also home.
If planning a trip to the University of Hartford for a baseball game, keep in mind that college baseball season takes place largely in the months of March and April, when the weather in this part of the country can be unpredictable. Postponements, changes in schedule and even changes in venue are common. Be ready to be flexible with your schedule when visiting the area.