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  • Writer's picturePaul Baker

Flowers Park – Iona Gaels

Photos by Paul Baker, Stadium Journey

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.00

Flowers Park

491 5th Avenue

New Rochelle, NY 10801

Year Opened: renovated 2011

Capacity: 500


Flowers Park


City Park, also known as Brud Flowers Park, is a 20-acre public park located in New Rochelle, NY. The facility is named for William “Brud” Flowers, a New Rochelle resident and athletic coach. Flowers Park contains three ball fields, two soccer/football fields, a basketball court, a skateboard park and picnic area. The Iona Gaels play their home baseball games at the park’s main baseball diamond, which is also known as City Field.


Iona University is a Roman Catholic school located in New Rochelle, NY. It has a total enrollment of approximately 4,000 students who study in 60 undergraduate and 45 graduate programs. The school was founded in 1940 as an affordable college for the sons of New York City’s working class.


The Gaels currently compete in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference alongside several small private colleges in the Northeast. Most of the schools in the MAAC are Catholic. Iona has won three regular season MAAC championships, but have yet to win the postseason tournament and are still awaiting their first NCAA tournament appearance. Four Iona alumni have played in the Major Leagues.


You may be wondering what exactly a Gael is. The term “Gael” formerly referred to someone who spoke one of the Gaelic languages. Today, it is an archaic term for an Irish person.


Food & Beverage 0


There are no facilities for food at Flowers Park. Fans are welcome to bring their own snacks to enjoy during an Iona baseball game, or if you’re in the mood for an outdoor lunch, there’s a picnic pavilion right behind the field. A couple of food trucks were seen on the park grounds during Stadium Journey’s visit, but since they aren’t regular features, we won’t be boosting the score on their potential presence.


Atmosphere 1


There’s really not a lot here to let visitors know that this is the home of Iona baseball. The school’s game day staff set up shop behind home plate under a temporary pop-up tent. The Iona logo on the tent is the only sign that a D-1 school plays here. PA announcements and music play over a temporary speaker set up behind home plate. If you are sitting further down the lines, you can forget about hearing any game updates. There is no permanent scoreboard here, and the PA announcer does not provide score updates between innings, so you’ll have no way to know the score unless you check your phone.


Neighborhood 2


Flowers Park is located near a lovely residential neighborhood in the New York suburb of New Rochelle. The borough of The Bronx is just ten miles away via Interstate 95, with Manhattan only 25 miles away. However, there’s little sign of New York’s urban sprawl once you leave the immediate area around the park.


There’s nothing in the immediate area of Flowers Park to attract visiting fans, with only a storage facility, plumbing supply company and auto body shop located across the street from the park. Iona University is about a mile’s drive from Flowers Park, and visiting fans will find some dining options there, highlighted by The Beechmont Tavern, Crotty’s Cheesesteaks and The Mirage Restaurant & Café. Downtown New Rochelle, a few miles down I-95, contains some chain restaurant options and a few lodging options.


Most fans will likely continue on into the nearby city for their dining, lodging and entertainment needs when visiting Iona.


Fans 2


The crowd at an Iona baseball game can certainly be considered to be a “friends and family” type of crowd. In fact, you may be able to eliminate the friends part entirely. There was no presence from the student body during Stadium Journey’s visit, unless you count the students there to work the game. This also isn’t a place where you’d see a whole lot of support from community-based fans, either.


There was, however, a good turnout by family members from both the home and visiting squads. Given the compact geographic footprint of the MAAC, this would not be an unusual development. As you would expect, the fans here are knowledgeable and enthusiastic in their support of the Gaels.


Access 4


Flowers Park is located right off of Interstate 95 as it travels from New York City towards Connecticut. It is easily accessible for those driving through the region, with ample parking on site. Also, Flowers Park is served by the Westchester County DOT number 61 bus, which stops at the park numerous times throughout the day.


Flowers Park is nicely manicured with paved walkways around the park. Restroom facilities on the right field side of the diamond are well maintained. Seating consists of small metal bleachers on either side of the field, with several areas around the facility for fans who would like to stand or set up lawn chairs while they take in the action. Unfortunately, the chain link fence surrounding the field is thick and obscures views from pretty much all seating areas.


Return on Investment 5


There is no charge for admission or parking at an Iona baseball game. You will not spend a cent at Flowers Park, unless the ice cream truck happens to stop by.


Extras 0


An afternoon at an Iona Gaels baseball game is as bare bones as a Division One game can get. There is nothing going on here that could be considered extra.


Final Thoughts


The experience at an Iona baseball game is exactly what you’d expect it to be, very simple and basic. This is a Division One school playing at a public park. While Flowers Park is a nice community facility, this is a ballpark likely to be visited only by those connected to the team or by the most ardent ballpark chasers.


Follow Paul Baker’s stadium journeys on Twitter and Instagram @PuckmanRI.

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