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  • Writer's pictureDavid Welch

Foley Field - Georgia Bulldogs

Photos by David Welch, Stadium Journey

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.71

Foley Field 1 Rutherford St Athens, GA 30602

Year Opened: 1966 Capacity: 3,291

Glory, Glory to Old Georgia

Established in 1886, baseball holds the distinction of being the oldest sport played at the University of Georgia, the country’s oldest public university. Initially games took place at Herty Field situated along Lumpkin Street on the western edge of the campus, but before the university joined the Southeastern Conference, Georgia baseball relocated to Samford Field, the focal point of university athletics, where they shared the space with football, who called the field home in the fall.

The baseball Bulldogs remained at Samford Field for 31 years before transitioning through various fields in the Ag Hill area of campus. In 1966, however, the Diamond Dogs would finally find a permanent home at Foley Field, named in honor of Judge Frank Foley, who was a member of the 1908 Southern Conference championship team and a lifelong supporter of UGA athletics.

As a founding member of the SEC, the Bulldogs have clinched seven SEC championships, including the conference’s inaugural baseball title. They also boast 15 NCAA tournament appearances, with five trips to the College World Series in Omaha and an NCAA championship title in 1990.

In many southern states, college baseball might rank second only to football in popularity among men’s sports. However, despite well-rounded support for all of Georgia’s athletic programs, the Diamond Dogs do get a large amount of support from the UGA faithful.


Food & Beverage   4

Concessions at Foley Field may not offer an extensive array of options, but they provide a variety of items at very reasonable prices. You will find the usual baseball game fare, such as popcorn, hot dogs, pretzels, nachos, and personal-sized pizzas, but can also find combo meals featuring burgers or chicken sandwiches. Given Coca-Cola's presence in Atlanta, it's no surprise that Coke products are the soft drink provider on Georgia’s campus, although for a unique Southern treat, boiled peanuts are also on offer. Recently, BBQ sandwiches from Georgia-based Williamson Bros. have been added to the menu.

The main concession stands operate on a grab-and-go basis, eliminating the need to place orders; simply grab what you want and take it to the cashier.

In addition to domestic beers, the concession stands at Foley Field offer premium craft beers from Athens local brewery, Creature Comforts, along with High Noon seltzers.


Atmosphere   3

Foley Field underwent significant renovations before the 2015 season, including enhancements to the front entry point, press box, upper and field level suites, and right field seating. The upgrades also gave the exterior a rather modern feel with the use of large, curved windows and a metallic-type finish. The exterior of Foley Field also nicely complements the nearby Stegman Coliseum.

The stadium feels like it is part of the surrounding neighborhood, so much so that the limbs of the trees outside Foley Field creep over the upper rows of seats down the right field line, providing just a bit of shade for the uncovered seating area – this is a welcome relief since the stadium does not have much of an overhang to provide shade.

When it comes to seating there are several different options; Foley Field’s seating ranges from club and suite seating to reserved and general admission seats in the grandstand. Note that the Garden Club Terrace seats in right field get fans into the stadium, but lack access to much of what the rest of the stadium has to offer – fans with tickets in these seats are sequestered in right field, unable to access the grandstand.

In what seems to be becoming more of a rarity in college baseball, Foley Field boasts a fully grass playing surface, including the home plate halo, which is typically synthetic in college baseball. The natural grass is complemented by evergreen trees beyond the outfield wall.

The main scoreboard at Foley Field provides fans with more than just the score; the HD-scoreboard displays a full rundown of both hitter and pitcher statistics, team lineups, and pitch speeds and exit velocities. For those seated in the right field pavilion, a basic scoreboard attached perpendicularly to the main scoreboard offers run, inning, and ball-strike-out information.

Throughout the game, the UGA baseball marketing crew hosts games between innings, consistent with what one might see at typical minor league baseball games. Among the crowd favorites is a race featuring a milkshake, peach, peanut, and baseball.

While the atmosphere at Foley Field is lively, given its full capacity, one might expect a more constant buzz in the air.


Neighborhood   5

Foley Field is situated on the outskirts of Georgia’s campus, bordered by residential housing, an elementary school off-campus, and several other UGA athletic facilities. Across East Rutherford Street from Foley Field are Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall, housing the football command center, and Payne Indoor Athletic Facility – in the backdrop behind center field sits Dan Magill Tennis Complex, while Stegman Coliseum, home to Georgia basketball and gymnastics, can be seen beyond the left field fence.

The bar and entertainment district on Broad Street in Athens is located just over a mile from Foley Field. With its high concentration of bars and restaurants downtown, along with the charm of the area, Athens is commonly recognized as one of the top college towns in America. A bit closer to Foley Field, Lumpkin Street has its own cluster of restaurants within walking distance – Cuban eatery Cali & Tito’s is worth a visit if looking for a bite to eat before heading to the game.


Fans   4

Georgia sports fans are known for their unwavering dedication to the Dawgs, regardless of the sport; if it involves UGA in any capacity, Georgia fans will rally behind it. However, while this fervor is deeply rooted in their passion for football, evident from the multitude of Georgia football jerseys and t-shirts seen at baseball games, it extends to all sports.

Fans are responsive to calls to make noise and engage in each pitch of a crucial at-bat, "oooh" and "ahhh" for each swing and check swing from their big bats, and voice their displeasure at close calls not favoring the Dawgs, much like any devoted fan base would. However, where Georgia fans truly shine is in their embrace of the songs and traditions synonymous with Bulldog fandom.

Fans of the Georgia Bulldogs are known for their passionate embrace of traditions and cheers. Much as Alabama fans use “Roll Tide” as a greeting, the same is true for Georgia fans and their use of “Go Dawgs!”, ether the iconic chants of "Goooooo Georgia Bulldogs!" or synchronized clapping to "Glory, Glory". In addition, one of the newest traditions, occurring between the 8th and 9th innings, involves fans illuminating Foley Field with their phone flashlights during the "Krypton Fanfare" as the game moves to the final inning.

Despite Foley Field being the smallest stadium in the SEC, Dawgs fans consistently fill the seats, creating a lively atmosphere; most SEC conference games are sold out or have limited seating options.

Fan support for baseball also extends beyond the stadium to the houses atop the hill just beyond the right field fence, affectionately known as “Kudzu Hill”. These houses serve as gathering points for students and alumni, offering a unique game experience. Among them "The Green House" stands out, notorious for making things difficult for the visiting team's right fielder and creating a lively college atmosphere.

Foley Field, though, does seem to lack the energetic atmosphere one would expect from its large student attendance. While students make up a significant part of the crowd, their impact on the game's atmosphere is somewhat subdued – the most supportive group of students, "The Spike Squad", recognizable by the spiked shoulder armor often seen at Georgia football games, adds to the college game experience by trying to rally the Dawgs to victory.

Despite occasional ups-and-downs with on-field performance, Foley Field consistently draws fervent fans eager to support their Bulldogs.


Access   3

Getting to Athens from the Metro Atlanta area on a weekday can be quite a test of patience; despite the relatively short 70-mile distance, the journey for a Tuesday or Friday game can take close to two-and-a-half hours for those coming from Atlanta. The most direct route is Interstate-85 to Georgia 316, which leads directly to Athens, while those coming from the north on I-85 may encounter slightly less traffic passing through Jefferson – accessing Athens from the east is most convenient via I-20 to US-441N.

Parking for Foley Field is primarily located in the lot and parking deck behind the left field wall. While this surface lot is decently sized, it tends to fill up quickly. The Carlton Street parking garage is billed as free parking, but make sure to check signs for any parking restrictions. Be forewarned, however, that while parking spots behind left field might appear attractive, they are in a batting practice danger zone, as many home run balls find their way into the parking lot on the fly.

Foley Field has three main entry points: the home plate gates and a gate along the third baseline provide access to the grandstand, while a right field gate leads to a small section of bleacher seating in the Garden Club Terrace. Remember that fans with tickets for outfield seats may find themselves sequestered in that area, which can be restrictive. Additionally, navigating the main concourse can be challenging, as the entry points to the field concourse only extend to the home plate side of each dugout, leading to congestion when accessing seats behind the dugouts or down the left field line.

Overall, while getting to and around Foley Field is not overly difficult, it is just a bit more challenging than might be expected.


Return on Investment   4

Tickets to games at Foley Field offer reasonable pricing – tickets in the right field pavilion start at $5 for non-conference games and $8 for conference games and matchups against rivals like Georgia Tech and Clemson, while seats along the left field line are priced at $20 for conference games. However, grandstand tickets are not readily available directly through UGA, unless purchased as soon as they go on sale in February. The best option for purchasing grandstand tickets would be through the secondary market, but they can be fairly pricey.

Due to the seating limitations at Foley Field, tickets tend to sell out quickly, leaving sections in right field or down the left field line as the only options from the athletic department, if your visit is not planned well in advance.


Extras   3

Georgia does a good job at keeping the traditions of college athletics as the focal point of the experience – while the chants, cheers, and songs are kept at the forefront during all of UGA’s athletic competitions, baseball is no exception. In doing so, this creates a baseball experience that is unique to the college game.

The outfield wall recognizes the on-field success of the Bulldogs throughout the years – included are the Dawgs’ seven SEC championships, six College World Series appearances, and their 1990 National Championship. In addition, the internal concourse looks at the individuals who helped write the history of University of Georgia baseball, from the stories of James “Big Jim” Wheatley and Spurgeon Chandler to the courageous stories of Jonathan Taylor and Chance Veazey.


Final Thoughts

It can be difficult to compare Georgia’s baseball experience to some of the heavyweights of college baseball, simply because the gameday experience at those schools is nearly off the charts. What Georgia lacks when it comes to some of the fan amenities and spaces, however, it makes up for in the beloved traditions of the university that make it so special for alumni and others from around the state.

By the start of the 2025 season, Foley Field’s grandstand will see upgrades along the left field line to include player development facilities, coaches' offices, premium seating, and a revamped entry point – these upgrades should go a long way in helping Georgia baseball catch up with the rest of the conference, which should also help in securing UGA’s spot in national college baseball relevance.

Rendering courtesy of the University of Georgia Athletics

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