Photos by Richard Smith, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.43
Gallaudet Softball Complex
800 Florida Ave NE Washington, DC 20002
Year Opened: 2012
Lady Bisons of DC
Gallaudet University is a federally-chartered private university for the education of the Deaf and hard of hearing located in Washington, D.C. The school is named for Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, a pioneer in the education of the deaf.
Founded in 1864, Gallaudet University was originally a grammar school for both deaf and blind children. In 1954 the school became Gallaudet College and in 1986 it was renamed Gallaudet University. The physical campus is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The most popular majors at Gallaudet University are business, visual and performing arts, communication studies, physical education, and psychology.
The Bison are a member of the North Eastern Athletic Conference (except for the football program which plays in the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference) and play at the Division III level.
The Gallaudet Softball Complex opened on March 18, 2011 against D.C. rival Catholic University. Dugouts were added in 2014 and permanent seating in 2017. Lights and a press box are planned future additions.
Food & Beverage 1
There are no permanent food options at the softball complex. It looks like a potential concession stand is on design plans. Until any potential upgrade, there is a table setup and a grill for small food offerings. The table may only be there when a baseball game is going at the neighboring baseball field and/or on weekend games. The prices are reasonable.
This a pretty simple small college softball field. A small metal bleacher sits right behind the home plate and protective screen.
There is a very simple scoreboard located in right center. There is not much else in terms of atmosphere.
The university’s baseball field, Hoy Field, is located just a few feet away. If you are lucky, both teams will be in action so you can go from one game to another quickly.
The Kendall Demonstration Elementary School, a day school serving deaf and hard of hearing students from birth through grade 8, is located right behind the right center field fence of Hoy Field.
The wonderful Union Market is located next to the university campus, although on the opposite end from Hoy Field. The market is worth a stop. The 1930s Union Terminal Market has been renovated into a gourmet food hall with numerous local vendors selling a variety of food products. Favorites of mine are Buffalo & Bergen, DC Empanadas, Peregrine Espresso and TaKorean’s Korean Tacos.
Besides Union Market there is very little to do in the immediate neighborhood of Gallaudet University. Be careful driving around before or after the game as there are some dangerous neighborhoods in the area, although many are gentrifying quickly.
Not too far away is a stellar cocktail bar, Smith Commons, located in the Atlas Arts District. The dizzying array of complicated drinks will amaze you.
And did I mention you are right in the middle of Washington, DC? The amount of attractions, museums, restaurants and other sights are astounding. Spend some time pre or postgame seeing the many things around this great city.
Many of the school’s fans are deaf. But this does not mean that they are quiet. Fans of the university can be boisterous and are proud of their school just like at any other university.
Other fans at the Galluadet Softball Complex tend to primarily be family or friends of the players. You may see an inconsistent level of fan interaction.
For weekend games there should be plenty of parking near the Kendall Demonstration Elementary School. Weekday games will take a bit more planning as you will have to find spaces that are open to visitors.
The closest Metro station is the NoMa-Gallaudet U New York Ave Station. A few years ago I would not have recommended walking the short distance between the station and campus, but the safety of the area has improved dramatically. One should still use a good amount of caution and use common sense.
The biggest problem with using the Metro, is the system itself. The Metro is frustratingly overpriced compared to systems in other cities. But it really does get you to nearly all parts of the city, except for Georgetown. Just be careful on weekends when trains run less often or are in single track mode, as you may encounter some extended wait times. The system is having maintenance, mechanical and money issues so expect delays and other issues at all times. It is unfortunate, but way too true.
Return on Investment 3
The price, free, is certainly reasonable. And you will probably not have to pay for parking. So, the value is certainly good.
The Division III level of softball is not especially high, but the school’s conference has a nice variety of opponents.
The grounds of the university are on the National Register of Historic Places. Take some time to check out the university facilities. Parts of the campus are also on the District of Columbia Inventory of Historic Sites and Historic American Buildings Survey.
The Kendall Demonstration Elementary School has a very interesting statue located in front of their main building. Since it is next to the campus, one should check in and look at this large piece of art.
The baseball and softball fields also share space with the school’s football and track stadium. The field is very nice and often hosts local recreating soccer games.
The Gallaudet Softball Complex is a pretty simple softball stadium. But the low cost of attendance means that this is a good value for the fan.