Photos by Michael Davis, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.00
Hi Corbett Field
3400 E. Camino Campestre
Tucson, AZ 85716
Year Opened: 1937
Hi Corbett Field was built in 1927 and originally named Randolph Municipal Baseball Park. For the past decade Hi Corbett Field, with a seating capacity of 9,500, has been home to the University of Arizona Wildcats baseball team. The team moved 3 miles southeast of campus before their 2012 National Championship season. Originally it was planned as a short-term deal, but with some renovations the team has settled in as the main tenant.
The Ballpark’s current moniker came from Arizona’s State Senator Hiram Stevens Corbett in 1951 – Senator Corbett was the key player in bringing the Cleveland Indians spring training facilities from Florida to the Tucson area. The ballpark served the MLB for over seven decades, hosting spring training for the Cleveland Indians (1947-1992) and the Colorado Rockies (1993-2010). Outside of the MLB, Hi Corbett Field has played host to several professional baseball teams, including the Tucson Toros, Lizards, Javelinas, and Cowboys. It was also the headquarters for USA baseball from 1997-2003.
Hi Corbett Field is in central Tucson, located within the Gene C. Reid Park area; the Reid Park Zoo is located just beyond the left field fence, while behind the third base line there are two golf holes, each one belonging to a different 18-hole golf course, one being the Randolph North Golf Course and the other being the Dell Urich Golf Course. The stadium was also was used in the Hollywood movie Major League, since the Indians were the spring training occupant at the time and had the signage – the extras used in the movie were current (at the time) University of Arizona baseball players.
Food & Beverage 3
The concessions are all along the concourse behind the seating area, with larger concessions stands on each side of the baselines, another one behind home plate, and a couple of small stands. One stand to be on the lookout for is Sir Veza’s Kitchen & Kantina serving Mexican food, namely burritos and nachos – all dishes here are around $10. My suggestion at this stand would be the local flavor of Tucson, the Sirnoran Dog, consisting of an Applewood bacon-wrapped hot dog topped with charro beans, musar, mayo, jalapeno salsa, and tomatoes, served with chips and si charroi salsa for $10. Another great option is the small pizza stand called The Pie Spot.
The other two concession stands offer hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken tenders, peanuts, popcorn, nachos, candy, and pretzels. Prices are typical ballpark fares, as 2 souvenir-cup drinks, peanuts, and a hot dog cost me $30. There are combos available which include fries that save a couple dollars on pricing, but the best thing is to eat before the game, or look for special deals that may occur throughout the season.
The soda beverages served at Hi Corbett Field are Coca-Cola products; these range from $5 to $9 depending on the size of the cup. There is also a decent selection of alcohol products ranging from $12 to $15, depending on size and if it is considered a premium beer.
The atmosphere at Hi Corbett Field is a wonderful experience for PAC-12 baseball, inside a top-level ballpark. The University of Arizona, being the main sports attraction in Tucson, has become a program that the whole area can get behind and support. Hi Corbett Field has transformed over the years, but everything about it says, ‘Home to the Arizona Wildcats’.
Which side of the ballpark you chose to sit on will change your experience of the ballpark – the seats on the 3rd base side allow fans to see the beautiful Tucson sunsets. Tucson’s sunsets are Sonoran Desert sunsets, which are different from other sunsets; the colors are just surreal. The ballpark also has palm trees providing a vacation type feel. Note that for shade during day games, look to sit under the covering behind home plate below the press box.
The field has artificial turf right behind home plate, which is only right behind the plate – the rest of the field is natural grass. The outfield wall is doubled and has a red line across the middle, to indicate if the ball would have gone over for a home run. All the seats are regular seats except for the metal bleacher seats farther down each baseline, but unless it is a very crowded day, general admission will get you a regular seat along the infield baselines. The Wildcats’ dugout and bullpen are on the first base side, with visitors on the third base side.
Arizona fans are loyal, loud, and proud. The 3K Wildcats fans that usually attend enjoy their baseball and are active in voicing their likes and dislikes throughout the game. The game itself is typical of other college, minor league, or MLB games, with music and entertainment; the University of Arizona and their baseball fans have truly found a wonderful game day atmosphere for anyone attending a game at Hi Corbett Field.
In the immediate area of Hi Corbett are two 18-hole golf courses, Reid Park, and Reid Park Zoo. This gives visitors from out of town a lot of options if they are there with family, or looking to get out of the chilly weather and play a little golf before taking in a baseball game.
Across the street from the park on East Broadway is El Con Mall, which has several food options including In-N-Out Burger, Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, and one of my favorites, Portillo’s Tucson. Portillo’s is originally a Chicago establishment that specializes in Chicago-style hot dogs and Italian Beef sandwiches. For those who like sushi, Sushi Garden Restaurant is nearby at the corner of Broadway and Country Club, and besides these there are plenty of other restaurants around Tucson to satisfy your food cravings.
The closest lodging to Hi Corbett Field is on Alvernon Way, just east of the stadium opposite the golf courses, is DoubleTree by Hilton. Just like restaurants, however, there is plenty of other lodging around Tucson, especially if are looking for resort-type lodging.
Arizona averages over 3,000 people per game, which is in the top portion of the PAC-12. The Friday and Saturday games are the most popular, as the attendance is over 3,000 fans each, including several games of 5,000+, depending on the opponent. Fans are very into the games and are a great home crowd for the Wildcats. They are loud, yet respectful, even though they heckle the other team constantly during the game. They also give praise when the opponents make a good play. Overall, they are a good, fun baseball crowd making the experience enjoyable.
Hi Corbett Field is about 8 miles from Tucson International Airport. The ballpark, a few miles from downtown Tucson, is situated in Reid Park by the Reid Park Zoo. The traffic can be a little slow going through the park, but otherwise it is easy to drive. Friday and Tuesday games may take a little longer as those games start at 6 pm, and the Tucson evening commute can be slow in the area around the park.
Free Parking is plentiful at Hi Corbett Field, available in the parking lots the stadium itself, Reid Park Zoo, and Lakeshore Lane; parallel parking is also available along the south side of Camino Campestre. There is handicap seating near each dugout, with large concourses, so the handicap area is very accessible for fans.
Overall, the ballpark’s wide-open concourses, easy entrance, and free parking make getting to Hi Corbett Field a painless experience.
Return on Investment 4
Tickets cost anywhere from $5 to $12 depending on which seating area you choose, whether you are Senior, Youth, or Military, as well as on the time of purchase. There are two types of seating, Reserved and General Admission – general admission tickets are $8 for adults. I would suggest buying a GA ticket, as most of the ballpark seating is GA; the GA seats around the infield have backs, while the GA bench seating is along the outfield lines.
Ticket prices are two more dollars on the day of, compared to buying in advance. The food prices are the typical stadium prices that you would expect, which is disappointing for a college baseball game. However, parking is free and plentiful here, which adds to the investment value.
Hi Corbett Field has stood the test of time, opening in 1927 and after five renovations, is one of the premiere ballparks in the PAC-12 Conference. The history of Hi Corbett Field, shown behind home plate, links the past to the present, from MLB Hall of Famers that played here to the University of Arizona baseball teams that have brought home the hardware to Tucson. The program’s rich history is shown in right-center with the number of tournament appearances (41), CWS appearances (18), and National Championships (4).
The free parking in a scenic park area is a plus, as are the wide concourses that easily move fans to their seats, to the concessions, and to the restrooms. 3K fans per game continue to support the Arizona baseball program, keeping Hi Corbett Field in operation even without the MLB using it as a spring training facility anymore. Of course, the weather and scenic sunsets of Tucson, Arizona all give extra reasons to attend a game at Hi Corbett Field.
Hi Corbett Field is a college baseball gem – the University of Arizona made a wonderful choice in moving their baseball program just a few miles from campus. This ballpark is top tier and in a comfortable setting, with easy access to games. Arizona Wildcats’ baseball game is a great way to spend a night while visiting Tucson.