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  • Writer's pictureLloyd Brown

Hoglund Ballpark - Kansas Jayhawks




Photos by Lloyd Brown, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.29

Hoglund Ballpark 1651 Naismith Dr Lawrence, KS 66045

Year Opened: 1987 Capacity: 2.500

 

Jayhawks On The Basepaths

The University of Kansas is in Lawrence, Kansas. It has an enrollment of over 27,000 students. The university opened in 1865 and is one of the highest-rated public schools in the country. Kansas is one of the top ten schools in the country for NIH grants and contracts for pharmaceutical research.


The athletic teams at Kansas are known as the Jayhawks. The University of Kansas has one of the oldest collegiate baseball programs in the country, as the school first fielded a team in 1880. During that time, they have been to one college World Series, taken part in five NCAA Tournaments, and won two conference championships. They play in the Big 12 Conference. Some of its most famous baseball alumni are Andy Van Slyke, Terry Sutcliffe, Bob Allison, and Chuck Dobson. Current Philadelphia Phillies manager Rob Thomson is also a KU alum.


Hoglund Ballpark has served as the home of Kansas baseball since 1988. It has a seating capacity of 3,000. The field, including the pitcher’s mound, is covered in Astroturf 3D playing surface. This minimizes the number of game postponements due to the often-unpredictable weather Kansas gets during the early spring part of its schedule. The field dimensions are 330 down the foul lines and 440 to dead center. The ballpark has gone through numerous renovations through the years, with the latest occurring in 2014.


Food and Beverage 3

There are several concession stands serving Hoglund Ballpark, so you should not encounter much of a line between innings or before or after a game. This is good, as the concession stands are located underneath the bleachers in the stadium, where there is no view of the action on the field. The concession booths offer traditional ballpark standards. These include brats, cheeseburgers, pretzels, peanuts, nachos, and hot dogs. Beverages include water and sodas.


While you are not allowed to bring food with you into the stadium, many people choose to tailgate in the large parking lot across the street from the ballpark which is free and open to the public for weekend games only. Many people bring barbecue grills on trailers and cook for large groups of their friends.


Atmosphere 4

Hoglund Ballpark offers a great atmosphere at the Jayhawks baseball games. The stadium features the blue and red team colors throughout the park. The outfield walls are covered with padding that features the school’s name, images of the Jayhawk mascot, and years that the team has gone onto postseason play. There is also a huge Jayhawk mascot logo behind home plate. The stadium also features a 16X28 videoboard in center field that keeps fans updated on the stats for the game.


The seating bowl wraps closely around the infield area of the field. The stands are built above the field level, so you get an excellent view of the action. Reserved seating is located at the front of the grandstand and features seatbacks. All other seats offer bleacher seating.

There is a large area with picnic tables that is available for large groups attending the games. It is often used by little league teams, birthday parties, and family reunions. There is also a play area within the ballpark if the young ones get restless.


The event staff at the Kansas baseball games do a great job of keeping the fans entertained. There are zany contests held at the end of each inning. There is typically some type of giveaway at each game. This can include caps, team pocket schedules, or some item from one of the program’s sponsors. Another nice touch is having a child shadow each one of the players on the field for the National Anthem. This provides a very memorable experience for these children.


Depending on the weather and the schedule, the Jayhawk mascot will roam the stands and lead the cheers or pose for selfies with the fans.


Neighborhood 4

Hoglund Ballpark is located at the southern end of the University campus. Its’ next-door neighbor is the iconic Phog Allen Fieldhouse, home of the Kansas Jayhawks basketball program. Allen Fieldhouse also contains the Booth Family Hall of Fame. This facility provides an overview of the history and notable individuals of all Jayhawk sports teams and is well worth a visit.


The campus is surrounded by the city of Lawrence. It is one of the top college towns in the country. It has a population of more than 90,000 citizens. The university dominates the town both economically and is the largest employer in the city. The campus is built on the highest point in the city, Mount Oread. As a result, the academic buildings on the campus are visible for miles before you arrive in the city.


Most of the restaurant and entertainment offerings are clustered along Massachusetts Street, one of the city’s main thoroughfares. Among the top dining establishments in town are the Merchants Pub and Plate, the Jayhawker BBQ, the Pepperjax Grill, and the Free State Brewing Company. Lawrence is also known for its thriving music and art scene. The Replay Lounge is noted as one of the Top Ten bars and music venues in the country by Esquire magazine.


Fans 3

It’s no secret that basketball rules the Jayhawk roost, with its multiple national titles and always competitive teams. However, Jayhawk baseball fans are extremely loyal. You’ll hear the “Rock Chalk Jayhawk!” cheer frequently during the contests. The fans will also wear some type of blue and red outfits. Visiting fans will find the locals to be very friendly and be glad to share a recommendation of where to eat after a game.


The student attendance at games varies greatly depending on the weather. A nice spring day will fill the student section. However, the colder or wetter game days will result in very low attendance in the student section.

The most well-attended and spirited games are the games featuring Big 12 conference opponents.


Access 3

Getting to a Jayhawks baseball game is relatively easy. Lawrence is just 41 miles southwest of Kansas City via I-70:


Directions: Take I-70 West for 36 miles. Take Exit 202 (West Lawrence/US 59) and go .02 mile. At the roundabout take the second exit to North McDonald Drive. Continue as it becomes South McDonald Drive. Take the left ramp onto South Iowa Street (US 40/ US 59 South). Turn left on West 15th Street then right at Naismith Drive.

Hoglund Ballpark is unusual in that its gates open three hours before the first pitch so that fans can watch batting practice for both teams. However, one hour before the first pitch you will need to return to the entry gate to have your tickets scanned.


There are two entry gates at the ballpark, with one located on each side of the home plate area underneath the stands.


The team store is located at the Rally House trailer park outside the ballpark. This means you will need to purchase any team merchandise before you enter the park.


Return on Investment 4

Going to a Jayhawks baseball game is easy on your wallet. Ticket prices are $15 for reserved seatbacks, $10 for adults, and $8 for youth/seniors. The seatback chairs are at the front of the stands immediately behind home plate. All other seating at Hoglund Ballpark is bleacher seating.


Parking for baseball games is free in the following campus lots: 71,90,125,127. These lots open to baseball parking one hour prior to the first pitch on weekdays and anytime on Fridays, Saturdays Sundays.


Extras 2

One extra must go to being in Lawrence, KS. Most fans and the media agree that it is truly one of the greatest college towns in the country. It is well worth a long weekend visit in order to check out the Kansas campus and enjoy the many entertainment venues down in town.


Another extra goes to the ballpark being next to being located adjacent to the Phog Allen Fieldhouse. The Booth Hall of Fame located in it covers all Jayhawk sports, not just basketball.


Final Thoughts

A trip to Lawrence is something that every college sports fan should do at some time in their life. The campus is beautiful, and the history of the sport is covered in great detail in the Booth Family Hall of Fame. Before or after the game there is always something to check out at the many clubs and music venues down in town.

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