- Eric Hasman
ABC Supply Stadium – Beloit Sky Carp
Photos by Eric Hasman and San MacDonald, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.43
ABC Supply Stadium 217 Shirland Avenue Beloit, WI 53511
Beloit Sky Carp website ABC Supply Stadium website
Year Opened: 2021 Capacity: 3,850
Now I Know My ABCs
The Beloit Snappers spent 40 seasons at Pohlman Field, a stadium that was not up to the minor league standards imposed by MLB during the recent contract. The club broke ground on a new ballpark in the summer of 2020, and construction took just over a year to complete.
The stadium was built for $37 million by ABC Supply, whose chairperson, Diane Hendricks, was instrumental in getting the stadium privately financed. The stadium officially opened late last season and 2022 is the first full season at the park. After the 2021 season, the Snappers changed their name to the Sky Carp. In addition, their major league affiliate changed from Oakland to Miami. The stadium holds 3,850 which is small but makes for great sightlines.
Food & Beverage 5
ABC Supply Stadium has a surprisingly large variety of concessions, with four specialized stands: Pohlman’s Stadium Grub, Wisco on a Stick, Jefe’s Street Tacos, and the Sausage Haus. At the front of each stand, a QRL code is available for scanning which downloads all the concessions menus and you can order your food online.
Pohlman’s Stadium Grub has your ballpark classic food: bratwurst basket ($9), hot dog basket ($8), nachos ($4), and soft pretzels ($4). There is also a kids’ menu here, where you can get a hot dog, popcorn, and 12-oz soda for $2 each.
Wisco on a Stick’s menu includes the Big Wisco basket which is a local beef burger, local brat patty, Wisconsin cheese curds, bacon jam, American cheese, cheddar cheese sauce, and Spotted Cow mustard for $18. In addition, they have a Chicken and Waffle basket for $16, cheese curds ($8), a corn dog basket ($6), and a chicken tender or hamburger basket ($11). For those who crave sweets, this is the place for you as this stand has the Rainbow Funnel Cake Fries ($11) which is funnel cake fries, Fruity Pebbles, rainbow sprinkles, whipped cream, cherries, and rainbow marshmallows. Also, they serve the “Sugar Rush Candy Kabob” which is candy classics on a stick ($6). If you are looking for booze here try the Boozy Shakes. A couple of the recommended ones are the “Frozen Rope,” which contains cookies and cream ice cream, chocolate, and mint liqueur or the “Screwball” chocolate ice cream and peanut butter whiskey. Both are $14.
For those with a hankering for Mexican food, Jefe’s Street Tacos has tacos ($9), beef nachos ($12), a torta basket ($15), Elote cup ($5), and dessert nachos which are crisp wontons, cinnamon apple, butterscotch, caramel drizzle with whipped cream ($9).
Sausage Haus offers an item for all adventurous people out there, the Wild game sausage (Wild boar, bison, wagyu beef, elk) basket for $17. Also, this stand has “Brat-Chos” which is Jack cheese sauce, red cabbage, pickled onion, and brat slices with Spotted Cow mustard (a local beer) for $14. In addition, they have various bratwursts and hot dogs ranging from $8 to $12.
Note: All storefronts include hot dogs, bratwurst, pretzels, and popcorn. In addition, all baskets are served with a side of house-made chips.
On selected dates, there are two additional stands, the Meatball and the Big Philly Cheese Steak. The Meatball has a Cajun chicken meatball sub basket ($15) and a smoked meatball sub basket ($15). The Big Philly has a steak Philly basket ($15) and a mushroom Philly basket ($14).
There are also two temporary concessions set up along the right outfield concourse: Lil Franks BBQ serving ribs, rib tips, beef brisket, chicken, pulled pork, and pork chops. Coco’s has quesadillas ($12) and tamales ($6).
Coca-Cola supplies the beverages with bottled water going for $3 and bottled soda for $4. Fountain drinks come in 20-ounce cups for $4 or 32-ounce souvenir cups for $6.
A full-service bar is along the first baseline known as Deck Deck Goose which is a great play on words. This bar serves various draft domestic beers ($7), craft beers (Goose Island, Fowl Pole Golden Ale, Spotted Cow for $8) and mixed drinks. Cans of beer are $7; as are seltzers. My favorite drink is the frozen Old Fashion for $10. Hard liquor is $10 for a single, $15 for a double, and $20 for a mason jar. There is plenty of seating and a good view of the game from the bar.
There are plenty of domestic and craft beer options in the park. Smaller 16-ounce cups of typical domestic beer are $6 while 22-ounces are $10, add a buck for craft options. One stand has 12 taps that include Labatt Blue, Coors Light, and Bud Light, along with local options from New Glarus and Potosi. Seltzer cans are also available for $6, while Tito’s Lemonade is $10.
The playing field is field turf for the grass areas but actual dirt for the infield and pitchers mound. This is highly unusual. The turf allows the field to be used for other events such as concerts.
ABC Supply Stadium is constructed of brick and has an old time feel from the outside. The stadium is adjacent to the Rock River on the third base side. Foul balls on the left field side can go into the river. I saw some kids leave the stadium and go into the river to retrieve a few. In addition, the stadium sits on the north side of Shirland Avenue, part of which is also the border between Wisconsin and Illinois. The Riverbend District and just a short walk from downtown.
Photo by Eric Hasman, Stadium Journey
Once in the park, it is really nice. It has wide concourses, and you can walk around the entire field. There are plenty of places to stand to watch the game / socialize that have drink rails. One bad thing is there is no roof or coverage in the ballpark. So if it rains you will have to try and find a spot inside and for really sunny days bring some sunscreen.
The front of the building is long and has several archways with windows behind. The box office is on the left side of the building in an archway of its own. It is quite an impressive sight, particularly for a ballpark at this level, so make sure to walk around to the front if you are approaching from downtown.
At the end of the night, there were a ton of tiny gnats or some tiny flying insects which got into my drink and buzzed around my head. Not sure if the team could put in bug zappers or some temporary repellant during the game but this would be a good idea.
Typical green seats make up the bowl from first to third base, all seats have cup holders. There are two seating areas on the upper level. The first is the suite, which is for a group of up to 50 and is the only suite in the ballpark. The club is on the other side and requires a club ticket to get in. This comes with free food and a private bar and includes a balcony to watch the game.
There is a small artificial turf berm (I have not seen that before) in front of a party deck down the left field line. The scoreboard is in left field. It’s not too big or fancy but it is functional. It shows the basic stats and not much more.
The most iconic feature is the white water tower behind the right field. I hope in the future that the city puts the Sky Carp logo on it. This makes any photo from the stadium instantly recognizable. The bullpens are in left field and offer the chance to take photos of your favorite up-and-coming minor league relievers. You can walk around the entire concourse, and there is a center field gate that is closest to downtown and makes for easy entry and exit.
The berm also comes with protective netting, making it a perfect place for kids to play while the parents keep watch from a table above. There is also a small kids zone in this area, though I saw few kids in the ballpark that night. The game day experience is enhanced by Brett, a host who keeps things lively during the inning breaks and promotions.
Sadly, there was no mention of the team’s history within the ballpark that I saw. Hopefully, the plaque that was in Pohlman Field of former Beloit players that made to the show will be added to the park sometime in the future.
The new Sky Carp mascot has not been “born” yet but Snappy the former Beloit Snappers mascot is still on hand for the kids.
Beloit is not a big city, with a population under 40,000 (about 163,000 in the metro area that includes Janesville); however, it still has a historic and attractive downtown area just a couple of blocks from the stadium. Several bars and restaurants including Lucy’s #7 Burger Bar and Hatley’s Pub are across the street; these are great options when in town.
CheezHead Brewing is just around the corner on Pleasant Street. The Beloit Beer Trail includes six bars and is worth exploring if you are in town for a couple of days; drink a beer at each bar, and you will receive a t-shirt.
There are a couple of local hotels downtown, with the Ironworks and Goodwin both receiving excellent reviews. If you are more of a fan of familiar lodging, you will have to head a few miles northeast to where I-43 begins, there you will find options from all of the major hotel chains.
History buffs will be pleased to see a sign commemorating Abraham Lincoln’s speech at Hanchett Hall in October 1859. It is located on State Street at the corner of Broad and is midway between downtown and the ballpark.
If interested in more baseball during your visit to Beloit there is plenty of places to visit. The Rockford Rivets (Northwoods League) Stadium is 16 miles south in Loves Park, Illinois. The Madison Mallards (Northwoods League), plays at Warner Park in Madison, Wisconsin, about 60 miles north of Beloit. The Milwaukee Milkmen and the Lake Country Dockhounds of the American Association are about 60 miles to the northwest of Beloit.
While the Sky Carp aren’t selling out games, I think the attendance should increase as the days go on. The night I attended there were over 2,000 fans in the stands.
I hope this trend of good attendance continues. Like many minor league parks, there are a lot of families. Of course, there are the die hards and people going just to socialize too. Everyone I talked to was extremely nice and/or helpful. Not everyone is paying attention to the game all the time so thanks to the netting for protecting them
Beloit is just off I-90, about 90 minutes northwest of Chicago and an easy drive. If you are flying into O’Hare, you can take a Van Galder bus ($30 one way) to South Beloit and then grab a taxi or rideshare into town. During the pandemic, that might be cheaper than a rental car due to pricing and availability.
Most fans make use of the free parking outside the center field gate, which is also closest to downtown. There are other lots on the south side of the stadium, and if you are eating downtown, you should be able to leave your car there. Inside, there are no problems with crowds, because so few fans showed up. It is very relaxed, and you can sit where you want for the most part.
Return on Investment 4
There are three seating areas, starting with the reserved seats in two sections past the bases. Box seats are above the dugouts and the top rows behind the plate, while the home plate box consists of the first few rows in the three sections behind the plate.
The tickets are a bit pricey for High A ball. Home plate box seats start at $17, while the other box seats are $13, with reserved seats $10 for a weekday game if bought in advance. If you buy your tickets on game day add $2.
Note: Friday and Saturday games are $2 more than weekday games.
What I don’t like is that there are no paper tickets for those of us who like to keep stubs. The ticketing system stinks if you’re buying tickets at the gate. You pay for the tickets then they E-mail the tickets to you. This system is time-consuming and difficult especially if don’t have a smartphone, which the two people I went with don’t.
The gift shop is good sized and has a good selection of jerseys, hats, t-shirts, sweatshirts, etc. Prices are fairly reasonable.
Each game the Sky Carp have a veteran raising the flag during the national anthem. As well, all vets get free popcorn and soda.
At the guest booth, the Sky Carp have free “my first game” buttons as well as magnetic schedules and programs.
It is fun to see kids wade in the Rock River to get some foul balls.
ABC Supply Stadium is a great place to see a baseball game and should not be missed. Be prepared to be bothered by gnats at the end of the night. Lastly, while you are in Beloit if you need gas, load up there since gas is a lot cheaper in Wisconsin than in Illinois.