Lake Elsinore Diamond – Lake Elsinore Storm
Photos by Andrei Ojeda, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.71
Lake Elsinore Diamond
500 Diamond Dr
Lake Elsinore, CA 92530
Year Opened: 1994 Capacity: 6,066
A Storm By The Lake
The 2018 season will mark the 25th season of The Lake Elsinore Storm.
Prior to becoming the Single-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres in 2001, the California Angels were the parent organization from 1981 to 2000, taking up residency in Palm Springs until the opening of The Diamond in 1994.
Throughout the years The Diamond has served the community well. Aside from hosting the local 9, The Diamond has also been host to the 2015 NCAA Baseball Regional, as well as the 2017 Stadium Super Trucks World Championship Finals and several music festivals, hosting a wide variety of acts from Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, The Beach Boys, A Flock of Seagulls and more!
Food & Beverage 3
Nothing out of the ordinary here with your usual ballpark fare. For those looking to stick with the basics, you can grab yourself a Storm Dog for $5 and for the kids, a kids dog at $3. If you want something other than your basic hot dog, they also do sell Philly Cheesesteaks ($10.50) as well as Italian and Cajun Sausages ($9.75).
Twenty ounces of 7-Up products are reasonably priced ($4.75), and should you want an adult beverage, domestic and premium drafts are also available ($7 – $8).
For the sweet tooth in you, throughout the concourse, Baskin Robbins has a couple of stands as well as a cart offering their usual favorite ice cream in a cone or dish ($5.75), as well as sundaes ($6) and ice cream sandwiches.
There’s a fun atmosphere to be found at The Diamond. Children can be seen playing in the designated play area along the right field side, shagging foul flys on the grass berm to rolling down the berm. Most seats are in a rather uniform seating bowl, with spacious fold down seats and plenty of legroom. There isn’t a bad sight line in the house. The press box and luxury suites are elevated far above the field, so much so that if you aren’t looking, you may not notice them.
The Storm offers not one, but two daily mascots in the form of Thunder and Jackpot. Thunder the dog leads the way, being the self-proclaimed mascot of the year for several seasons. Not to be confused with the Philly Phanatic, he is a member of the “Canis Thunderus” family and has no problem getting the Storm fans on their feet to show their support. Next up is Jackpot. His presence isn’t quite as impactful as Thunder’s as he spends a good amount of time behind the right field scoreboard, making an appearance during a key moment during the game.
One of the nicest things about the neighborhood around The Diamond is the natural scenery, ranging from the Elsinore Mountains to Lake Elsinore, the largest natural lake in Southern California located just a few minutes from The Diamond for the water sports enthusiasts.
If you’re looking for a bite around the yard, In-N-Out is nearby, as well as Coco’s.
One of the more highly recommended restaurants here is Jack’s BBQ Shack, located about 3 miles from The Diamond. Located along the lake, Jack’s BBQ Shack serves up some tasty ribs in a very casual setting with very reasonable prices.
With such a beautiful stadium, fans are likely to be out in good showing nightly. While most fans are at The Diamond for baseball, with a multitude of inflatable games, playground, a berm that they could roll down and Thunder to keep them occupied in a special section of lime green seats behind first base, the younger fans seem to be having the time of their short lives.
There are fans that attend from all over Southern California as well as the locals from nearby wine country. Even with the many baseball fans throughout Southern California, the Storm faithful are out in good numbers, cheering their team on until the final out.
Lake Elsinore is centrally located between San Diego and Los Angeles. The Diamond can be accessed either via the 15 freeway or Route 74. Though The Diamond is not far from the 15 freeway, depending where you will be driving from, you may want to allow yourself extra time to arrive. Southern California traffic, especially if coming from Los Angeles, is unpredictable. The last few times I have come from Los Angeles what would normally be a 1.5 hour drive minus traffic took almost 3 hours so do plan accordingly.
Parking is reasonably priced at $5. Upon entering The Diamond from the parking lot, fans walk through a tree-lined walkway toward the grand entrance behind home plate. Greeting the fans as they enter The Diamond is a brick tower, giving The Diamond a signature touch. As you approach the home plate entrance, you will notice a monument paying tribute to those who have served.
Once inside the stadium, fans walk through a very spacious concourse, perhaps the widest I’ve experienced in all the Single-A yards I’ve seen. The concourse is so wide that should you attend a day game and choose to seek refuge from the summer heat, you could spend an inning or two strolling the concourse, providing plenty of shade and shelter from the sweltering heat without either losing view of the on-field action or yet preventing stoppage to the pedestrian flow.
Return on Investment 4
With prices ranging from $9 for grass berm seating on the right field side to as much as $20, perhaps a bit high for a Single-A game, a day out at The Diamond is still a pretty affordable investment. One option should you come as a party of at least 4 is the Four Tops, located in an elevated section behind both dugouts. The Four Tops, starting at $100 for all 4 fans, come with 4 padded seats along with wait service and a table to place all your food and drinks. The High Tops, located behind home plate, offer bar stool type seating along with a countertop to place your food and drinks as well.
Should you want to take home a souvenir, the team store located just behind the first base side of the concourse offers a pretty vast selection. Apparel with the team’s iconic logo consistently ranks among the top sellers throughout all of minor league baseball.
If you look out toward right field, you will see that the outfield wall is 36 feet high. Yup, the exact height of the Green Monster in Fenway Park, paying homage to the original, adorned with advertisements aplenty.
On the right field side of The Diamond is a children’s playground just outside the physical concourse. In addition, a well-sized grass berm is there for budget-conscious fans who prefer to view the game there atop your favorite beach towel or picnic blanket. Should you plan to view your game here, you may want to beware of kids not so much rolling down the hill at every direction, but you must also be aware of the young ones running about that berm snagging foul balls as well.
One of the biggest draws to The Diamond is the ballparks aesthetic appeal along with its natural surroundings. Over the last several years seating capacity has decreased to create a more intimate and sociable ballpark experience. In speaking with Raj Narayanan, General Manager and Director of Sales for the Lake Elsinore Storm, “We’ve led the league in attendance 7-8 years in a row. It’s great, but we’re not selling out every game. Reducing seats and adding social spaces helps us be at a better capacity throughout the season. When you create less seats and an opportunity for fans to go out and mingle at a game, more fans show up…”. Overall, an experience at The Diamond is one every fan should experience.