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Carilion Clinic Field at Salem Memorial Ballpark - Salem Red Sox


Photos by Lloyd Brown, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.71

Carilion Clinic Field 1004 Texas St Salem, VA 24153

Salem Red Sox website Carilion Clinic Field website

Year Opened: 1995 Capacity: 5,503

 

Salem’s Sox

Salem. Virginia has a long history of baseball going back to 1939. It has gone through a number of major league affiliations over the years, and since 2009 has been an affiliate of the Boston Red Sox. The team plays at the Class A level of minor league baseball in the Carolina League. Since 1995, the team has called Salem Memorial Ballpark its home field. T


The 6,300-seat stadium is part of the Taliaferro Sports and Entertainment Complex in downtown Salem. The stadium has gone through numerous upgrades through the years to keep it current with the many amenities fans have come to expect. One feature that is impossible to improve upon is its beautiful views of the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains.


Note: The stadium name changed to Carilion Clinic Field in April, 2022


Food & Beverage 4


Salem Memorial Ballpark has two general baseball fare concession stands, a stand specializing in chicken dishes, another deli-based stand, a full-service restaurant, two beverage express stations and a Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream stand.


The main concession stands are positioned around the seating bowl at the concourse level allowing you to see the game while making your purchases. These stands offer hot dogs ($4), corn dogs ($4.75), nachos ($5), pretzels ($4), cracker jacks ($4), popcorn ($5), peanuts ($4) and candy ($3). Fowl Territory offers several chicken-based options including grilled chicken sandwiches ($8.75), hot wings ($8.75) and chicken tenders ($6). The deli-based Swine Drive Deli Dawgs stand features 12 inch Deli Dawgs ($9), sausages ($6.50), kielbasa ($6.50) and Mac N Cheese Deli Dawgs ($8.75). Two concessions are located on the exterior concourse. The Texas Street Grill offers more upscale options such as steak or chicken quesadillas ($12), smoked sausages ($6.50), Italian sausages ($6.50) and a number of gourmet burgers ($12). Also, since the Salem Red Sox are a Boston affiliate, they have brought in the New England-based Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Stand.


Beverages available at Salem Memorial Ballpark include Coca-Cola brand 32 ounce fountain sodas ($5), bottled water ($4) and iced tea ($4). Adult beverages include 20 ounce draft beers ($6.25) or domestic 16 ounce cans ($5). Premium beers including Yuengling, Fat Tire, Angry Orchard, Parkway, Sam Adams and Beale’s are also available ($7.75). Wine is available for $6.


Atmosphere 3


Salem Memorial Ballpark is one of the larger stadiums in the Carolina League. The seating bowl is broken up into two sections…. below the concourse level and above the concourse level. There really isn’t an upper deck and the sight lines of the field are great no matter where you sit. All seating in the stadium is in individual chair back seats.


Unlike many of the other Red Sox affiliated stadiums, there is no mimicking of the Green Monster, as the Memorial Stadium was built in 1995. One of the best features of the stadium is its orientation facing out towards an unobstructed view of the Blue Ridge Mountains over the right field wall. In addition to the main seating bowl, the stadium has 10 luxury boxes and four party suites, some of which can be reserved on a nightly basis. Since moving into Salem Memorial Ballpark, the Red Sox have won one Carolina League championship and two Divisional titles.


Unfortunately, in recent years the Salem Sox have finished in the middle or bottom of the Carolina League standings. This has caused attendance to drop, which can leave a big stadium like Salem Memorial feel emptier. The team store is located down the third base line. It offers an excellent selection of Red Sox merchandise.


Neighborhood 4


Salem is an independent city of 25,000 located 15 miles south of Roanoke in southwestern Virginia. It is known as “Virginia’s Championship City.” In addition to the Red Sox, the city has played host to the Division III Football Championship for more than 15 years and has also served as the National Championship site for the NCAA Division III in the sports of men’s basketball, volleyball and softball. Salem High School has won nine Virginia state football championships since 1996. Salem Memorial Stadium is located at ground zero for all these games within the city’s Taliaferro Sports Complex.


The immediate area around the stadium is dedicated to the football stadium, the Salem Civic Center and the Performing Arts Center. Downtown Salem is located approximately 2 miles from the Sports Complex. As you would expect of a city which hosts multiple sports championships, there are a wide variety of dining, entertainment and lodging options located in the area. Two dining options you might want to consider are the All sports Café and the Parkway Brewing Company.


The Salem Museum provides a look at the history of the city back to Colonial times. Dixie Caverns provide a stunning look at what lies beneath the nearby Blue Ridge mountains. Lodging options close to Salem Memorial Ballpark include the Comfort Suites and the Days Inn Salem.


Fans 3


Baseball has been a part of life in the greater Salem/Roanoke area for a long time. Two stadiums preceded Salem Memorial and so there are deep roots between the team and its fans. It is not unusual to see three generations of a family attending a game together.


The Red Sox do an excellent job in making the games a fan friendly experience. During breaks in the action there is always a skit or a contest involving the fans. Adding to the fun are the antics of Mugs, the team’s lovable canine mascot.


The Red Sox fan base comes from a large section of southwestern Virginia. This includes the relatively large city of Roanoke, which lies about 10 miles north of Salem. The only real competition for fan loyalty would be the Rookie level Appalachian League teams. These teams play a much shorter season than the Carolina League. The Red Sox fans really turn it up a notch when the visiting team is the Lynchburg Wildcats, their biggest rival.


Access 4


The city of Salem and Salem Memorial Ballpark can be easily accessed via I-81. Take the Salem exit (exit 141) towards Salem on Route 419. As you enter the town go four red lights, then bear right onto Texas Street (Alternate 460/11). Continue on Texas Street until you reach the Taliaferro Sports and Entertainment Complex, which will be on your left. The ballpark is located just behind the Civic Center building. Parking is adjacent to the stadium and is free of charge.


Once inside you will find the stadium very easy to navigate. The concourses are wide, allowing a good flow of fans between innings and before and after the games. Seating is very comfortable, with wider than normal seats and good legroom.


Return on Investment 4


The Red Sox offer three levels of tickets: 1) The Strike Zone tickets are located behind home plate and between the dugouts on the lower level. These tickets are $12. 2) Reserved level tickets are for seating beyond the dugouts and below the concourse and retail for $10. 3) The General Admission tickets are priced at $8 and includes all seating above the concourse. A $2 discount on all price levels is offered for tickets sold more than a day in advance of the game. Parking at Salem Memorial Ballpark is free of charge. Concessions tend to be more expensive than other parks at the Class A level.


Extras 4


The views of the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains are certainly an extra. The stadium offers a Mini-Fenway for children to enjoy. It is a scale model of Fenway Park, including the Green Monster. Children can play wiffle ball in this miniature park as it fits Wiffle Ball Tournament standards. In addition to the Red Sox games, Salem Memorial Ballpark has hosted the 2003 and 2004 ACC Baseball Tournament and the Carolina League / California League All Star game twice.


The word “Memorial” in the stadium’s name is not taken lightly. When the stadium was built the city council unanimously voted for it to be in memory of local citizens who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. A Veterans memorial is located just to the left of the main gate into the park. During each game a local service member is recognized during a break in the action. There is also a seat dedicated to MIA’s from all wars. No one is allowed to sit in this seat.


Final Thoughts


Salem Memorial Ballpark is a vital component in the sports infrastructure of Salem. It provides one of the largest stadiums and the best views of nature in the Carolina League. It provides quality baseball at a reasonable price and offers a larger concessions menu than is usually found at this level of competition.


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