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  • Jason Bartel

MacGregor Park - Texas Southern Tigers


Photo by Jason Bartel, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.14

MacGregor Park 5225 Calhoun Houston, TX 77021

Year Opened: 1925 Capacity:

 

Tiger Baseball by the Bayou

A member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), Texas Southern baseball is finding success despite playing their games in a city park. MacGregor Park is a no-frills college baseball experience, but is also home to a team that won the SWAC in 2015 and 2017, sending the Tigers to Regional play in each of those seasons. So even though it may not be a high-end fan experience, the baseball is still quite enjoyable.

Located in Southeast Houston, MacGregor Park is a quiet little area nestled in next to Brays Bayou. If you’re looking to go to a park and catch a little NCAA baseball at the same time, this is the perfect place to do so.

Food & Beverage 0

This is a bring-your-own-food-and-beverage experience. There are picnic tables in the park that you can set up and enjoy a meal on, or you can just bring whatever you want with you into the bleachers. There is no security so as long as you’re abiding by City of Houston rules; otherwise you’re good.


Atmosphere 2

There’s something about being able to hear every little conversation happening around you that makes baseball like this so entertaining. Add to that having the ping of the bat right in your face, plus getting to listen to the players and coaches throughout the game, and you have yourself a pretty unique experience.

The whole experience can really remind you of a quaint Little League game. The chain link backstop and baseline fences are lined with wooden bleachers, and there are two small speakers attached to a microphone and computer for your in-game entertainment. No shade, no amenities, just you and the baseball.

There are songs played on the speakers, and the Texas Southern players have walk-up songs, so it’s not like it’s totally silent at MacGregor Park. There are sometimes even in-game bingo contests going on, so you can find some side activities to fill the dead time.

My recommendation is to either bring your own chair and sit somewhere down the foul line, or bring a pad of some sort and sit anywhere in the bleachers. There is no real advantage to sitting in any particular spot.


Neighborhood 2

There’s not a lot happening in the immediate area around MacGregor Park, but you aren’t too far away from the University of Houston, where you’ll be able to find more. Also downtown Houston is only about a ten minute drive away, as well as the Medical and Museum Districts.

If you’re looking for something to eat that’s close, you’re probably going to want to check out Ray’s BBQ Shack. It’s just a block away from MacGregor Park, and is a very good food option to either eat in or pick up and take to the game with you. Alternatively, The Address is a very popular bar located on Old Spanish Trail right next to Highway 288, about five minutes from the park.

A short drive away from MacGregor Park is the University of Houston’s main campus, with the actual Texas Southern University campus just a little bit further away from the ballpark. But if you’re looking to make a day of it, you’re probably better off going across 288 to the Museum District. Here you’ll find 19 different museums, so there’s something for everyone. You can also visit the Houston Zoo in this area, or downtown Houston is just another ten minutes or so drive north.

Old Spanish Trail, which is the main road that goes to MacGregor Park, eventually makes its way near NRG Stadium, home of the Houston Texans, so there are plenty of hotels that are several miles away on this particular road. But if you want something a little bit closer and a little bit cheaper, there are Mainstay Suites, Econo Lodge, and Summit Inn, all located at Old Spanish Trail and Hwy 288.

Fans 3

With this particular crowd, there’s not many people here that aren’t either friends or family of the players. But this also makes the small number of fans at these games passionate, and gives a very family feel to the game. Not to mention the actual family picnics happening and players making their way out to the cars in between innings.


Access 4

It’s very easy to get to this stadium, and the entirety of MacGregor Park offers plenty of free parking for those wishing to attend the game. Just be aware that if you park too close to home plate you might have your windshield smashed by a foul ball.

If you don’t want to drive, there are also METRO bus stops all around the park. It’s best to use their website to plan out how to do that in a timely fashion.


Return on Investment 3

There are no tickets. Free general admission and no security lines means you can bring your food with you, or if you need to do work you can even set up a laptop. And with the bleachers just sitting around behind the backstop, moving around is very easy if you’re wanting to get a different vantage point during the game.

It’s free, and you can bring your own food, all while watching Division-1 college baseball. So there’s certainly nothing to complain about on the price of attending Texas Southern baseball games. And if you’re okay with the wood bleachers or can bring your own chair, then you’re certainly going to be fine here.

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Extras 1

I’m going to give an extra to the porta-potty sitting out in the park behind the dugout that serves as the players’ only bathroom choice during a game – it’s certainly unique.


Final Thoughts

MacGregor Park is not the place to go if you’re expecting luxury or want a unique baseball experience – this is a place you go if you want the simplicity of baseball while being located just minutes from the center of one of the biggest cities in the country. There’s a certain charm to it, but don’t come without being prepared.




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