Medlar Field at Lubrano Park – State College Spikes
Photos by Gregory Koch, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.57
Medlar Field at Lubrano Park 701 Porter Rd State College, PA 16802
Year Opened: 2006
Deer Old State College Spikes Baseball
Located on the Penn State University campus in State College, Pennsylvania, Medlar Field at Lubrano Park is home to the State College Spikes baseball team as well as that of Penn State. The Spikes are a former New York-Penn League team, but when that was contracted following the 2020 season, they transferred to the newly-formed MLB Draft League, a summer league consisting of prospects for the upcoming MLB Draft.
The stadium opened in 2006, seats approximately 5,600, and offers picturesque views of Mount Nittany beyond the outfield fence. It is named after two former members of the Penn State baseball program, longtime coach Charles "Chuck" Medlar and player Anthony Lubrano. The team name alludes to the white-tailed deer, for whom a "spike" is an undeveloped antler.
Food & Beverage 5
Medlar Field at Lubrano Park has a wide range of concession items at numerous stands scattered throughout the concourse. The Flash Point Grille sells the usual things such as burgers, chicken tenders, hot dogs, and pizza. There are also numerous specialty stands selling everything from walking tacos to cheesesteaks to cinnamon-roasted nuts and more.
Burgertopia, down the right field line, sells several specialty burgers, while a barbecue stand down the left field line offers pulled pork and brisket sandwiches and platters, the latter of which comes with cornbread, mac and cheese, and cole slaw. Despite being on a college campus, beer is available here to those of age. Just be sure to pick up a wristband first.
Despite losing its affiliated minor league status, a trip to a Spikes game still very much feels like minor league ball. A concourse runs from right field to left field with the field visible from anywhere on it. All seats are chairbacks with a good view of the action.
The public address announcer is passionate and constantly attempts to get the fans involved. There are frequent between-inning contests on the field, including the dizzy bat race and knocker ball, where two contestants in giant inflatable balls will try to knock each other over.
Music and other sound effects are almost constantly playing over the PA system, not just between batters but between pitches as well. However, this seems to keep the fans engaged as they will often use this opportunity to shout "Baseball" together.
Penn State is located in State College, and as the name would imply is a classic college town. If looking for a place to eat or hang out, your best bet is to head downtown to College Avenue where you will find several restaurants and bars. Fans with a sweet tooth may also want to check out the Berkey Creamery on the Penn State Campus, a short walk or drive from the stadium.
State College draws a couple of thousand fans a game, which is decent attendance, particularly when you consider this is a college town in the summer. The fans in attendance are passionate and frequently shout "Baseball!" after sound effects like fans in other places will shout "Charge!".
They are engaged and not afraid to get on the umpire's case if they feel a call went against them. However, their passion is proportionate to their incentive. They were by far the loudest and most boisterous when a designated visiting player came up to bat - if he strikes out, everyone in attendance receives free Big Macs. The fans rooted for this to happen all night when we were there, and when it finally did, they were the loudest they'd been all game even though half of them had already gone home.
Medlar Field at Lubrano Park is on the Penn State campus at the intersection of I-99 and US 322. Once you get on campus, parking is available in a large lot across from the stadium, surrounded on two other sides by the Bryce Jordan Center, home of Penn State basketball, and Beaver Stadium, home of Penn State football. Parking is $5, and signs direct fans to the proper entrance.
The concourses at the stadium are wide and allow plenty of space for fans to move around. Multiple sets of restrooms are available, including family restrooms. Fans should not encounter a wait for these.
Wheelchair-accessible seating, including companion seats, is available at the top of the concourse.
Return on Investment 4
Tickets start at $8 and go up to $14 as you get closer to home plate. Concessions are affordable, and as mentioned above, parking is $5. The team also offers ways to increase this value further, such as 4 for $44 Fridays, where fans can get four tickets, four hot dogs, and four sodas for only $44, a 50% cost savings. Even if you can't take advantage of this, a visit to a Spikes game is an affordable way of watching a baseball game and offers great value.
One star for the gorgeous view of Mount Nittany beyond the outfield fence.
There is a Kids Zone down the left field line.
A third and final star for a unique mascot tradition, the Rally Rooster. If the Spikes are losing heading into the bottom of the ninth inning, a hype video welcoming the Rally Rooster and featuring the caw of the rooster will be played on the scoreboard. Meanwhile, a rather creepy-looking costumed rooster will run out onto the field to pump up the crowd, then enter the stands to continue engaging with them as the Spikes try to rally to victory. Every batter that inning will be preceded by a caw in addition to the usual walk-up music.
Although the State College Spikes are no longer an affiliated minor league team, a trip to Medlar Field at Lubrano Park is still a minor-league carnival atmosphere. From the action on the field to hanging out with Ike and the Rally Rooster to the smell of roasting nuts and sizzling cheesesteaks, baseball fans of all ages are sure to have a good time at a Spikes game.