- Lloyd Brown
Mike Martin Field at Dick Howser Stadium - Florida State Seminoles
Photos by Lloyd Brown, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.57
Mike Martin Field At Dick Howser Stadium
20 Spirit Way
Tallahassee, FL 32304
Florida State Seminoles website
Mike Martin Field At Dick Howser Stadium website
Year Opened: 1983
Howser’s That for a Great Stadium?
The FSU baseball program is one of the top three programs in NCAA history. Since fielding their first team, the Seminoles have made 55 appearances in the NCAA Tournament and made 22 trips to the College World Series. They have appeared in three NCAA CWS Finals, losing all three. This makes them the most successful NCAA team that has never won a National Championship. At the conference level the team has won 11 ACC season championships and 19 ACC Tournaments. The Seminole have sent more than 70 players on to the MLB, including Buster Posey, Deion Sanders, Eduardo Perez and J.D. Drew. Future MLB managers Dick Howser, Chuck Tanner and Terry Kennedy also played at the school.
A majority of this history has taken place at Mike Martin Field at Dick Howser Stadium. The stadium opened in 1983 and was first known as Seminole Field. In 1988 the stadium was named in honor of Dick Howser, FSU’s first All American baseball player, a former coach of the Seminoles and a World Series Championship manager with the Kansas City Royals. At the time of the dedication, Coach Howser was dealing with inoperable brain cancer. In 2005, the field was named in honor of Coach Mike Martin, who is now going into his 40th year of service to the school.
Howser Stadium has long been regarded as one of the top 10 college baseball stadiums in the country. You enter the stadium through the palm–laden Haggard Baseball Plaza where records of many of the Seminole greats are immortalized. The 6,700 seat stadium features an elevated grandstand with seat backs that is covered partially by a roof and is cooled by a series of 14 foot ceiling fans. General admission seating extends beyond both first and third base and is not provided any shade. The stadium has a red brick exterior with a press box and several suites both at the top of and beneath the stadium. The latest addition to Howser Stadium is a 60 x 33 foot video board in the outfield. This is the second largest video board in NCAA baseball.
These excellent facilities make it a popular venue for NCAA post season play. Howser Stadium has hosted 31 NCAA Regionals and 11 Super Regionals.
Food & Beverage 5
The Seminoles concessions program is comparable to many major league ballparks. The variety of foods offered range from chef-prepared dishes available on the baseball plaza to the typical ballpark fare offered at each of the four concession stands found at each level of the park.
Chef Art Smith has been associated with Florida State University for several years through his cooking show on FSU’s TV station. He has brought a rotating selection of dishes to Howser Stadium in recent years to share with the fans. The night of our review these items included his chicken sandwich platter ($10), a hushpuppy plate ($6), and a catfish entrée ($10). On other nights his menu includes a shrimp po boy ($10) and a sausage po boy ($10).
The school also offers some non-traditional dishes in addition to the usual baseball foods. These include meatball sliders ($10), grilled chicken flatbread ($10) and Italian sausages ($6). For those who prefer the traditional ballpark foods, you will not go home hungry from Dick Howser Stadium. The menu at the generic concession stands that dot each level of the park includes hamburgers ($6), hot dogs ($5), brats ($6), and nachos ($4). Side items include popcorn ($4), peanuts ($4), pretzels ($4), candy ($3) sunflower seeds (4), and chips ($3).
FSU serves Coca-Cola brand beverages including sodas ($4), Powerade ($5) and bottled water ($4). In the adult beverage area your choices include 16-ounce cans of Bud. Bud Light or Michelob Ultra for $7.
A game at Howser Stadium is a memorable experience. Upon entering the stadium, you pass through a courtyard filled with reminders of the Seminole achievements over the years. You sit in a well-designed stadium with amenities not usually found at the college level. The elevated grandstands provide great sight lines and the roof with ceiling fans are a welcome relief from the Florida heat. The new video board is comparable with many found in the major leagues and the competition on the field provides a look at many future MLB players. The coach leading these young men is destined to become the winningest baseball coach in NCAA history. The fans around you can tell you all about the college careers of players like J.D. Drew and Buster Posey. Add to that the uniqueness of the “animals” seated in section B, and you are in for a very entertaining game.
Howser Stadium is located within the Seminole Sports Complex located at the west of end of the campus. Its immediate neighbors are Doak Campbell Stadium and the FSU High Flying Circus (look for the garnet and gold circus tent). The FSU campus is beautiful to explore, but do it on foot rather than in a car. The streets on campus tend to end into cul de sacs, parking lots and one-way streets. Pick up a visitor map at the Visitors Center at Doak Campbell Stadium and you will see a highlighted route to see the best of the campus.
The northern border of the campus is found at Tennessee Street. This thoroughfare is home to most of the hotels serving the campus. It also has a wide variety of eating establishments to suit anyone’s appetite. Just a few blocks from Howser Stadium is Insomnia Cookies. It is open 24 hours a day and has the best cookies in town. Its name is derived from visits by FSU students in the middle of the night who are cramming for finals or pulling an all-nighter to complete a paper,
The Seminoles have an extremely loyal fan base, as the team has ranked in the top 10 college baseball stadiums attendance-wise for several years. Every game is a sellout, as the fans expect the Seminoles to win at home (they have a .820 home winning percentage through the 2017 season). Just as you would expect, the fans launch into two well-known Seminole traditions when the team has a rally or makes a great defensive play. These two traditions are the Seminole war chant and the Tomahawk Chop (actually the Seminole tribe is very peaceful and works very closely with FSU).
One unique element of the FSU fan base is the Section B Animals. Think of a college level version of the Chicago Bleacher Bums. These are your Superfans, who stand the entire game, create chaos for the other teams with their cheers, and generally stir up the entire stand with their enthusiasm. They are boisterous but not dirty, as the group includes families, students, faculty members, school staff, alumni and townspeople. Their one unifying purpose is to support the team.
Howser Stadium is very easily accessed from I-10, the major east/west interstate crossing the Florida Panhandle. Coming from the east or west of Tallahassee, take the Highway 90 exit into town. As it starts to intersect with the FSU campus it becomes East Tennessee Street. Turn toward the campus at Stadium Way and then take a left onto Spirit Way. All parking immediately around Howser Stadium are for season ticket holders. There are several large visitors lots surrounding Doak Campbell Football Stadium on your right. It is a short walk back to Howser Stadium and you will pass some interesting Seminole statuary along the way, which make a great backdrop for selfies. The Haggard Baseball Plaza provides a great place to meet friends before the game and the flow into the stadium is quite smooth. Restrooms and concession stands are frequent enough that you should not experience any troubles with lines.
Return on Investment 4
Unless you have season tickets or know an FSU booster you will need to purchase your tickets on the secondary market. Both the reserved sections and General Admission seating area sellout well before the season starts. We suggest early season games against non-conference opponents for the lowest prices. The ACC Conference games and any games against any SEC opponent are going to command top price. The concession prices are very reasonable and hotels near Howser Stadium are not as pricey as those downtown near the State Capital and government centers.
The FSU Flying High Circus is headquartered just beyond the right field fence. It is one of the only college-affiliated circuses in the country and offers on-campus performances every spring.
As of the beginning of the 2018 season, FSU Coach Mike Martin needs only 32 wins to become the winningest coach in NCAA baseball history.
One extra for thoughtfully installing a roof and ceiling fans in the main grandstand making it comfortable and in the shade during the hot and humid day games.
The Seminoles have two members in the College Baseball Hall of Fame, Dick Howser and J.D. Drew. FSU is in the middle of a $25 million campaign to make several improvements to Dick Howser Stadium. These improvements would occur in stages over the next 10 years, so the team could continue to play in the stadium each season during renovations
Howser Stadium has been one of the premiere NCAA baseball stadiums in the country for several years. The Seminole Nation is determined to keep it that way with $25 million in improvements on the horizon. The future looks bright for baseball in Tallahassee.