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  • Eric Hasman

Oil City Stadium - Northwest Indiana Oilmen


Photo by Eric Hasman, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.00

Oil City Stadium 1700 119th St Whiting, IN 46394

Year Opened: 2011 Capacity: 1,100

 

Oil City Stadium: Home of the Northwest Indiana Oilmen

Oil City Stadium, built on land donated by Standard Oil Refinery, celebrates Whiting IN 120-year history as a refinery town. The city built the stadium on the site of a former water filtration plant and Little League fields.

Completed in 2011, the $8.5-million structure is home to the Northwest Indiana Oilmen (Northern League**), the Whiting Oilers, and the Calumet College baseball teams. The stadium holds 1,100 fans.


The exterior of the stadium is red brick. The left field wall is 300 feet from home plate and has an approximate 25-foot wall with a 30-foot scoreboard. The other dimensions are 373’ to the power alleys, 403’ to center field, and 330’ to right field.


The League changed its name in 2022 from the Midwest Collegiate League to the Northern League. The Oilmen have won the Midwest Collegiate League Championship three times: 2012, 2016, and 2018 and lost in the Championship in 2013, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022. In addition, the Oilmen have eleven consecutive winning seasons and seven straight postseason appearances.


Tickets are $5 for lawn seating, $8 for preferred seating (aluminum bench seating), and $10 for box seats.


Food & Beverage 2

The menu is traditional baseball fare with the walking taco, soft pretzels, pizza, hot dogs, bratwurst, nachos / loaded nachos, and Sloppy Joe with the cost ranging from $3 to $6. They have chips, popcorn, sunflower seeds, and candy for $2 to $3. The concession prices here are great.


They have fountain soda for $2 and Gatorade in bottles for $3. There is coffee and hot chocolate, too, for $2.


Beer is $4/can and includes Miller / Coors products. The Oilmen also offer local draft beer from Bulldog Brewery and Hard Seltzer for $5.


Atmosphere 3

One of the first things you will notice is that the venue does not have a big video board, simply an older digital scoreboard in left field.


The interior features three rows of box seats, nine rows of aluminum bench seating, and raised lawn seating. Down the left field line is a medium-sized grass berm area, which is an area where you can stand, lay down or even sit on a lawn chair that you can bring in and watch the game without a net being in your way. Lastly, a small press box is behind home plate.


The Oilmen mascot is “Stan the Oilman” who is readily available for most of the game. Occasionally, there is “Lucky” the Unicorn. Not sure why Lucky is there, but I like it.


There is no kids’ area, but on the third base side behind the stands, there is a grass area where kids can play catch.


The gift shop consists of a table with some t-shirts and hats with a surprisingly good selection.


If you need to be constantly entertained by on-field between-inning entertainment or you need big giveaways, this is not the place for you because there are very few of these things.


Neighborhood 3

Oil City Stadium is within a residential neighborhood.

There are plenty of independent restaurants and bakeries in the area. Several restaurants and a microbrewery are two to four blocks west of the stadium. Dos Sabores is a good Mexican restaurant, but it is open from 8 am to 4 pm. Bulldog Brewery has lots of different in-house beers and some reasonably priced good food. The Center Lounge offers up some good food (my favorites are the Lake Perch or Corned Beef) at reasonable prices. Also, the Winey Beach Café (the Caribbean and American food) has good seafood and drinks.


Since Whiting has a large Polish contingent, a really good place to go about one mile to the west of the park is Lynethe’s Deli & Pierogies. Of course, you should get the Pierogies. Lastly, right across the street is Whihala Ice Cream shop.


The closest hotels (mostly chains) are about 2 miles southwest of the stadium.


Fans 2

The fans show up and have a good time watching the game. The Oilmen lead the Midwest Collegiate League/Northern League in attendance every year since the stadium opened, with an average reported attendance of approximately 800. There are rarely 800 people in the stands, so buying tickets in advance is not necessary.


At this stadium, you will find some parents of the players and host families. There are some locals but not a lot of kids at the games. Unfortunately, there just aren’t enough fans in attendance to create much of an electric place to the atmosphere.


Access 2

Oil City Stadium is on 119th Street in Whiting, IN, about one mile north of the intersection of Route 41 and 119th St.


Getting to the park is tedious at times. The stadium is approximately 9 miles north of Route 41 (Calumet Ave.) and Interstate 94. And the stadium is approximately 3 miles south of the Interstate 90 and Route 41 intersection. Public transportation is not an option.


Free parking is available on the adjacent streets, but there isn’t much of it. Of course, I would not suggest parking on the street outside the stadium due to foul balls hitting cars. Go a bit down the block or in the grass parking lot.


Return on Investment 5

The prices of the tickets, concessions, free parking, and people make this place worth visiting and a great deal.

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Extras 4

About one block away is the Mascot Hall of Fame, which opened in December 2018.


In addition, when the sun goes down at night games, the oil refinery lights go on and the center field view looks like a bustling downtown area. It’s kinda cool.


Approximately, 1.5 miles north of the stadium is the Horseshoe Casino. Of course, it is open 24 hours a day. If gambling is your thing, a trip to the casino is in order.


Sit in the last row of the stadium on the third base side. When a foul ball is hit out of the park, stand up to see if it hit a car.


Lastly, one of the coolest features (and attention to detail) is that the doors at the stadium have baseball bat handles.


Final Thoughts

You can’t go wrong with the prices or the people at Oil City Stadium. While the league is small and the play on the field is ok (the play has been improving each year), I would put this stadium on the must-see list. Oil City Stadium is a great little stadium.




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