Photos by Gregory Koch, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.57
Prince George’s Stadium 4101 Crain Highway Bowie, MD 20716
Year Opened: 1994
The Bowie Baysox are the Double-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles and play in the Eastern League. The Orioles Double-A affiliate was based in Hagerstown, Maryland from 1989 to 1992 but in 1993, the franchise moved across the state to Bowie. (Hagerstown would later get a new team in the South Atlantic League before ultimately being contracted in 2020.) The team was supposed to move into Prince George’s Stadium in 1993, but delays forced them to play that season at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore, which was vacant since the Orioles moved into the new Camden Yards that season. Further delays forced the Baysox to play the first 31 games of the 1994 season at four other ballparks before they finally moved in.
Food & Beverage 3
Prince George’s Stadium has the typical ballpark options, although not all stands are open every game. Two identical stands, one down each line, serve your basic options including burgers, chicken tenders, and snacks like pretzels and peanuts. Soft drinks, bottled water, and beer are also available. Another stand down the third base line serves higher-quality, customizable burgers, although the prices are higher at this stand than for a more basic burger. The Sweet Shop down the first base line serves ice cream and funnel cake fries, and other portable stands sell Dippin Dots, cotton candy, snow cones, and lemonade.
Keep in mind the stands only accept credit cards, this is a cashless facility.
Prince George’s Stadium has a layout that is typical of other ballparks that opened around the same time. The concourse is located on top of the seating bowl and offers a view of the action except when it passes behind the press box. Most seats in the stadium are typical chairback box seats, but there are some general admission bleachers with backs down the lines. All seats offer a good view of the action. There is a large scoreboard in left-centerfield which shows the line score and lineups and a video board in right-center field which also shows advertisements and graphics.
The Baysox have many between-innings contests on the field including classics like the dizzy bat race and sumo smackdown. Team staff roam the stands before the game looking for kids to participate. The PA announcer and on-field host have great chemistry with each other, allowing the game experience to flow seamlessly. The team mascot is a green creature of some indescribable sort named Louie.
Prince George’s Stadium is located across Route 301 from a shopping center that features many chain restaurants. However, if you’re looking for something that isn’t a chain, there aren’t many options nearby. Rip’s Country Inn is right by the entrance to the stadium off Ballpark Road, and offers traditional American comfort food, including a wide variety of sandwiches, steaks, and seafood, and is probably your best bet. Six Flags America is located about a 15-minute drive away. However, in terms of the immediate vicinity, this is just a typical average neighborhood, nothing more and nothing less.
The crowd at Prince George’s Stadium can vary significantly depending on the day of the week and whether there are any promotional giveaways, among other factors. When Stadium Journey visited, the ballpark seemed mostly empty, but just two days before our visit, the Baysox drew nearly 10,000 fans on a Friday night. Regardless of the crowd size, those who do show up can get loud, especially when the Baysox make big plays or get key hits. Most of them stay for the entire game, something you don’t see everywhere in baseball.
Getting to Prince George’s Stadium by car is easy. Take Route 50 to Route 301 and the ballpark will be just up ahead once you get off the highway. Parking is available for free in a spacious lot next to the stadium, but on the rare occasion that fills up, staff will direct you to overflow parking a short walk away. The concourses are wide and there are multiple restrooms, one on each end of the concourse and another near the team store. Getting out after the game when there is a big crowd can take a bit of time, but once you get onto Route 301, you should have no further issues.
Return on Investment 4
Tickets start at $11 for general admission bleacher seating. Reserved seats range from $13 to $18 depending on how close to the field you are and whether you purchase the assurance option that allows you to exchange the ticket for another game free of charge if you are unable to attend. Discounts are available for youth, seniors, and military. Concessions are affordable and parking is free, making a Baysox game a good value.
Free programs are available as you come in and are quite detailed.
Look for the lighthouse down the right field line, reflecting Bowie’s location near the Chesapeake Bay.
There is also a kids’ play area down the right field line near the lighthouse, which includes a carousel among other activities.
There is a team store by the entrance which sells Baysox gear as well as things like sunscreen and cooling towels to help fans on hot summer days.
Prince George’s Stadium was one of the first new ballparks to open during the ballpark craze started by Camden Yards. As a result, it is certainly a modern ballpark but lacks many of the bells and whistles that the newer parks have. While some of the new ballparks feature 360-degree concourses, specialty concession items, and unique areas, Prince George’s Stadium has none of that. However, it is still a modern stadium with modern amenities where each seat has a great view of the action.