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  • Writer's pictureMeg Minard

PVCC Baseball Field – Paradise Valley Pumas


Photos by Meg Minard, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.71

PVCC Baseball Field 18401 N 32nd St Phoenix, AZ 85032

Year Opened: 2009 Capacity: 250+

 

Take a PAWS

Opened in 1985, Paradise Valley Community College (PVCC)’s main campus sits in northeast Phoenix and northern Maricopa County, including Cave Creek, Carefree, and North Scottsdale. The athletic teams, known as the Pumas, are part of the NJCAA – Arizona Community College Athletic Conference (ACCAC).

The baseball team joined the ACCAC in 2009 and is one of the newest members of the conference. The team qualified for the NJCAA D2 World Series in just their second season (2010) and were the ACCAC Co-Champions in 2015.

They play their home games on campus at the pleasant-looking, comfortable baseball field, built in 2008. The first official baseball season began in the spring of 2009.

Food & Beverage 0

As expected for a community college, neither food nor beverages are offered at the venue. That does not stop the fans in attendance as many bring in their own snacks, non-alcoholic drinks, and coolers. Some even bring umbrellas and portable canopy tents and make an afternoon out of it!

Atmosphere 3

The ballpark provides the typical, pleasurable ACCAC game day experience.

The main seating area, the grandstand per se, is ten rows of bleachers with no backs directly behind home plate. A thick chain link fence with thicker poles guards the seating area from the sharply hit foul balls. The best place to sit is on the top row; fans can lean their backs against a backing for support and that area is above the backstop’s horizontal poles. Picnic tables and a four-row bleacher set are on each side of the grandstand. Many fans bring their lawn chairs and park in those areas as they are in the shade.

Third base side picnic seating, Photo by Meg Minard, Stadium Journey


The grandstand was not an original part of the baseball field construction. It was added a few years after the opening and is a shiny set of refurbished stands.

The stadium does not have lights; the team only plays day games, common amongst ACCAC baseball stadiums. The home dugout is on the third base side and is larger than the visitor’s dugout. The stadium has a small Daktronics scoreboard in right-center field providing the basic line score. It can be a little difficult to read in the bright sunlight.

The diamond is of remarkably green natural grass for the desert so kudos to those that maintain the field. The seating area and walkways are free of debris and garbage making it a nice, pleasant venue to visit.

Music is only played pregame; none during the nine innings which helps make watching the game more relaxing. If a softball game is played at the same time, plenty of that game’s music is heard. A PA announcer is not present to call the game or players. Print your own rosters at home if you’re looking to keep score and identify the players by something other than their number.

Neighborhood 3

Paradise Valley Community College is in the northern part of Phoenix in a mostly residential area with some commercial businesses within walking distance.

A great place to eat for breakfast or brunch is Sunshine Breakfast Bar (three miles from PVCC Baseball Field). Another place to eat nearby is NoRa Asian Fresh, a fast-casual AZ chain restaurant serving Asian Fusion meals. Across from the campus are The Buffalo Spot (fast food chicken) and Biryani and Bites (Indian). The closest brewery is Fire and Fury, three miles from the park south on 32nd St.

If traveling in from out of town, the closest hotels are the Cambria Hotel Phoenix or the Holiday Inn Express Phoenix North (both four miles from the baseball field). Be warned: hotel rates in the Phoenix area increase dramatically during spring training in March.

The best museum in all of Arizona, the Musical Instrument Museum, is only three miles from campus. It may not sound interesting but it is a fantastic place to explore for a few hours. The campus is adjacent to the Paradise Valley Golf Course.

For other sports to see, Salt River Fields at Talking Sticking (spring training home for the Rockies and Diamondbacks) is probably the closest at about 16 miles southeast. Peoria Sports Complex (spring training home for the Mariners and the Padres) is about the same distance in the opposite direction. Downtown Phoenix is 18 miles south and sports fans can visit the Diamondbacks or Suns when in town.

Fans 3

Fans are mostly friends and family of the players: parents, grandparents. A few students show up. Many of the fans in attendance know one another. And, since several of the opposing teams are also in the Phoenix area, expect to see some visiting teams’ fans. Everyone is respectful of each other, as it often is at NJCAA games.

Access 3

The ballpark is on the Paradise Valley Community College campus off 32nd Ave, a little over a mile off the101 Loop/State Route 51. The closest parking is in the Q Building lot off 32nd Ave. If the Puma’s schedule softball and baseball games for the same time frame, get there early for a spot. Additional parking is beyond the outfield off E Michigan Ave, a few hundred feet in the opposite direction of the grandstand.

Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport is 18 miles due south. Metro Valley Transit Bus Route 16 (no stop at the airport) provides local service to the college (get off 32nd St and Grovers Ave).

The baseball field is adjacent to the softball field. On occasion, both games are played at or near the same time. Fans can walk between the two ballparks and see two games if desired. The campus provides ramps and walkways from the parking lot to the grandstand. For those unsteady on their feet, the grandstand has handrails up the middle of the seating area for ease of climbing.

Modern, clean restrooms are in the Q Building just a few hundred feet away.

Return on Investment 5

The Pumas offer the best-priced tickets: free. If you want to be outside on a lovely Arizona spring day, pack some snacks and drinks and head to North Phoenix for a relaxing few hours of baseball. It’s a no-frills experience but one fans of the game of baseball will enjoy.

Extras 2

ACCAC baseball switched to using wooden bats twenty years ago. It’s pleasing to watch college ball and hear the crack of a bat vs the ping of one.

Another piece of information worth an extra mention is the current baseball coach, Victor Solis, who founded the baseball program along with the retired Athletic Director Greg Silcox. It’s nice to see continuity in the program’s history and management.

Final Thoughts

Take a pause from the daily hustle and bustle in life and visit a Puma baseball game one spring afternoon.

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