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  • Meg Minard

San Manuel Stadium – Inland Empire 66ers


Photos by Meg Minard, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.00

San Manuel Stadium

280 South E St

San Bernardino, CA 92410


Inland Empire 66ers of San Bernardino website San Manuel Stadium website


Year Opened: 1966 Capacity: 5,000

 

Inland Empire on Route 66

The Inland Empire 66ers, named after historic Route 66 and the location in which the team plays, are the high single-A baseball team (California League) of the nearby Anaheim Angels. The Inland Empire is a region in Southern California and includes cities like San Bernardino, Ontario, Riverside, and Rancho Cucamonga.

Baseball has been played in San Bernardino as far back as 1899. San Manual Stadium, home of the 66ers, opened in 1996 and even though it is less than 25 years old, it is showing some age.

The current team began as the Spirit playing in Fiscalini Field. When San Manuel Stadium opened in 1996, the team name switched to the Stampede. In 2003, the name changed to the Inland Empire 66ers as a result of a rebranding competition. Throughout the years, the team has also been affiliates of the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Seattle Mariners.

The stadium is named after San Manuel, a successful casino in nearby Highlands, CA which is operated by the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.

It provides a typical minor league baseball game day event. The staff is incredibly friendly.

Food & Beverage 4

The stadium has several concessions stands (though not all may be open based on game day attendance) providing a variety of healthy and not so healthy nourishment choices.

Bernie’s Snack Shack – offers turkey burger, Caesar chicken wrap, super nachos, helmet nachos, cleaner wiener – natural beef hot dog (Applegate) on a wheat bun ($6 – $15).

Roadhouse Grill – specialties include 66ers Roadhouse burger, BBQ grilled chicken sandwich, chicken tenders and fries, BBQ tri-tip sandwich, jalapeno bacon cheeseburger ($8.50 – $10.50). This stand also has four types of fries: seasoned, garlic, Chile cheese, sweet potato ($3.75 – $6).

Ice Cream Stand – features ice cream sundaes (Blue Bunny ice cream), funnel cake fries, dessert nachos ($6.50 – $8). Regular ice cream cones and sandwiches, as well as root beer floats are also for sale ($4.25 – $5.75).

The concession stands also offer traditional snacks like popcorn, pretzels, seeds, peanuts, chips, Cracker Jack, candy, etc. Pepsi products are served ($4.75 – $6). Domestic beer Bud, Bud Light, Michelob Ultra comes in bottle or draft ($7 – $9.50). Premium beer comes in cans or draft ($8.50 – $10.25), a 25oz bomber margarita sells for $12, and a glass of wine is $8.

Hanger 24 Craft Brewing Corner – Five of their craft beers are sold here (located down third base side of concourse). Depending on attendance, it may not stay open past the first few innings. Their beer is served at the permanent concession counters as well. This area has a few picnic tables to eat, drink and socialize.

Recommendation is to go somewhat healthy and get the grilled chicken sandwich which is cooked fresh and is quite tasty. Get it without the bbq sauce (or get the sauce on the side and dip). Then have a Hanger 24 craft brew to wash it down. Yum.

Outside food or beverages are not allowed in the stadium.

Atmosphere 3

San Manuel Stadium is a typical minor league baseball venue and provides a decent game day experience.

Seats are standard green fold-down stadium seats with cup holders and provide average width and decent legroom. Two levels of seating are separated by a small walkway. The upper level and third base side get shade first. Some suites are adjacent to the press box above the upper level. Handicapped seating and wheelchair spaces are available at the top of the first level on the walkway.

Party tents are down both the third and first baseline concourses. A net goes all the way down the lines so watching the game net free is not really an option at this stadium (except maybe from the party tents).

Parts of the San Bernardino Mountains can be seen in the distance, like Big Bear and Lake Arrowhead, which make an attractive background. A tall building beyond left field ruins some of the view of the mountain range.

An attractive video scoreboard displays players’ photo and stats, the line score, and the lineup… and some advertisements. It can be a tad hard to read during a late afternoon/early evening game because of glare from the setting sun. It does provide a suitable amount of information for fans keeping score. Except for the line score and line ups, closed captioning is not offered (common amongst minor league baseball).

Starting line ups are also provided on a white board down the third base concourse area if a fan wants to prerecord their scorecard.


Between inning contests include things like trivia questions, racing with the mascot contests (where the contestant always wins), a dance team, etc. The mascot stands on the dugout and blocks the view of game during some innings of play. There’s a beer batter contest where beers are $2.50 when a selected opposing team batter gets a strike out.

Misters are provided in the home dugout; but not the visiting team’s dugout. A decent merchandise shop is available though no hat pins.

Neighborhood 2

Safety doesn’t appear to be an issue but there’s not much within walking distance of the stadium. There’s just not a nearby place to hang out pre or post game.

Several breweries are within five or so miles: Ritual Brewing, Escape Craft Brewery, 3 Iron Brewing. Ritual Brewing is recommended if choosing between the three.

Consider Rose Apple Thai for local, delicious Thai cuisine (about four miles from stadium).

Side Note: The concessions at San Manuel Stadium likely offer better options on cuisine than anywhere else in the immediate area, so this is one of the few stadiums where it is a better choice to eat at the game rather than the local neighborhood.

The Holiday Inn Express in Loma Linda is the hotel partner of the 66ers (about 6 miles from the stadium).

If vacationing in San Bernardino, check out Silverwood Lake or Big Bear Lake for some outdoor activity. San Bernardino is also known as having the first McDonald’s hamburger joint. One may also want to check out the National Orange Show Event Center to see what events may be occurring during a visit to San Bernardino.

Other sports teams nearby include Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (MiLB), Ontario Fury (indoor soccer), and the parent team, the Anaheim Angels is about an hour’s drive away.

Fans 3

Attendance records put the Inland Empire 66ers as second highest average attendance in the California League for the last few seasons at around 2,700 – 2,900 fans per game. There certainly weren’t near that many at the game of this review. Those that were there applauded at good plays and appreciated good defensive performances.

Access 3

San Manuel Stadium is not far off I-10. San Bernardino – Downtown Metrolink Station is within walking distance of the stadium. The closest commercial airport to the venue is Ontario International Airport (a little over 20 miles).

It is $7 to park at the stadium which seems high for a Single-A venue. They do offer credit card payment when parking. There is a bag check when entering the stadium; non-clear bags are allowed. When entering the stadium, the concourse is behind the field, a fan walks through a short underpass to get to the seating area.

Plenty of nearby handicapped spaces are in the parking lot. The other parking areas are also quite close to the entrance.

Bathrooms are sufficient for the crowds and serve their purpose.

Return on Investment 3

Tickets range from $9 to $18. The ticket booth person told me they didn’t charge extra for a game day purchase but according to their schedule they do charge an additional $1. Get the general admission ticket ($9) then sit where you want. The guy who checked my bag even told me to do that this evening.

The parking price ($7) seems high to me for a single-A game. Concession and drink prices are what to be expected. Fridays may be the game to attend to get reduced costs as hot dogs are 50¢, tickets and soda are $2.50 and beer is $5.

Extras 3

An MIA/POW seat is placed on the concourse to honor men and women who left to fight for our country but never returned.

Be sure to pick up a descriptive game notes packet at customer service desk. It even has a scoresheet pre-typed with the starting lineup and some stats.

Four retired numbers are displayed just below the press box: 43 – Chen, 42 – Robinson. 24 – Griffey Jr., 25 – Dauher

Final Thoughts

Nothing special really stands out about San Manuel Stadium. It does provide fabulous customer service and a decent game day experience. Go with family and friends on a Friday and get an inexpensive, enjoyable evening out.

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