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  • Writer's pictureMeg Minard

Santa Ana Star Field – New Mexico Lobos


Photos by Meg Minard, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.14

Santa Ana Star Field

1155 University Blvd SE

Albuquerque, NM 87106



Year Opened: 2013

Capacity: 1,000

 

Lobo Baseball

The New Mexico Lobos baseball team is a Mountain West Conference (MWC) - NCAA D1 member.   The University of New Mexico was founded in 1889, and its first baseball game played was in 1899. 

The team played in the former Skyline Conference from 1951 – 1962, then moved to the WAC (Western Athletic Conference) in 1963.  The Lobos transitioned to the MWC in 2000 and have since seen several winning seasons.  The Lobos have made it to the NCAA Regionals six times, most recently in 2016.  Fourteen former Lobos have played in MLB.


The Lobos play their home games at Santa Ana Star Field on campus in Albuquerque.  The aging field received extensive upgrades in 2013.  The organization installed lights in the fall of 2013, and a new clubhouse opened at the end of 2016.  It sits in a complex with the Lobo Softball Field and the McKinnon Family Tennis Stadium, making for a beautiful complex near all the other sports arenas in Albuquerque.


It is a very pleasant stadium in which to watch nine innings.


Food & Beverage 2

The stadium has a small food truck just across from the restrooms.  Lobo Louie’s Frito Pie ($11) and BBQ pulled pork sandwiches with chips ($11) are the main dishes.  Hot dogs, nachos, and popcorn run $5 - $7.  Soda (Pepsi) and water are $5.  Beers cost $11 - $14, with Bud Light being the official beer sponsor.  Only credit and debit cards are accepted. 

It’s a limited offering but enough to keep you hydrated and full.


Fans can bring in a sealed bottle of water.


Santa Ana Star Field Concessions, Photo by Meg Minard, Stadium Journey


Atmosphere 4

Bleachers run from first base to third base; the venue does not have seating down the lines or in the outfield. Two sections behind home plate are chairbacks. The sun sets behind home plate. The structure does not offer shade for afternoon games, so come prepared with sunblock and a hat. A thin net runs from dugout to dugout, protecting the fans in the seating area from foul balls. A standing area down the third baseline is net-free.

The entire playing surface is FieldTurf®; only the pitcher’s mound is real dirt. The scoreboard is in left-center and shows the basic line score. It is pleasantly easy to read, even with the sun shining on it.


Fans can see an amazingly spectacular view of the Sandia Mountains and the UNM football stadium beyond the outfield.


Game day operations play walkup songs for Lobos players and music between innings, all at a comfortable volume (as it should be). Nice job. The announcer’s voice is clear and easily understood.


Neighborhood 4

The ballpark sits adjacent to the UNM softball field and tennis courts.  It is next to The Pit (UNM basketball) and just down the road from Isotopes Park, where the Albuquerque Isotopes (MiLB) and the New Mexico United (USL-C) play.  It is a mile from the Nob Hill neighborhood, a vibrant area full of brewpubs, eateries, taquerias, pizzerias, local boutiques, and small art galleries.  Sounds from music bars fill the late-night air in this neighborhood.

For breakfast, try Frontier.  A hidden gem for Korean food is Soo Bak Seoul Bowl.  For authentic, tasty New Mexico flare, visit Cocina Azul – even the rice and beans are yummy.  Unbeknownst to the rest of the country, Albuquerque is a hopping local brewery town.   Recommended breweries close to Santa Ana Star Field (though not necessarily within walking distance) are 377 Brewing, Gravity Bound Brewing, and Marble Brewery.  And there are plenty more to visit.


Things to see and do while in Albuquerque include Sandia Peak Tramway, Old Town Albuquerque, Petroglyph National Monument, ABQ Zoo and Botanical Gardens, and, of course, a ride in a hot air balloon.


For places to stay when in town, plenty of hotels are available at the intersection of Gibson Blvd and Yale Blvd (about a mile from the park), ranging from La Quinta to Marriott brands to Holiday Inns, many with shuttles to and from the airport.


Fans 2

A good mix of fans attend the Lobos baseball games:  alumni, retired folks, students, and families.

Fans howl when the Lobos score; some stomp their feet on the bleachers to make additional noise. 


The Lobos draw between 500 and 600 fans a game, with even more in attendance when they play in-state rival New Mexico State


Access 4

Approaching Santa Ana Star Field is relatively easy as it is less than a mile off I-25.  When entering the parking area, GPS will direct you towards the right field side.  The entrance is on the other side.  Follow the signs for the softball field and tennis courts (at the back side of The Pit). 

Bus Route 16 has a stop by the ballpark.  An Amtrak Station is about 2 miles from Isotopes Park.  The closest airport is the Albuquerque Sunport Airport, about a 5-minute drive to the ballpark.


The ticket office and the gates open one hour before the first pitch.  The ticket office is at the back of The Pit across the parking lot.  Clear sports bags 12” x 6” x 12” are allowed, as are small clutches.


Once inside the complex, the baseball stadium has a long high ramp that allows fans who can’t manage steps to get up to the seating area.  The ramp may be uncomfortable for those afraid of heights. 


The complex has clean restrooms with plenty of stalls.


Santa Ana Star Field Ramp to Stands, Photo by Meg Minard, Stadium Journey


Return on Investment 3

Attending a Lobos baseball game is very affordable. First, there’s free parking. Second, tickets are $6 general admission; you can sit wherever you want. And kids under 12 get in free. A Lobo Pride Pass ($57) gets you into all NM Lobo women’s soccer, baseball, volleyball, track & field, and softball home games.

The concession prices are what is to be expected.


The game day experience is excellent: good announcer, decent play on the diamond, and supportive fans. It’s well worth your sports entertainment dollar.


Extras 3

The team provides good-looking rosters and stat sheets. Throughout the season, the team also offers plenty of promotions: poster, pom-pom, and t-shirt giveaways, Bark in the Park, Kids Run the Bases, and more. Be sure to check the schedule for promotion dates. And, like most other athletic facilities on campus, a wolf (lobo) statue is present.



Final Thoughts

Attending a Lobos baseball game is a worthwhile and affordable day or evening out in Albuquerque, NM. Be sure to visit when in the area in the springtime.

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