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  • Writer's pictureGregory Koch

Sargent's Stadium at the Point - Johnstown Mill Rats


Photos by Gregory Koch, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.14

Sargent's Stadium at the Point 100 Johns Street Johnstown, PA 15901



Year Opened: 1926 Capacity: 7,500

 

Mill Rats Baseball in Johnstown

Sargent's Stadium at the Point is a historic stadium that has existed in some form since 1926. The ballpark was home to the Johnstown Red Sox of the Eastern League in 1961, and a Frontier League team that went by various names between 1995 and 2002. It has also been home to the All-American Amateur Baseball Association (AAABA) World Series since 1946.


In 2005, Point Stadium was completely rebuilt. Artificial turf was installed two years later. In 2021, the ballpark got a new tenant, the Johnstown Mill Rats of the Prospect League. Featuring teams across the Rust Belt and Upper Midwest, the Prospect League is one of the elite summer collegiate leagues in the country.


Sargent's Stadium is known for its unusual dimensions. The foul lines are only 290 feet from home plate. Right field juts out quickly like the Pesky Pole at Fenway, and is 395 feet to the alley. However, the left-centerfield gap is only 336 feet away. To compensate, there is a tall wall in left field, topped by a net which is in play.


Food & Beverage 3

There are two concession stands at Point Stadium, one on the concourse under the right field stands and one at the top of the reserved seats near home plate, behind the press box. They serve an identical menu, so go to whichever one is closest to your seat. Burgers, chicken tenders, hot dogs, nachos, and pizza slices are the main options, while snacks include ice cream, popsicles, candy, and chips. Drinks include Gatorade, water, and soda, as well as beer for those of age. Prices are about average - a burger costs $7 while chicken and fries are $9. Non-alcoholic beverages are $3 each.


Atmosphere 5

Despite being renovated recently, Point Stadium still feels like an old-time ballpark, with its unusual layout, sliding pits around the bases, and downtown location with the stadium laid out to fit in the street grid. The main gate is in the outfield, and from there, fans will walk by some murals to the concourse under the bleachers. There are some reserved chairback seats behind home plate, and general admission bleachers everywhere else. A small videoboard is located in right-centerfield, with another scoreboard located in the large wall in left-centerfield that shows the line score and other basic information.


The Mill Rats do a great job of creating a fun atmosphere here, with music to keep the crowd engaged, and between-inning contests during almost every break. These contests range from traditional ones like the dizzy bat race and dress like a player contest to more unusual ones like the taco trot, where kids dress up as tacos and race around the bases. The team has a mascot named Milton, who unsurprisingly is a rat. He roams the stadium throughout the game and interacts with the fans.



Neighborhood 2

Johnstown is a former steel mill town, as the team name alludes to, and since the mills closed, many people and businesses have left and the city has declined. While Downtown Johnstown has a poor reputation, it is not as bad as many people think. If you head a few blocks east from the stadium along Main Street and the adjacent roads, you will find several local businesses that are still thriving, including Stone Bridge Brewing Company and Balance Restaurant. Fetz's is a popular sports bar right across the street from the stadium. While Johnstown may not be the nicest city, there is still plenty going on here.


Fans 3

Johnstown averages about a thousand fans per game, and attendance has been improving steadily in the three seasons since their founding. While this puts them towards the bottom of the Prospect League, the team has been moving up in the rankings. Those fans who do show up are passionate, proud, and loud. Chants of "Let's Go Rats" can be heard throughout the game, as can loud applause after big plays. Fans are also not afraid to get on the case of the umpires or even their own team if they feel they have messed up in some way. That being said, a Mill Rats game is family friendly entertainment, and the fans behave in a way that is consistent with that goal. It can be hard to hear the roar of the crowd when you have only a thousand fans in a 7,500 seat stadium, but Mill Rats fans do their best to be heard.


Access 2

To get into Johnstown, you will likely end up taking Pennsylvania Route 56, the Johnstown Expressway. After crossing over a bridge, you will be in downtown Johnstown and the stadium will be a short drive away. Parking can be challenging. Although there are numerous lots surrounding the stadium, they are all private lots for local businesses. Although the team told us we were allowed to park there, this contradicted the signage so we felt it best not to risk it. That being said, some fans were able to park in these lots without issue. If you do not want to chance it, parking is available on the streets surrounding the stadium, free after 5 on weekdays and all day on weekends which should cover just about every home game. There is also a paid garage at the corner of Main and Walnut Streets, a five minute walk away.


Once you enter the stadium, the concourse is wide enough to accommodate the fans, although it seems more cramped than it is due to being under the bleachers. Restrooms are located here too. Handicap accessible seating is also under the bleachers. Fans can attempt to watch the game through a chain link fence built into the right field wall, but their view will be significantly obstructed not just by the fence itself but by various parts of the stadium architecture. Suffice it to say it is not an ideal location.


Return on Investment 4

Tickets are $8 for general admission or $10 for reserved chairbacks. Concessions are about average and parking will probably be free as well. Combined with the exciting, family friendly atmosphere, this makes a Mill Rats game a great value for fans of all ages to check out.


Extras 3

The unique layout of the stadium is worth a star here.


There is a team shop at the top of the reserved seats selling Mill Rats gear with their unique logo.


Look for the murals by the entrance, honoring baseball in Johnstown over the years.



Final Thoughts

Sargent's Stadium at the Point is a historic stadium that has been updated for modern times. The Johnstown Mill Rats have made it their home and create a family-friendly and exciting atmosphere for baseball. If you are in Central Pennsylvania on a summer night, be sure to head to Johnstown to check out a Mill Rats game in this unique ballpark.

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