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  • Jared Goodman

Segra Stadium – Fayetteville Woodpeckers

Photos by Jared Goodman, Stadium Journey

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.00

Segra Stadium Hay Street Fayetteville, NC 28301

Year Opened: 2019 Capacity: 4,786


Taking Flight in Fayetteville

Segra Stadium, the new $38 million home of the Fayetteville Woodpeckers, is one of three new facilities at the minor league level in 2019. The 5,000 seat ballpark is expected to become an anchor for development and revitalization in downtown Fayetteville, North Carolina and is just one part of a larger plan for progress. Most of that plan has yet to be carried to fruition, as construction continues in the area surrounding the venue. Despite Segra Stadium being the only completed piece of the puzzle so far, fans are still showing up in droves to watch their minor league baseball team.

The franchise, originally called the Buies Creek Astros, was based at nearby Campbell University for two full seasons before moving south to their permanent home in Fayetteville for the 2019 campaign. Both the Astros and the nearby Down East Wood Ducks were established following the 2016 season in order to replace a pair of folded franchises from California.

Food & Beverage 5

The stadium serves a wide variety of food and drink, from over two dozen types of craft beer to massive pulled pork sandwiches to plastic baseball caps filled to the brim with loaded nachos. Traditional ballpark fare is available as well, but why not splurge and get something unique? There are six concession stands located around the ballpark – an outfield bar area and several food carts on the concourse only make it more convenient for hungry fans.

While the options at Segra Stadium abound, expect to pay a premium. Concession prices are just a tad higher than what’s typically seen at other Carolina League parks.

Atmosphere 4

With Fort Bragg, the world’s largest military installation, in Fayetteville’s backyard, it’s hard to ignore the military tie-ins at Segra Stadium. Black and red are the predominant colors, featured in everything from the team’s logo to the chair backs in the seating bowl. Pixelated camouflage is also present in several different areas, sometimes even extending to the players’ uniforms. It’s undeniable that the military is the prevailing theme at Woodpeckers’ games.

The stadium itself features a wrap-around concourse, an element that’s becoming the norm in newer ballparks. Directly below the massive scoreboard in left field is a berm that abuts the bullpens, while a netted children’s area behind the berm includes a small-scale baseball diamond for youngsters. Unique and futuristic rocking chairs are prevalent in center field and are available to anyone, regardless of their ticket type.

One unique aspect that is unparalleled in the minor leagues is the fact that train tracks surround portions of the stadium. Fayetteville’s Amtrak station is located in foul territory on the third base side, while a freight line runs behind the right field fence. While it doesn’t happen often, it might surprise you to see and hear a large diesel train pass by during a game.

Neighborhood 2

The ranking Fayetteville receives in this category will drastically improve once the development surrounding the ballpark is complete. Development plans call for a commercial office tower, a Hyatt Place hotel in front of the stadium’s main gate, a complete renovation of the historic Prince Charles Hotel next door, and a new parking deck on Hay Street. Until these projects are completed, the uninviting area around the stadium will remain under construction. For now, there’s no enticement for fans to arrive before the gates open and stay after the game ends.

Fans 3

After 20 years without professional baseball, the fans in Fayetteville sure seem happy to have a team to cheer for. While it feels like the stadium is primarily geared towards military personnel and their families, Fayetteville residents are still among some of the faces you’ll see on an average night.

When the Astros decided to move their high-A team here in 2016, they probably didn’t have a doubt in their mind that pro baseball would do well in this area. This likely hypothesis was confirmed when, later that year, Fort Bragg hosted the first-ever MLB game to be played in North Carolina. It was also the first-ever game to be played on an active military base and drew a crowd of nearly 13,000.

Access 3

The only major road passing through Fayetteville is Interstate 95. Heading north, the next major city one encounters on this road is Richmond, Virginia; Savannah, Georgia is the next large city to the south. However, there are several spurs which provide access to cities such as Raleigh-Durham and Charleston, SC. Traveling to Fayetteville from the east and/or west is moderately difficult due to the lack of major roads in either direction.

Parking at the ballpark is no easy task either. Unlike other ballparks at this level, there is no dedicated lot for Woodpeckers games. Fans are instead encouraged to either find free on-street parking or to park for a fee in the deck located at Franklin and Donaldson Streets. No matter which option one chooses, there will be at least a quarter-mile of walking involved.

Return on Investment 3

Service fees are typically waived in the minor leagues when you purchase tickets directly at the box office. This isn’t the case here in Fayetteville, making a day out at the ballpark just that much more expensive. Tickets for a family of four, at the bare minimum, will run about $46.

Parking adds at least $5 and concessions for the whole gang will set you back about $20 per person. All totaled, you’re looking at about $130 for four people to visit Segra Stadium for the night. This is on the extremely high end of the minor league scale.

Extras 1

One extra point for honoring our nation’s military and looking out for the servicemen and women stationed at Fort Bragg.

Final Thoughts

While Segra Stadium is unique in some areas, overall it’s a pretty plain vanilla ballpark. The team does a good job of drawing fans and entertaining them on game day, but the high prices and distant parking options are bound to turn some folks away. Only time will tell if the fans will continue to show up or if they will grow weary of the hassle and spend their time and money elsewhere. Hopefully the revitalization of downtown Fayetteville will keep fans engaged, and it will be exciting to see what the final product will be.

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