Photos by Paul Baker, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.43
Sioux Falls Stadium 1001 N West Ave Sioux Falls, SD 57104
Year Opened: 1941
The Birdcage Sings A Great Tune
Sioux Falls Stadium (51 years old) is now heading full on into mid-life. Home to the “Canaries” , the stadium (known as the Birdcage) saw a late 90’s facelift. This 5.6 million dollar upgrade included luxury box seating, a grass berm down the third baseline and enlarged picnic spots. New for 2021 is a million dollar scoreboard that is a state-of-the-art show stealer. Capacity is currently 4,462 for Sioux Falls Stadium.
Notable Former Canaries include Lee Guetterman, Steve Howe, Pedro Guerrero and Pat Mahomes. 2008 was banner year for the Canaries as they won the American Association championship.
Food & Beverage 4
Concessions are generally located under the stands and are plentiful. Stands include Black Angus, Hot Dog Nation, Canary Country BBQ as well as Family Treats Ice Cream, Tropical Sno and multiple Kettle Corn locations.
For the hungrier patrons, kielbasa ($6), pulled pork sandwiches, chicken strips with fries ($8) and a cheeseburger with fries ($8) are viable options. Down the first base line outside the right field fence is Canary Country BBQ featuring Fat Kid Fillys. A variety of toppings await either on a traditional hoagie bun or as nachos. These start with mayo, bell peppers, provolone and cheese sauce with a choice of the Fat Kid (steak), Hog Wild (Pork loin), Plane Jane (Chicken), or Porker (ham) for $15. Specialty Fat Kid Fillys include the toppings and one of the aforementioned meats can be upgraded with Pineapple, jalapenos and teriyaki for $3 more. Nest Nachos, for those wanting a more traditional nacho, is $10.
Bottled soda (Coca-Cola products) is $4 and water is $3. Specialty beers run $8 and Domestic beers $7. Sales go through the 7th inning for alcohol. Miller Lite, Coors Light, Busch Light (known affectionately to the locals as Busch Latte), Bud Light and Michelob Ultra are readily available. Wine and mixed drinks are also available down the first and third baselines.
Kettle Corn is $7 and Cotton Candy is $5. At Family Treats a large waffle cone is $7 and ice cream in a cup is $5. For $6, one can get a souvenir Mini Canary cap with ice cream in it.
The birdcage is not brand new and that “been around the block” feel that plays really well. There are seemingly non-stop giveaways for the fans. The staff has an information booth near the main entrance and has a separate sign-up for youth and adult prizes. It is a fun vibe. “Cagey” the mascot is tremendously active walking the stadium. Cagey also gets kids young and old involved on the field for activities such as dancing to “YMCA.”
The brand new scoreboard seriously pops out in right center; it is a great addition. A fun little addition is the “K” signs that come flying down a pulley system over the concourse following every visiting team strikeout.
The Birdcage is on the north side of town, across from the Denny Sanford Premier Center. The airport is close.
Just a short drive away is a relaxing trip to Falls Park. One can watch the falls crash into the rocks, go for a hike or just the enjoy the atmosphere. It is a true gem in town.
Seeking some fine dining? A couple excellent choices are Morrie’s Steakhouse and Minervas restaurant.
Hotels are readily available all around Sioux Falls Stadium.
Attendance-wise, although numbers aren’t always the strongest, it is made up for by a fervent fan base. The base is loud and engaged in the action. The public address announcer also does a good job of keeping the action going and fans focused on fun. A genuine enthusiasm and ownership can be felt between the fans and this squad.
Interstates 29 and 229 make it easy to get to Sioux Falls Stadium. When looking for a free parking spot it is good to be strategic to find the right place. Parking can be very close to the stadium and does put vehicles in the path of foul balls. Parking spots are ample and even parking more towards the Denny Sanford Premier Center will not result in too long of a hike, but should ensure an intact windshield.
Once inside, concourses down the sides are easily traversed. There is plenty of room to scope out concessions, souvenirs or get more information. Restrooms are located down each side and are large. There is an elevator and a ramp for wheelchair access that is not out of the way and takes one right into the main seating area.
Down right field, there is a party past the fence at the party deck. Down left field is a berm that is a welcome area for families as well as a really good view of all the action.
Sightlines are great from all sides and the new behemoth of a scoreboard makes viewing a breeze.
Return on Investment 4
Tickets purchased ahead can be had on average from $9 for general admission to $15 for lower executive level. Prices do increase by $2 each the day of a Canaries game. With free parking, a variety of food and drink at reasonable prices, and a trip to the merchandise stand, an individual, couple or family can still have an enjoyable time without breaking the bank.
One point extra for the team store. Minor league baseball features many unique nicknames and the Canaries fit perfectly in Sioux Falls. The store has a robust selection on shirts, hats, jerseys and unique items emblazoned with the Bright yellow logo. Prices fit the same theme as tickets and concessions and were reasonable. One such item was a game used cracked baseball bat for $15.
One extra point goes to the players and staff. Stadium staff was tremendously friendly, reliable and helpful with suggestions. The players seem to have a real closeness to the fans and do a great job with interacting before, during and after by tossing a ball into the crowd, signing an autograph or posing for a picture with fans.
One final point goes to “The Birdcage.” The stadium really plays to what it is, a neighborhood park where one can enjoy American Association baseball. There are murals honoring South Dakota and baseball. There is also a wall for the Professional Scouts Hall of Fame.
There are newer parks. There are some with more state of the art features. There are few though that marry a feel of the community with amenities. Sioux Falls Stadium is an excellent ballpark that baseball fans can enjoy.