Photos by Chris Green, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.00
Mercy Health Stadium 2009 Baseball Blvd Avon, OH 44011
Year Opened: 2009 Capacity: 5,000
When thinking of baseball in North-Central Ohio, one would understandably overlook the Lake Erie Crushers as a stalwart in the local community. However, in a few short years, this team has endeared itself to the locals, becoming a fan favorite for families and young fans throughout the region. With their growing fan-friendly approach, affordable pricing, and family-friendly options, the Crushers are becoming a smart and easy alternative to the big-league ticket prices of the Cleveland Indians 30 minutes east of Avon. Add to this a recent retooling of the team’s logo and color scheme to more accurately reflect their heritage, and you have the perfect recipe for a great experience at the ballpark.
Food & Beverage 3
The food and beverage options at Mercy Health Stadium, formerly Sprenger Stadium, are plentiful in their variety. While your standard fare of burgers and hot dogs are available, they won’t break your bank. A personal pizza runs just over $4, with a large order or nachos running $7. Drinks are varied, from soda and water for $3 each to locally brewed beer, wine, and other alcoholic drinks that all stay under $10. Snacks like peanuts, popcorn, candy, chips, and others are available as well. Starting this year, fans can also pick from a special Bud Light Lime Grape-A-Rita at the stadium, served specially for Lake Erie Crushers games.
Mercy Health Stadium itself isn’t what one would think stands out beyond others. There are no large roofing panels to shield fans from the sun, or any statues outside of players from the past. However, once inside, the sheer cleanliness of the stadium is obvious right away. The stadium has begun to be painted with highlights of purple and white, reflecting the new color scheme and logo of the team.
Lake Erie Crushers games also feature between-innings giveaways and on-field games between fans, often including the youngest fans in attendance. The outfield in right features a large kids zone, complete with bounce houses and slides. The outfield in left is a large viewing mound that gives fans an elevated view of the stadium, while fans lining the left field wall can stand against the railing, where bar-ledges have been placed to set your drink down. The games are usually packed full of fans, as ticket prices are low and group rates are offered for youth groups and schools.
Mercy Health Stadium is located in a growing part of Ohio’s Lake Erie coast, located about halfway between Cleveland and Sandusky. Just one exit down from the stadium is a large shopping area complete with restaurants and stores galore. For food, fans flock to The Winking Lizard and Mitchell’s Ice Cream. For somewhere to stay, the closest options include the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Cleveland Avon, and the Cambria Hotel and Suites Cleveland Avon.
For nature lovers, a short drive to the east is Rocky River Nature Center in the Cleveland Metroparks. Cedar Point theme park is also to the west in Sandusky.
While fans would be likely to overlook the Lake Erie Crushers at first, it is clear the locals have begun to embrace the team. Despite the team’s overall look and color scheme being opposite of what their original fan-voted choice was, fans have begun to pack Mercy Health Stadium to see tomorrow’s stars take the field. Now, with their new look, fans seem excited and rejuvenated when talking about their hometown Crushers.
The stands are filled with kids and families, making it a great option for the family looking to somewhere to take the little ones for a baseball game. The fans range from the diehards to the vaguely sports oriented, visiting with friends or family and enjoying a day out in the Ohio sun.
Getting to Mercy Health Stadium is so easy, you literally could build a jump ramp on I-90 and land cars in the outfield. Exit 151 takes you right to the entrance road for Mercy Health Stadium, where parking is plentiful and only $3 per car. Season ticket holders are also eligible for a discounted season parking pass.
Once you arrive at the stadium, there are two entrances that take you inside, and both are well staffed so lines are never too long. Getting around the stadium is easy as well, with signs clearly showing the seats and sections for fans not familiar with the layout.
Return on Investment 5
How can you go wrong with tickets starting at $6 for lawn seating in the outfield and $9 for assigned seating? Perhaps the best option at Mercy Health Stadium for a group is the Terrace Tables; these seat four people and include your own server and an umbrella at each table for $36-$38.
The Home Depot box is easily the best seat in the house, with your own box above the dugout on the main concourse that includes a server, and comfortable outdoor patio furniture provided by The Home Depot; this section runs $225 for 12 tickets at a time.
Concessions prices at Mercy Health Stadium are also low, meaning you won’t break the bank if you want to get a bite to eat or a drink. Even the items at the team store are well-priced, meaning you can buy some swag and still not go over your budget.
Mercy Health Stadium features a large sign by the entrance that lists the starting lineups for both teams, meaning the diehard fans are kept up to date on the latest changes in the lineups. There are also plenty of games fans can play while at the park, from bag toss to ladder ball, so fans can also relax while they take in the action on the field.
The team’s fan shop usually features a deal of the game, whether it is a t-shirt, replica baseball, or pack of trading cards that is on sale. In addition, players are also available during pre-game and post-game for autograph sessions during different games throughout the season.
The Lake Erie Crushers are a team that is perhaps overlooked too often, which is unfair to their extremely family-friendly atmosphere. Mercy Health Stadium is well laid out, and while it may not feature multi-level suite boxes or upper deck seating, the venue offers great sightlines and comfortable seating in all areas.
The great prices for tickets, concessions, and parking add to the overall affordability for everyone, from large groups to individuals who enjoy the game of baseball. Whenever traveling through North-Central Ohio, fans can look to Mercy Health Stadium to provide professional baseball without having to pay major league prices, or contend with large-city traffic.