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  • David Welch

Stick Williams Dream Field - Queens University Royals


Photos by David Welch, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.00

Stick Williams Dream Field 7531 Tuckaseegee Rd Charlotte, NC 28214

Queens University of Charlotte Royals website Stick Field of Dreams website

Year Opened: 2019

 

Stick Williams Dream Field - Queens University Royals

The Queens University Royals are not just one of the newer baseball programs in the NCAA’s Division I, but their existence as a varsity sport is still in its infancy. Transitioning from a club sport in 2018 to a varsity team has come with many challenges, but the Royals have handled them all in stride as they have worked to establish themselves in the Atlantic Sun Conference.


Food & Beverage 3

Concessions are provided through local food trucks – one of the trucks offers various BBQ options and has an accompanying baked goods tent for sweet treats. There is not much in the way of traditional stadium fare, but if the trucks are changed out regularly, prices and options can change from game-to-game. There is a concession stand on the back side of the press box, but it does not appear to be used for Royals’ games.


Atmosphere 3

Stick Williams Dream Field is part of the larger Knothole Foundation – Tuckaseegee baseball/softball complex that includes the Queens University softball team’s field (together they are called the Stick Williams Dream Fields).


Seating at Stick Williams Dream Field is limited but is just right for the program. There is a small grandstand behind the brick backstop and a pair of aluminum bleachers on the visiting side of the field. A handful of fans choose to stand in the area next to the Royals’ dugout and watch the game from this vantage point. The seating here is cozy, but it works for the size of the crowd typically at each game.


There is not a lot when it comes to Stick Williams Dream Field – the Royals play on natural grass with a symmetrical, 8-foot fence that runs 330’ down each of the lines, 375’ to the gaps, and 390’ to dead center. A simple inning-by-inning scoreboard sits just over the right center field fence.

The game at Stick Williams Dream Field is as simple as baseball gets – other than walkup music and music between innings, there is not a whole lot going on to entertain fans. While this might be a drawback for some, it does not negatively impact the game experience.


Neighborhood 2

Stick Williams Dream Field is located just over 10 miles from the Queens University campus, just outside downtown Charlotte. This separation between campus and the Royal’s home field impacts the student’s motivation to show up and support Queens’ baseball.


The Royal’s home field neighbors include West Mecklenburg High School, a small residential neighborhood, a handful of warehouses, and I-85 on the back side of the facility.


Given the field’s proximity to Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, there are plenty of hotels in the area, but it is a bit lacking when it comes to the selection of restaurants.


Fans 3

Queens University is one of the smallest universities in Division I. With an enrollment of just under 1,500 the Royals do not have a large student body to pull from. However, given the size of their population in relation to the size of the crowd, Queens does well in drawing fans to their games.


Fans are actively engaged; they get on the umpires just as any fanbase would for calls they see as questionable. It is just that there are not a whole lot of them here when looking at the overall numbers.


Access 4

Stick Williams Dream Field is just off the junction of I-485 and I-85, making it accessible from any area. Parking can be a bit tricky, though, especially if there is a softball game being played at the adjacent field at the same time. However, there is an overflow lot across the street at West Mecklenburg High School if space in the primary lot runs out.


The seating area for the baseball field is easily accessible and maneuverable – fans can either walk around the back of the press box or pass between the grandstand and backstop. Seats in the grandstand are typically well shaded for early afternoon games, whereas the bleachers are completely in the sun.

Seating directly behind home plate is a bit impacted by the team’s camera set up, which is used to analyze the game. It is not overly burdensome, but it does take up some prime seating as the tripod is in the seating area.


Return on Investment 4

With no charge for admission or parking, the financial investment of a Royals baseball game is hard to beat. If you choose to get concessions, those can be a bit pricey with the food trucks, but it becomes variable depending on the trucks at each game. Other than the possibility of concessions, the only other investment is time.


With that said, if debating about investing time in a Queen’s University baseball game, the volume of sports entertainment choices in and around Charlotte would probably not put Queens’ baseball toward the top of that list. Truist Field just a few miles away, and the newly completed Atrium Health Ballpark just north of Charlotte in Kannapolis, make it difficult for the Royals to attract fans if they were choosing between the baseball options in the area.


Extras 2

Knothole Foundation and the Stick Williams Dream Fields were built not just for use by Queens University, but also serve ‘to drive transformative programming for underserved youth.’


Given the proximity to Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, planes flying overhead create a bit of a Citi Field ambiance; fans can get a rather good look at the undercarriage of the aircraft as they descend on their final approach.


Final Thoughts

Stick Will Dream Field is not overwhelmingly impressive when it comes to amenities and extras, but the field does an adequate job serving the purpose it was designed to do. While baseball at Queens probably would not be at top of most “must see” lists, it does provide a pleasant baseball atmosphere for taking in a game.

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