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  • Writer's pictureMeg Minard

The Hangar – Lancaster JetHawks

Photos by Meg Minard , Stadium Journey

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.57

The Hangar 45116 Valley Central Way Lancaster, CA 93536

Year Opened: 1996

Capacity: 4,600


Hanging out at The Hangar

The Lancaster JetHawks are the high single-A baseball team (California League) of the Colorado Rockies. They have also been affiliated with the Mariners, D-backs, Red Sox, and Astros since their move to Lancaster, CA from Riverside, CA in 1996. They originated in Reno, UT in 1947 under various names and leagues.

The JetHawks are named for Lancaster’s rich history of aerospace engineering. The 23-year-old stadium’s name is called The Hangar. A NASA F/A-18 Hornet jet adorns the entrance of the stadium to honor the history of the aerospace industry.

The organization provides best in class customer service and a fan feels warm and welcome attending a game at The Hangar. And, the staff actually appear to enjoy working there and making guests and fans feel good about being there.

Food & Beverage 4

Plenty of food choices are available at The Hangar. Depending on attendance, all stands may not be open. The concession stands sell different main choices so look around first. Be aware lines can get very long and move slow so get your nourishment early or plan on missing some of the game.

Pizza, chicken Caesar salad, pulled pork sandwiches, nachos, build your own tater tots, burgers (including turkey), spicy chicken sandwiches, and chicken tenders and fries round out the baseball specialties ($6.50 – $16). Traditional snacks like hot dogs, peanuts, popcorn, pretzels, candy, etc. are available at most stands. Down the first base outer concourse is a stand selling burgers, cheesesteaks, and beer brats with chips ($8 – $10) as well as a Budweiser beer stand.

Ice cream treats include sundaes, helmet sundaes (to share), cones, dessert nachos, apple pie ala monde, and cotton candy ($4.25 – $18).

Coca-Cola is soda provider for the JetHawks ($4 – $6). Domestic beer (Bud, Bud Light, Stella Artois, and the like) runs $6.50 – $9.50 depending on size and brand. Craft beer lovers should head to the Golden Road Brewing Patio near section 113 on the third base inner concourse ($9 for 16 oz of one of their delicious brews – $2 off on Mondays).

All–in–all a decent selection, just be prepared for the lines that can form.

Atmosphere 4

The JetHawks provide a fabulous game day experience.

Fans can get seats right smack in front of bullpens (sections 119 and 121 down the third baseline and 118 and 120 down the first baseline. Row A is the very first row (net-free). The first base side is the JetHawks home side. Fans on the first base side get the sun setting in their face the first few innings.

The Hanger Bullpens, Photo by Meg Minard, Stadium Journey

Nets only go to the end of dugouts.

Faded, green, stadium fold-down chairs with cup holders make up the seating areas (two levels of seating with a walkway between the two). Seats are wide enough with plenty of leg room. Some suites are above the second level on each side of press box. Two party decks/tents are located down the third base side that can host large events.

A highway is beyond the outfield. The kids bounce house and play area are down the first base concourse.

A clear, crisp, easy to read video scoreboard is in left field. It shows score by inning, line up, balls, strikes outs, player at bat with his stats, and an analog clock. Even better, a manual scoreboard is located in right field which brings back some of the nostalgia of visiting minor league ballparks 20 years ago.

Misters are in the home dugout; not the visitors.

Common in minor league baseball, but still annoying – music is played too loud when the starting lineup is announced so one can’t hear to update their scorecard. Just lower the music volume. The rest of the game the music volume is fine.

The JetHawks provide many promotional games throughout the season: Harry Potter Night (scarf giveaway), Christmas in July, Star Wars Weekend, Fireworks Nights, and more.

In game entertainment includes all the traditional contests, races, trivia, etc. The mascot, Kaboom, is non-intrusive and yet still provides entertainment for kids and adults during the game.

Neighborhood 3

Lancaster is a respectable city to visit and while no night life is walking distance to the stadium there is plenty to see and do in and around town.

A few regional fast food restaurants are nearby with In-N-Out being the most popular choice, but don’t shun El Pollo Loco which originated in Los Angeles. If you are looking for a few local options, drive the two miles downtown to the BLVD.

Here one can find a collection of ethnic cuisine that includes 1800 Burritos & Tacos, Rio Brazilian Grill, Cuban Express, The Tai Restaurant, Cantarito Salvadorean Restaurant, and more. The BLVD has the MOAH (Museum of Arts and History) and Lancaster Performing Arts Center for some cultural entertainment and there’s often some kind of event occurring in the downtown area.

Craft beer lovers will enjoy Bravery Brewery (about 5 miles from the stadium) providing a wide variety of excellent brews. And, when in Lancaster, one must drive over the Musical Road at least once.

Closer to the stadium, an IMAX movie theater is nearby (just across Valley Central Way). The Lancaster Marketplace (a shopping center) is just behind the next-door hotels.

A Homewood Suites and a Hampton Inn are right across the street from The Hangar parking entrance. Just across Highway 14 is a Best Western. So, plenty of places are available within a ½ mile for those spending the night.

The Hanger - Hotel Across the Street, Photo by Meg Minard, Stadium Journey

Fans 3

The JetHawks fans consist mostly of families and friends or couples on a date night out. Several groups also attend the games. Die-hard fans are seen throughout the stadium as well as those fans who are simply there for a pleasant evening of entertainment.

Average attendance over the last few years run 2,200 – 2,400 and puts them middle of the pack for the California League. Fans cheer when appropriate and express civilized displeasure at disappointing plays and calls.

Access 4

Once in Lancaster, getting to the ballpark is extremely easy. It is right off highway 14/138. Lancaster is about 70 miles from Los Angeles. The Hangar is a little further from other South Division California League venues with the Inland Empire 66ers and the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes the closest each at about 1 ½ hour drive. Remember – it’s Southern California – always add extra time to the GPS drive time.

Antelope Valley Transit has a bus stop right near the ballpark (Route 11 – Avenue I and Valley Central Way) though it looks like it is does not operate on Saturday or Sunday evenings so getting back from a game may be difficult. Check their website for schedules, maps, and fares.

Parking is available for $5 cash. Some of the parking is covered and those carports also double as solar panels, producing an astonishing 98% of the ballpark’s electricity. Just another cool thing about the park and the JetHawks organization.

A friendly bag check is performed on entry (non-clear bags ARE allowed), though outside food and beverages are not.

Moving around the seating area and on the outskirts of the concourse is open. The only congestion is in the concourse when the lines for the concessions are tremendous. These lines block ease of pedestrian movement through the outer concourse especially during the middle innings of the game.

Return on Investment 5

Attending a JetHawks game is worth every sports dollar penny spent (which is not much – especially with their promotional days). Single game tickets range from $10 – $17; a $1 military, senior, or child discount is offered. Daily deals include Bark & Brews – every Monday bring your dog to the park (dogs get free admission ). And $2 off all craft beer in the Golden Road Patio. Tuesday is Community Hero night – BOGO, every Saturday home game has giveaways (hats, backpacks, cool stuff) and more. There’s something going on every day of the week.

Parking is $5 (which is equal to or lower than some of the other California League stadiums).

And, it’s just an enjoyable evening out.

Extras 2

The program handed out upon entry is produced quite well with articles, advertisements from local vendors, information on upcoming events at the ballpark and in the community, rosters, and a scorecard. JetHawks Hall of Fame (HOF) plaques are posted on the concourse columns.

Final Thoughts

Visiting The Hangar brings back waves of nostalgia of minor league baseball 20 or so years ago where all staff members greet fans warmly. Where after the first few innings you can move around and not have the staff member tell a fan they can’t sit somewhere because it’s reserved (and stadium is 20% full). Between inning games are goofy but fun and the noise volume doesn’t give you a headache nor is it so loud you can’t talk with your neighbor.

Yeah, it’s a bit away from the other teams in the California League and the big boys in Los Angeles and Anaheim but it’s so worth a visit. I’m going back.

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