Photos by Eric Moreno, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.00
UFCU Disch-Falk Field 1300 East MLK Blvd Austin, TX 78702
Year Opened: 1975 Capacity: 6.649
Texas Longhorns – UFCU Disch-Falk Field
The Texas Longhorns have a rich and storied history on the baseball diamond. Since taking the field in 1894 the Longhorns have appeared in the College World Series (CWS) a record 38 times, been runners-up six times, and have won the whole thing six times (in 1949, 1950, 1975, 1983, 2002, and 2005), tied for the second most ever.
From 1997-2016 Texas was led by legendary Head Coach Augie Garrido, owner of the record for most wins in NCAA baseball history. A host of all-time greats have suited up in Austin on the 40 acres, including Roger Clemens, Burt Hooten, Keith Moreland, Greg Swindell, and Huston Street.
Since 1975 Texas has played its games at UFCU Disch-Falk Field, named for two other legendary coaches in Longhorn history, Billy Disch and Bibb Falk. Over the years the stadium has gone through numerous renovations to keep the stadium as up-to-date as possible; this included upgrading the video board/jumbotron in the left-center field, adding new seats, and upgrading the concession stands.
With its brick façade and prime location in downtown Austin, the Disch is one of the best spots for college baseball in the country. Read on to learn what has made it such a popular stop on the sports landscape.
Food & Beverage 3
When it comes to concessions, the offerings at Disch-Falk Field are pretty much standard fare. There are five concession stands on the main concourse between home plate and third base. These spots – all contactless – offer up traditional hot dogs, hamburgers, nachos, soft pretzels, popcorn, bottled and fountain sodas, and beer.
There is also a full-scale bar behind the third baseline, selling beer, wine, spirits, mixed drinks, and pre-packaged (i.e. canned) cocktails from Deep Eddy Vodka. Also along the third baseline is a stand offering up Quizno’s Subs – selling a pared-down menu of pre-made subs, chips, and cookies, it’s a nice change of pace from your regular ballgame food.
The ballpark has some local flare, as well, in its concessions, with one area specializing in tacos and Mexican street corn. Also, as another nice change of pace, local food trucks can set up shop in a special area behind the stands on the third baseline.
One of the main highlights for me must be the aforementioned contactless ordering and self-checkout kiosks; these can speed up the process and get folks in and out to minimize missing any of the game.
The Disch flat-out has a great atmosphere that adds to the overall enjoyment of the game day experience. The outside façade gives it the gravitas of a true baseball cathedral, and banners line the walkway highlighting the six CWS championships.
Near the main entrance, a series of four busts stand to watch – each depicts one of the legendary head coaches in Longhorn baseball history: Disch, Falk, Garrido, and Cliff Gustafson, a.k.a. Coach Gus. The recently deceased Coach Gus was honored with the naming of the Cliff Gustafsson Pavilion in the right field, along with a giant Longhorn logo with his name on it emblazoned on the grass in the center field.
Inside the stadium, there are team stores behind first base, for fans to pick up all their team gear. In addition, lining the wall underneath the luxury boxes is the de facto ring of honor, which highlights many of the names I mentioned earlier, and their retired numbers.
The impossibly green field turf of the outfield just looks glorious when paired with the omnipresent highlights of burnt orange throughout the Disch. There isn’t a bad seat in the house, and quite a few of the general admission seats lie underneath a covered area, which comes in mighty handy during the dog days of summer.
UFCU Disch-Falk Field lies across Interstate 35 within eyesight of but just set apart from, the main campus of the University of Texas, a.k.a. the 40 acres. With that said, it is still smack dab in the middle of downtown Austin. The state capital has a multitude of activities to keep anyone engaged – from outdoor enthusiasts and live music aficionados to history buffs and cinephiles, Austin has you covered.
The Disch is located right across I-35 from the Longhorn's shiny new basketball arena, Moody Center. The baseball and basketball seasons do overlap, so if you plan your visit right, you could double up on games. It is also in the same athletics compound as Red & Charline McCombs Field, Texas Tennis Center, and the Jamail Texas Swimming Center, home of Texas softball, tennis, and swimming and diving, respectively. There is also the chance to catch some of these games/events if you plan your visit accordingly.
In terms of other attractions, spring, and summer (when the heart of college baseball is played) is a fantastic times to visit the most visible natural attraction in Austin, Lady Bird Lake. Named in honor of native Texan and former first lady Lady Bird Johnson, the reservoir encompasses 480 acres of real estate in the city; it is a favorite spot for kayakers and paddleboarders. Visitors can also take boat tours across the lake, which is a prime spot to see the Congress Avenue Bridge Mexican freetail bat colony that is famous in the area.
One quirky attraction that plays into the city’s motto to “Keep Austin Weird” is the eponymous Museum of the Weird. This hodgepodge collection of kitschy and schlocky artifacts is a fun, breezy way to spend some time before or after a Longhorns game, and perfectly plays into the city’s overall aesthetic.
For dining options, my favorite spot in the city – which is also the oldest continually operating restaurant in Texas – is Scholz Garten. Opened one year after the close of the Civil War, Scholz Garten embodies old-world German cuisine. Serving up sausages, schnitzels, sandwiches, and more (the jägerschnitzel is my favorite) along with German beer in the beer garden, this place is dripping with history and deliciousness.
If you come to south and/or central Texas, at some point Tex-Mex really should be part of your diet. Juan in a Million, in addition to having a great punny name, is also an old-school joint serving up good Tex-Mex cuisine. With enchiladas, fajitas, chalupas, flautas, and some of the largest breakfast tacos in the state, Juan in a Million plays the hits and does them well.
In terms of lodging, being as popular as Austin is, there is a multitude of options for you. There aren’t any within walking distance of the ballpark, but there are quite a few that are a short drive away. This includes DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Austin - University Area and Frances Modern Inn. Whatever your budget, you’ll be able to find something to suit your needs.
When attending games at the Disch, depending on the opponent, you are more than likely going to be awash in a sea of burnt orange. Averaging just under 6,800 fans a game, it is virtually a sellout every time out for the Longhorns.
Fans are lined up outside the stadium along the outfield fences in a pseudo tailgate that lasts the entire game. The fans are loud, they’re vocal, they’re decked out in burnt orange, and they make games a lot of fun – the Longhorns faithful greatly add to the energy at the ballpark.
Austin is an hour and a half north of San Antonio on I-35, three and a half hours south of Dallas/Fort Worth, and three hours west of Houston. UFCU Disch-Falk Field, which as mentioned is in the middle of downtown Austin, is also only 15 minutes from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.
CapMetro, Austin’s public transportation system, runs buses and trains from all over the city, and there are even bus stops out in front of the Disch if you choose not to drive.
If you are driving in, the baseball stadium has its dedicated parking garage next door. The cost is $8 per car if purchased ahead of time online, or $10 the day of.
Return on Investment 5
Single-game general admission tickets for Longhorn baseball start at $14 per person, which is truly a bargain considering the caliber of opponent that comes to Austin each season. Premium seating – such as those directly behind home plate – will cost you a bit more. However, it still pales in comparison to what you’ll spend on other sports.
With the low cost of parking and relatively favorable pricing at the concession stands, you and your wallet are sure to appreciate your time in Austin at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.
There is not much in the way of Extras at Longhorn baseball games. Unlike other sports, baseball doesn’t lend itself well to a lot of the accouterments of other sports. Also, because it says “Texas” across their jerseys and with all that implies, there aren’t any of the types of festivities or games or whatnot that you’ll typically find at minor league baseball games, for example.
They do bring some of the school’s traditional pomp and circumstance out to the ballpark, however, which includes the Texas Cowboys manning the Longhorns cannon “Smokey” – the Cowboys fire off the venerable cannon after every Texas run scored. Also on hand for games is the Texas mascot, Hook ‘Em, who can be seen patrolling the stands and the main concourse interacting with fans, throwing up the Hook ‘Em Horns sign, and of course, posing for countless pictures.
I probably should have mentioned this at the beginning of the review, but in the interest of full disclosure, I must note that I am a lifelong Texas Longhorns fan. For me, heading up to any game on the 40 acres is truly something special.
With that said, I think anyone who is a fan of sports – especially baseball – will enjoy themselves at UFCU Disch-Falk Field. It is a cathedral of the sport, draped in history and excellence. The atmosphere is tremendous, and Austin is a fun city to visit. Catch a game at the Disch when you can, and Hook ‘Em Horns!
Follow Eric Moreno's Stadium Journey on Twitter at @EricMoreno6477.