Photos by Marc Viquez, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.86
Warrior Baseball Field
1600 E Washington Blvd.
Fort Wayne, IN 46803
Year Opened: 1991 Capacity: 500
A Hidden Gem of Ballpark at Indiana Tech
Warrior Baseball Field is the home of Indiana Tech baseball in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. The ballpark was constructed in 1991 when the program returned to the school. The 500-seat grandstand is wedged into a small hill with outfield views of campus dorms and cemetery over St. Anthony Blvd. in left field. It makes for an interesting backdrop at this level of college baseball.
The Warriors are members of the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. The club won 9 conference championships including the last three as of this writing. There are also four retired numbers on the outfield wall, with former coach Lance Hershberger’s number 50 among them. He led the team to 390 victories in 12 years, including five straight NAIA World Series appearances, including runner-ups in 1998.
Food & Beverage 0
There is no food offered at the ballpark, and it is encouraged to either eat before you arrive or bring your items to the game. There are plenty of fans in the concession area with bags from nearby fast-food restaurants, while others grab something from the cooler around spots along the perimeter of the stadium. It’s common among many NAIA ballparks not to have a concession stand, and there does not seem to be any room for one at the field.
The ballpark has an interesting design that creates various sports for watching the game. The grandstand is partially jammed into a hill and reminds me a little of Jack Burch Field in Cannon Falls, Minnesota. The fans get an upper view from behind the plate and plenty of opportunities to stomp their feet against the aluminum concourse and seating.
There are plenty of grassy areas down the third-base side but are only accessible to the ballplayers who enjoy a bite in-between double-headers. A concrete porch overlooks the area where parents of the players sit on tables, set up lawn chairs, and have access to two grills. Behind the left-field wall is a long concrete bench and chairs where more fans can view the game from. There is also a large net to block balls from crashing into the dorm building.
The right-field wall is decorated with Warrior tournament appearances, championship titles, and retired jersey numbers. The back of the grandstand is also decked out with school colors, logos, and player photos. The main road and cemetery are a few yards away from the outfield fence in the right field. A simple press box holds around 5-6 people in the grandstand.
Grandstand and Press Box at Warrior Baseball Field, Photo by Marc Viquez, Stadium Journey
The private Technical University was founded in 1930 and has an enrollment of 9,652 students. It’s located less than two miles from downtown and Parkview Field, home of the High-A Ft. Wayne TinCaps. The campus is modern, compact, and offers various buildings that blend into the ballpark. However, fans should check out Summit City Brewerks a few blocks away, located in the old Wayne Buns Factory. It offers 33 beers on tap, a full-service restaurant, and plenty of pinball machines.
A few traditional spots have been in town for a combined total of 195 years in business. Ft. Wayne’s Famous Coney Island opened in 1914 and has not changed much in appearance, offering it topped with meat sauce and chopped onion. The dogs taste best sitting on the wooden stool countertops with mini glass bottles of Coca-Cola. Powers Hamburger Restaurant grills up sliders with mounds of sweet onions and ranks up there with the great American hamburger. King Gyros is another popular spot that sells a barbecue gyro with grilled onions and barbecue sauce.
A few other restaurants in town worth checking out include Tolon, Copper Spoon, Proximo, and The Deck. The TinCaps might be playing in the evening, or perhaps the Ft. Wayne Komets or Mad Ants are at the Allen County Memorial Coliseum. A Komets game usually includes 10,000 plus rabid fans showing that they are one of the best arenas for minor league hockey.
The fans at the Warriors are mostly friends and family members. The chatter from the dugout is highly audible, and so are the conversations between players and fans in their seats. A few folks behind the outfield walls banter with the outfielders at times. At a game like this, many will have conversations with you about the team; if they have a son playing for Tech, and might even offer you a beer.
The Indiana Tech campus is accessible from the main streets of downtown Ft. Wayne, and there is plenty of parking for the ballpark. It is only the main entrance to the grandstand, but if you don’t want to pay the fee, there are spots down the 3rd base and left field area to watch the game with other fans.
Return on Investment 3
The price of admission is $10, which is on the higher side for NAIA ballparks. For example, nearby Huntington University charges $7 at Forest Glen Park, and Marian University does not charge an admission fee for its ball games on its Indianapolis campus. Warrior Baseball Field is a pretty ballpark but does not include a concession stand, a place for university gear, or any promotions. Fans can watch the game from the third-base side or behind the left-field fence for free.
One point for the outfield walls honoring retired numbers, past championships, and World Series appearances. A second point for the left-field seating that provides fans with a different vantage point of the baseball game that also includes a giant net to protect baseballs from crashing into the dormitories. A third point for the interesting setting of the grandstand being built into a hill and the views of the cemetery and campus buildings beyond the outfield walls.
Warrior Baseball Field was a place I was always told to visit by my friends in Ft. Wayne. It’s one of those hidden treats of ballparks in Indiana and can be a lot of fun if you planned it correctly. First, bring food and drink, then pick a spot down the third base or left-field wall, and enjoy with friends and family. After the game, enjoy a drink at nearby Summit City Brewerks or take in another sporting event at Parkview Field or Allen County Memorial Coliseum.