Rating the Sun Belt Ball Parks – #10 – From the Bird’s Nest
#10—TOMLINSON STADIUM/KELL FIELD—ARKANSAS STATE
THE GOOD—There’s plenty of parking available. It’s an on-campus facility which gives students a chance to support their team. They’ve installed a picnic area down the right field line and added some ground level chairbacks behind home plate. They also have some chairbacks in the main grandstand. The dimensions in the ball park are fair. The concession stand is enclosed which is really good in February and March.
THE BAD—Outside of the picnic area, there really isn’t much here that adds to ambience. It’s a ball park. Its location gives it a wide open feel lending to a lack of intimacy. Their press facility is woefully inadequate, especially now that they are trying to accommodate two radio stations plus television. Outfield drainage is sometimes a concern. And, that wide openness means the wind blows right through the place. That is not a fan friendly thing, especially early in the season. The ball park is just....there.
ANALYSIS—The administration at A-State acknowledges they need to do something about this facility. There has been talk of refurbishing, building a new park on campus and even a ball park downtown. Whatever the case, it’s time to start some serious fundraising for this sport. A facelift or new structure won’t help the weather early in the season. But they can at least give their program a fighting chance for success.