Rating the Sun Belt Ball Parks -#8 – From the Bird’s Nest
#8—SMITH STADIUM—APPALACHIAN STATE
THE GOOD—It’s a relatively new facility, build about a decade ago. They’ve got plenty of parking for fans and, like Little Rock, fans walk down to their seats, which adds to the ambience. They’ve got a grassy area on the first base side with a fire pit, and the concession stand sells the fixins to make your own smores, which is pretty cool. It’s also a pet-friendly ball park which adds to the ambience. The field is turf which helps protect it somewhat from the elements. The park is symmetrical. The press facility is adequate, though having to go through the concession stand to get to it is a little odd.
THE BAD—I get the feeling it’s just kind of ….there. “Here. We built a ball park. “ The concession area and rest rooms won’t be adequate if App ever draws decent crowds. It’s an on campus facility but doesn’t feel like it. It’s at the top of the campus and it’s not exactly walking distance from anything on campus, unless you really like walking uphill for a long distance. Personally, I do not.
ANALYSIS—There isn’t anything that can be done about the climate, but when the weather’s good, this isn’t a bad place to be. I’d just like to see them add some things to make the ball park more fan friendly. Like I said, their attitude seems like, “here you go. Go play.” The place has potential, though.