By: Teddy Cahill
The college baseball fan’s attention largely focused on the game on the field, which is almost completely unlike the family-friendly atmosphere of the minor leagues, where on-field action is almost secondary to promotions, mascots and concessions.
However, athletic directors know that drawing new fans is just as important as pleasing old ones.
“I think the investment that athletic departments are making with facilities, and all the coaches and head coaches salaries, and the way teams travel tells me—and a lot of other coaches across the country—that (interest in college) baseball is at an all-time high,” Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. “When you have a nice ballpark, fans like the experience. New ballparks bring new fans.”
1. Baum Stadium, Arkansas
Opened in 1996, Baum remains one of the crown jewels of college baseball. It quickly became the model ballpark in college baseball and has withstood the test of time—with the help of some improvements over the years that have increased its seating capacity and the number of suites, as well as changing the playing surface from artificial turf to grass. Arkansas annually ranks near the top of college baseball’s attendance leaders and the Hog Pen picnic area in left field remains an iconic experience.
See the rest of the rankings on BaseballAmerica.com.