When it comes to college baseball in the Houston area, everyone knows about Rice and Houston and maybe even Texas Southern. But the Houston Baptist Huskies aren’t an experience to sleep on.
A member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), Texas Southern baseball is finding success despite playing their games in a city park. MacGregor Park is a no-frills college baseball experience, but is also home to a team that won the SWAC in 2015 and 2017, sending the Tigers to Regional play in each of those seasons. So even though it may not be a high-end fan experience, the baseball is still quite enjoyable.
Facing out towards the Texas Medical Center, Reckling Park is the ultimate representation of a school known for its baseball prowess. The Rice Owls have called Reckling home since 2000, and have continued to improve upon it both with accolades and renovations.
Arizona Stadium and the Arizona Wildcats football experience is a unique one, and one that has seen many upgrades in recent years. But when you look at the stadium as a whole, there’s quite the contrast between the renovations and the relics. The opening of the new Lowell-Stevens Football Facility in the north end zone has completely transformed Arizona Stadium. The north end zone area is on the cutting edge of college football, offering suites, diverse concession options, and most importantly, comfortable seating.
The rest of the stadium still has portions remaining from when it originally opened in 1929. Back in those days, Arizona Stadium had a capacity of 7,000, but is now at 55,675.
A new artificial surface was also installed prior to the 2013 season. A ghost-lettered “Bear Down” runs in between the hashes, and adds an extra visual element that the stadium had been lacking with the old natural grass.
In total, the Lowell-Stevens Football Facility cost $72.3 million, and was paid for through private donations. It is really quite impressive from a fan’s standpoint, and as a football training facility. You can find a photo tour of the facility here.
The Arizona football tradition has never been a strong one, always being no higher than third on the popularity list behind men’s basketball and softball at the university. That battle is never-ending for the program, and makes it difficult to justify further improvements to the experience. The football team has still never been to a Rose Bowl, making them the only member of the former Pac-10 to not make a January trip to Pasadena.
Since 2013, one of the top baseball programs in the West Coast Conference, the San Diego Toreros, have called Fowler Park and Cunningham Field their home. Located on the hilly USD campus, the stadium is designed to take advantages of the local topography, filling in a cliff with a state-of-the-art baseball facility.