2018 SEC Ballpark Experience Rankings
When people speak of the Southeastern Conference, most people think of its football dominance. However, the baseball teams of the SEC have been equally impressive at the national level. The mild year-round temperatures, a huge recruiting base, and its own TV network have helped to make the SEC one of the toughest conferences in the country. Overall, SEC schools have won 11 College World Series Championships. Since 2000, SEC schools have made 12 appearances in the College World Series Finals.
Facilities play a large role in recruiting the best players and in building a large fanbase as well. The SEC has some of the top college ballpark experiences in the country and member schools compete in this area as much as they do on the field. At Stadium Journey we review every stadium using our FANFARE rating system. Now that the 2018 college baseball season is over, we want to release our rankings list of the stadiums in the SEC. The scores for each school’s stadiums are extremely close, with many ties occurring. We invite you to submit your own reviews for stadiums you have been to on the individual stadium pages.
1. Alex Box Stadium – LSU Tigers
The Tiger baseball experience at Alex Box Stadium has it all. A powerhouse ballclub, a state of the art facility, great food options, and a rabid fanbase all add up to a very intimidating atmosphere for opposing teams. It also earns the Bayou Bengals the top spot in our rankings.
2. Dudy Noble Field – Mississippi State Bulldogs
Considered by many to be one of the top on-campus venues in the country, Dudy Noble Field has played host to the top 10 highest attended on campus baseball games in NCAA history. The stadium is in the midst of a large-scale renovation, so look for it to challenge LSU for the top position in 2019.
3. Founders Park – South Carolina Gamecocks
As college baseball parks go, you could hardly do better than Founders Park at USC. A great tailgating culture, boiled peanuts, cold beer, and shouts of “Go Cocks!” add up to a wonderful gameday experience in Columbia.
4. Sewell-Thomas Stadium – Alabama Crimson Tide
Alabama has upped its game with the construction of this $43 million ballpark. Sewell-Thomas Stadium offers amenities typically found in minor league parks, such as a stadium club, berm seating, LED lighting, and an attractive brick exterior.
5. Swayze Field – Ole Miss Rebels
Ole Miss is proud of its traditions, and Swayze Field has some special traditions of its own. They include the beer showers in the student section after a Rebels home run, the synchronized dance routine in the Rebels dugout in the fifth inning, and the Hotty Toddy cheer moving though the stands.
6. Baum Stadium – Arkansas Razorbacks
The Home of the Homering Hogs is the fourth largest college baseball stadium in the country. Baum Stadium provides a wonderful gameday atmosphere with great food, great fans and a live Razorback hog in a trailer just outside of the park. Woo pig sooie!
7. Foley Field – Georgia Bulldogs
A visit to the home of the Diamond Dawgs is not to be missed. Georgia has more than a century’s worth of experience in baseball and it shows in the pedigree of Foley Field. A real live organist, the crack of the bat, and the cheers of Go Dawgs form the sounds of success here.
8. Hawkins Field – Vanderbilt Commodores
The baseball program at Vanderbilt is the athletic department’s brightest star. It salutes its stars of the past through banners featuring David Price and Dansby Swanson. Hawkins Field is always lively with a loud fan base, contests between innings, and the Commodores going full speed ahead.
9. Blue Bell Park – Texas A&M Aggies
The Aggies made a real statement in opening Blue Bell Park just before their move to the SEC. This jewel of a park shows that they are ready to compete with the “big boys” in a Texas-sized fashion.
10. Plainsman Park – Auburn Tigers
In a conference where football rules, baseball is equally as popular at Auburn University. Plainsman Park gave both Bo Jackson and Frank Thomas their start on the way to great major league careers.
11. Taylor Stadium – Missouri Tigers
In preparation for their move to the SEC, the Tigers made massive upgrades to their baseball facilities. Fans a Taylor Stadium now enjoy more comfortable seating, better sightlines, and increased concession options.
12. Lindsey Nelson Stadium – Tennessee Volunteers
Lindsey Nelson Stadium offers the tradition of Rocky Top and stunning views of the Tennessee River. It also offers some of the closest seats to the field in the SEC and the unique “viewing porches” behind the outfield walls.
13. McKethan Stadium – Florida Gators
14. Cliff Hagan Stadium – Kentucky Wildcats
The Wildcats bid farewell to their old Kentucky Home at the end of the 2018 baseball season. Cliff Hagan Stadium has served the Bat Cats well since opening in 1969, but lacks many of the amenities found in other SEC stadiums. The fanbase is already charged up about moving into the new stadium next season.
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