Alexander Field – Purdue Boilermakers
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Boiler Up at the Ballpark
Alexander Field opened in 2013 for the Purdue University baseball program. The 1,500 seat ballpark is part of the Mackey Complex/Northwest site that also houses the school’s softball field, soccer pitch, tennis facility, and cross country course and is located less than two miles from its football stadium Ross-Ade Stadium and basketball gym Mackey Arena.
The ballpark is named after the John and Margaret Ross Alexander, alumni and parents of former Purdue coach Dave Alexander, who gave the lead gift for the project. He coached the Boilermakers from 1978-1991 and his 407 wins are the most in school history. The $10.3 million stadium replaced Lambert Field which had been built 1966.
Alexander Field features a wide-open concourse, two-leveled press box, luxury suites, grass berm seating, and the main concession area. The facility is expandable to 2,500 seats and offers plenty of parking surrounding its exterior.
Food & Beverage 3
There is one main grandstand in back of the concourse offering typical ballpark food from hot dogs ($5), Cracker Jacks ($3), peanuts ($4), and nachos ($5). The Black and Gold hot dog is a jumbo dog with chili, cheese, and diced onions ($7). There is also an additional portable cart offering concessions down the third base line.
A little bit down the concourse is a beer cart featuring an impressive selection of choices from Indiana breweries of Upland, Peoples, Three Floyd’s, and Sun King. The Salmon Pants Premium Lager and Free Time Lager are perfect for a warm, sunny afternoon of baseball, but the Boiler Gold American Golden Ale should appeal to all taste buds and sales benefit the university’s Department of Food Science. The cost of beers ranges from $7-$9 per can or bottle. For non-beer drinkers, Coca-Cola products are available for $5.
The cozy, little ballpark provides an intimate experience in all the modern comforts in a collegiate setting. A warm weekend afternoon game brought out an enthusiastic crowd ready for some Purdue baseball. The beer was flowing, fans were chopping on hot dogs, kids were rolling down the grass berm seating area, and a majority were decked out in black and gold gear.
It was Bark at the Park and a few hundred canines took in the sun; the promotion was free to all dogs and also included a free bone-shaped pet bag dispenser. The openness of the concourse allows for a lot of legroom and areas for fans to mingle, view the game, or sit back and enjoy a bite or drink.
The focal aspect of the facility is the main press box that houses the suites, restrooms, and concession stand. It dominates the landscape and features the name of the stadium in bold print near the center of the top. It also provides shade from inclement weather when needed.
The atmosphere is strengthened by Purdue Pete posing with fans for pictures, in-between promotions that bring the little ones on the field, and music. There is even the opportunity to tailgate before the game if applicable.
The Chauncey Village neighborhood features quite a bit of funky little shops and restaurants, plus some great nightlife destinations. Von’s Shops offers an impressive array of new and used books, clothing, and other items in an eclectic building and storefront.
Next door is Von’s Dough Shack where customers choose their type of calzone and enjoy it fresh from the oven. If you are not the creative type, there are 34 varieties to choose from off the menu.
Just across the street is the famous Triple XXX Family Restaurant where one can enjoy a peanut butter burger or homemade root beer inside its small, cozy, and narrow booths. The small building features narrow counter tops and bar stools.
If you are adventurous and want to expand your taste buds, Shaukin Indian Fast Food might be just the place during your visit. This is not your standard Indian fare, but Indian street food that is lively in taste and spice. Most items are well below $10 and you can take it to go and enjoy it across the street at The Pint.
If you are craft beer fan, People’s Brewing Company is located 3 miles north of the high school and is one of the better places for local beer in the state. Pints are $5 and are a dollar less on Wednesdays. Lafayette Brewing Company is the other craft beer option in town with $2 off of pints on Wednesday nights as well.
The crowds are above the friends and family type at the stadium. The Boilermaker supporters are decked out in black and gold and can be seen and heard cheering for their baseball team to victory. They are respectful to the visitors and one can expect a laid back atmosphere from the fans in attendance.
The size and design of the stadium make moving around the facility very easy for the first time visitor. The concessions, bathrooms, entrances, and suites are located in the same area and the openness of the concourse gives a lot of space to sprawl around during the course of the game.
Return on Investment 4
A very nice looking stadium to enjoy a game and a huge improvement over Lambert Stadium. Tickets range from $5 for general admission to $8 for reserved chair back seats. Children tickets are only $2 for reserved tickets. The parking is free and the concession prices are affordable. The highest priced item is the Boiler Up Beer that is $9 a can.
The stadium receives one point for serving beer at the ballpark. There are several varieties of domestic and premium beers for fans to choose from during the game.
The stadium receives the second point for its design and open concourse.
A third and final point is for the 100% natural playing surface.
The Big Ten ballparks have improved greatly the last five years, turning once aging stadiums into great places to watch a game for a visitor and providing the ability to attract top talent to the program. When you add daily promotions, beer, and Bark at the Park, you have yourself a great place to watch a game during the college baseball season.
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