Bobcat Ballpark – Texas State Bobcats
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Texas State Baseball at Bobcat Ballpark
The Texas State Bobcats baseball team has improved steadily over the past few years, sending several prospects (most notably Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt) to Major League Baseball. As a result, the stadium has flourished with students, alumni and City of San Marcos supporters as the team has been competitive in the Southland Conference, the Western Athletic Conference and coming up in the next few years, the Bobcats will look to be successful in the Sun Belt.
The University has been active in renovations over the last few years, including putting a video scoreboard in the outfield. That concluded in 2009, before the team’s home opener that season. The listed seating capacity is 2,000, but the school manages to get more students and fans into the stadium by squeezing tight in the bleachers and having places to view the game along the foul lines behind each fence. From home plate to the outfield, the stadium runs 330 feet to the foul poles in left and right field, and 404 feet to center field.
No matter what conference Texas State is playing in over the next few years, its baseball stadium will continue to be one of the strong points of the athletic department with respect to the other schools in the conference.
Food & Beverage 3
In the heart of one of the best regions for food in Texas, it wouldn’t be any surprise to see a taco, barbecue or any other kind of food stand you could imagine right outside the stadium on the street that runs right past Bobcat Ballpark. Inside the stadium, food and drink options are a little bit more subdued, with the traditional popcorn, nacho and soft drink options taking up the majority of the menu to patrons.
Bobcat Ballpark also offers a changeup to the traditional concession stand experience – a modified train car has been turned into the concession stand on the first baseline, making for an interesting and unique experience ordering food in an otherwise mundane atmosphere. The train tracks run right behind Bobcat Ballpark and all through the City of San Marcos, so the stadium gets a bump for the creativity involved in making this happen.
If Texas State isn’t considered a baseball school in the scope of the conference it belongs to in the coming seasons, take a trip to Bobcat Ballpark and have your mind completely changed. While the crowd is somewhat subdued between innings and when things are slow on the field, chants when the opposing team makes an error or gives up a deep hit couldn’t be louder.
The University will set up promotions like bounce houses and other fun activities for kids to participate in if they tire from watching nine innings of baseball, but that doesn’t mean the on-the-field product is a lame duck. The Bobcats are rowdy in the dugout during their at-bats, prompt the crowd to be the same, making for an exciting experience even if the scoreboard doesn’t reflect that end game.
It doesn’t get much better than San Marcos, Texas.
Located in the heart of the Hill Country, Bobcat Ballpark is just minutes away from the heart of the campus, too, and is also a short drive from the town square-the place to be if you are looking for nightlife. Food options also abound near the stadium-a recently-built Del Taco is located on Hopkins Drive on the left side as you enter town from IH-35, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg before you get closer to town and other options like Garcia’s, Gil’s Broiler (the oldest restaurant in town), The Tap Room, Valentino’s Pizza and a food truck area just outside of the square.
While traffic might get a little crowded during the rush hour windows, you won’t find a college town that offers more options in a compact space than San Marcos, where families can take a walk in the park near the river or rowdy singles can let loose in post-game festivities. Heck, you’ll probably see one of the baseball players downtown later that evening (if they are legal drinking age, of course).
If the “college town” vibe is for you, the neighborhood allows you to enjoy it or even relive your glory days, while families will be just as happy with the food options for empty bellies and the historic landmarks that surround the city from all sides.
In stark contrast to the crowds you’ll see at Jim Wacker Field at Bobcat Stadium for football games, Bobcat baseball fans pack the ballpark on a consistent basis. You can tell by the near-capacity crowds that students are engaged with and want to see the Bobcats perform well on the diamond, where the team has been competitive for quite some time and continues to do well in whatever conference they are a part of.
Throw in the Diamond Sweethearts, a group of girls who specialize in taking care of the fans and cheering for their baseball boys, and you will be hard-pressed to find students in attendance that aren’t interested in seeing Texas State hit the national map in college baseball.
Be prepared for parking and traffic situations to dampen an otherwise nice trip to Bobcat Ballpark. Depending on game time, you might get stuck on Hopkins Drive or Aquarena Drive, when students, families and tourists are all trying to make their way to different landmarks in the compact city.
There are only a handful of spots on Charles Austin Drive-the street that runs right by the ballpark-so you’ll either have to be lucky, have a handicapped sticker or stake out a spot the night before to have pristine access to the field from your car. Other options include parking near Strahan Coliseum, the team’s basketball arena, or in the Strahan parking lots that are used for football and special event parking. That makes things a little more difficult, but overall the walk shouldn’t be too taxing-even on young legs.
Return on Investment 5
Students get in for free, while alumni and other fans only have to pay a small price to get general admission tickets. Season tickets are also an option, and given that the team plays three-game series most of the time, you can have your choice of heading to the park.
With the team giving good performances, spirit is high in the stands and the field is nearly filled to the brim even for lower-tier conference games. Bobcat Ballpark is the place to be if you want to catch a game during the week. When a marquee team like Texas, Texas A&M or Rice is in town? Get to the yard early and save a spot-students will come in droves to see if their team can pick up an upset and maybe end up on ESPN later that night.
The Diamond Sweethearts is a cool idea for baseball supporters that want to interact and support the sport at their school (females, of course), while the train car concession stand is also a nice touch.
Just like at football games, the train coming behind the stadium is always a nice break in the action for fans, who get a chance to sing along with a catchy song and feel like a kid again while letting out a few “choo-choooooo’s.”
By far the team’s most supported sport in terms of students, Bobcat Ballpark is a great place to catch a game regardless of opponent or team record. The stadium is large, the video board is modern and the feel of the park is just like it should be when you consider that Texas State has managed to stay in the top-third of attendance for the last few seasons in the early 2010 decade.
Catch a game, enjoy the city afterward and come back for another game when you have a free weekend-Texas State is on the rise and Bobcat Ballpark will likely only grow as the school does over the next few years.
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