Boshamer Stadium – North Carolina Tar Heels
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The Bosh is Posh is a Good Title
The University of North Carolina is known for basketball, but their baseball program is not to be overlooked. With 6 conference championships and 29 College World Series appearances, the Diamond Heels have enjoyed success for over 50 years and sent players such as BJ Surhoff, Walt Weiss, Dustin Ackley, and Andrew Miller to the major leagues.
These days, the team plays out of Bryson Field at Boshamer Stadium, a simple, unpretentious venue that highlights their past accomplishments and points them toward the future.
Boshamer Stadium was built in 1972 but completely torn down and rebuilt in time for the 2009 season. Outside, the stadium is much like any other NCAA park, with a main entrance that leads directly to the concourse behind home plate, below which the seating bowl lies. It seats 4,100 people with the capacity of up to 5,000 with standing room only seats.
Before entering, check out the Steinbrenner Family Courtyard by the main entrance. George Steinbrenner’s daughter Jenny is a North Carolina graduate, and the Steinbrenner family contributed a large share of the finances to help renovate the ballpark. As well, the Yankees played a few spring training games here between 1977-81.
Food & Beverage 3
There are two main concessions along the concourse that offer typical stadium fare. The Bosh Pit Grill along the first base side includes Hot Plays such as Bojangles Chicken Supremes & Fries, Bojangles Chicken Sandwich & Fries, and Cheeseburger & Fries, all for $8.
A jumbo hot dog is $3 and is recommended for frugal fans. Popcorn is $4 ($7 for bottomless) while four bucks will get you nachos or a pretzel. On the third base side, Dugout Concessions provides a nearly identical menu, with the additional option of a Papa John’s pizza for $7.
There are a few portable stands that have slightly different options, such as ice cream, frozen lemonade, and Cracker Jacks. Specials are posted on TV screens around the concourse, so check those before purchasing. On the day I attended, peanuts and Cracker Jacks were $1 each, a nice touch harkening back to “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”
Beer is not sold as this is a campus venue, but Coca-Cola products are available, with bottles of soda and water costing $3, while a souvenir cup is $5. Powerade can also be found for $4 at some stands.
The concourse is very wide and covered by a roof between the bases. There are also several standing tables that are perfect for those who want to get out of the sun for an inning or two. The Kelly green seats are typical, but come with cup holders, a nice touch.
The scoreboard is as you would expect for this level, with a small video board above on which starting lineups and player stats are displayed, while the line score sits below. Dimensions are 335, 400 and 340 feet from left to right, with the left-center field backdrop the Ehringhaus Residence Hall.
The sun shines into the third base seats for the first half of night games, but that is the Carolina side of the field, so bring sunglasses along with your Carolina Blue t-shirt if you are going to root, root, root for the home team.
Boshamer Stadium is centrally located on the UNC campus and there is not much in the immediate vicinity. Still, the campus itself is quite nice and worth a stroll if you arrive early.
In terms of pregame or postgame hangouts, the best area is Franklin Street, about half a mile north of the ballpark. Here you will find Top of the Hill, a large bar/restaurant that bleeds Carolina blue. Across the street you can find at least three more sports bars: Spanky’s, the R&R Grill, and the Four Corners Grille. These places are all busy when hoops is on, but should be much more accessible during the baseball season.
As you move west along Franklin, you can enjoy fast food staples such as McDonalds, Jimmy John’s, Chipotle, and Panera Bread interspersed with local eateries such as Crook’s Corner (for Southern eats). Ethnic options include Lantern (Asian), Kipos Greek Taverna, and Cholaland (South Indian) among many others.
So although you might have to walk a bit to and from the ballpark, Chapel Hill offers something for everyone and is well worth exploring either before or after the game.
Capacity here is 4,100 and the fans do a great job of filling out the place, even for non-conference games. There isn’t a lot of yelling during play, but the fans cheer when their team scores and are polite and well behaved. They know their history and are rightly proud of it. Carolina blue is pretty much mandatory for all fans, so make sure to have something of that shade to fit in.
The UNC campus is located about 3 miles west of I-40, with Boshamer Stadium lying in the middle of the campus on Ridge Road. For night and weekend games, free parking can be found in the Raleigh Road lot, from where the stadium is a 10-minute stroll, along which there are parts without a sidewalk.
Inside, the concourse is more than wide enough and there are no issues with restrooms or other facilities. Lineups do form for concessions but they move quickly.
Return on Investment 5
Tickets are $7 to sit between the bases and $5 to sit down the lines. I would suggest splurging for the $7 ticket and getting the best seats in the house. The food is cheap and the parking is free. What’s not to like?
The Hall of Honor above third base is a small room with several display cases full of memorabilia honoring the past accomplishments of the team, along with its most famous players. The draft board is one of the top features, as it illustrates just how many Diamond Heels have been chosen in the top 3 rounds of the MLB Draft. You can even watch the game from here. Definitely take a few minutes to check it out.
Along the concourse are posters that commemorate past titles and players that have gone on to greater success.
There is also a wall display honoring past national players of the year.
A final point for the food specials and the TV screens that show them, along with other information such as starting lineups.
Few fans would consider traveling to Chapel Hill for baseball, but that is their loss. Boshamer Stadium is a beautiful ballpark and worth a visit if you are in the area during the three months that the Diamond Heels are in season.
The modern feel of this ballpark, combined with the complete inability to ignore the program’s history once you are inside the gates, makes The Bosh a must-see destination for fans of college baseball in the southeastern United States and beyond.
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