Bud Metheny Baseball Complex – Old Dominion Monarchs
Baseball at the Bud
Since 1983, the ODU Monarch baseball team has called Bud Metheny Baseball Complex home. It is named after former ODU basketball coach, baseball coach, and athletic director Bud Metheny, who served the university 32 years from 1948 to 1980. The ballpark consists of three sections of raised metal bleachers and has a capacity of 2,500. With a brick wall around the playing surface and the recent addition of the Rally Alley down the right field line, the Bud (as it is affectionately known) is a nice venue to catch a college baseball game in the Hampton Roads area.
Food & Beverage 5
The Bud offers one major concession stand directly underneath the home plate bleachers. Surprisingly, a wide variety of food items are offered including hamburgers, BBQ sandwich, Italian sausage, hot dogs, and walking tacos. Side items offered include fries, chili cheese fries, pretzels, chips, and nachos, while the traditional peanuts and cracker jacks are offered as well. The Bud also offers ice cream and funnel cakes. One unique aspect is that hamburgers and hot dogs are grilled on a gas grill right outside the concession stand. This give the hot dogs and hamburgers that extra special flavor. A variety of fountain Pepsi products are available, as well as bottled water and Gatorade.
Down the right field line is a beer garden area, which is known as the Rally Alley. This is the only part of the stadium where alcoholic beverages are allowed. In this area, there are several picnic tables and hi-top tables where fans can mill about and enjoy the game.
A good recommendation would be a grilled cheeseburger, nachos, and a fountain Pepsi.
The majority of the seating at the Bud is located in three sets of elevated bleachers: one section behind the plate, and one section down both the first and third base lines. The dugouts are located underneath the bleachers down the lines. There are hi-top tables and chairs underneath the home plate bleachers which provide a nice relief from the sun. All seats are metal type bleachers with no seat backs and can be a tad uncomfortable for a long game. However since the bleachers are elevated, they provide great sight lines of the field.
The playing surface at the Bud is a beautiful natural grass surface. Behind the plate is the interlocking OD logo. Dimensions are 325 down the lines, 375 to the power alleys, and 395 to center field. One neat aspect is the outfield wall provides graphics of ODU championship teams and famous players – the most famous being perhaps pitcher Justin Verlander.
While there are no premium seating areas, many fans seem to enjoy standing underneath the home plate bleachers at the hi-top tables and in the Rally Alley area down the first base line.
The scoreboard in right field is a standard scoreboard featuring the standard line score, with no video board. However, it does feature a small area, which shows the batter’s name and batting average. This is hard to see in the late afternoon sun, unfortunately.
All seating is general admission, so once you buy your ticket at the gate you are pretty much free to sit wherever. Be aware that the sun sets between home plate and third base. So if sitting on the first base line, the sun will be in your eyes during late afternoon/early evening games.
Bud Metheny Baseball Complex is located on the edge of the ODU campus next to the school’s soccer stadium and just down the road from the Constant Convocation Center. Being located on campus, there are no restaurants within walking distance of the ballpark. There are a few restaurants around campus such as Monarch Recovery Sports Grill and La Herradura Mexican Restaurant.
Your best bet is to head a couple miles into downtown Norfolk to the newly opened Waterside District along the Elizabeth River. The Waterside District provides several top flight restaurants including Guy Fieri’s Smokehouse, PBR Norfolk Country Bar, and the Blue Moon Taphouse. All of these restaurants offer great views overlooking the Elizabeth River.
Being located in the Hampton Roads area, there are several attractions and entertainment options for out of town visitors to the Constant Center to check out. One can’t miss would be Nauticus which features the U.S.S. Wisconsin, which is located in downtown Norfolk. Another must see is the MacArthur Memorial, also located in downtown Norfolk, which features a museum, learning center, and theater honoring General Douglas MacArthur. Other areas worth visiting are Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown all located within a one hours drive of downtown Norfolk.
The SpringHill Suites located across the street from the Constant Center is the only hotel within walking distance of the Bud. However, there are several lodging options located in downtown Norfolk.
Fan support is only the real negative aspect to the Bud. When we attended in 2017, ODU was ranked in the D1Baseball.com top 25 and was playing some of its best baseball in years. However, the Monarchs generally only average 600-700 fans in attendance. This is disappointing for a program the caliber of Old Dominion’s. With a capacity of 2,500, games at the Bud look very sparsely attended.
That is not to say that the program does not have its die-hard fans. These fans do their best to make noise and get involved; however, there is just not enough to make a big presence. Hopefully, with ODU stepping up their quality of play on the field, the fan support will increase as well.
While the Bud is not the easiest venue to get to, it is not hard to find. Norfolk traffic can get extremely busy around rush hour, and with narrow roads leading to the campus it can sometimes get backed up. ODU’s campus is serviced by Hampton Roads Transit (HRT) busses, which provide service into downtown Norfolk. Norfolk is serviced by the Norfolk International Airport (ORF) and provides access to several major airlines including Delta, American, Southwest, and Continental.
A major to attending a game at the Bud is free parking. The free parking is located on the opposite side of the soccer stadium and is about a five minute walk from the front gate.
Tickets for adults are $5 at the gate. All tickets are general admission. Be aware though that only cash is accepted and baseball tickets cannot be purchased in advance online. ODU does offer baseball voucher books which can be purchased online and cost $50 for 36 vouchers good for any home game. This is a great option for fans looking to catch most of the home games.
There is essentially no security when entering the ballpark. Once inside, moving around the Bud is a breeze. The concourse is behind the three sets of elevated bleachers and does not offer a view of the field. There are four sets of stairs that lead up to the seating areas. Restrooms are located under the home plate bleachers next to the concession stand and are very clean. Those who need assistance with mobility can sit under the home plate bleachers and have a great view of the field.
Return on Investment 4
Attending a game at the Bud will certainly not break the bank. Where else can you pay $5 and sit right behind the plate (or wherever you want) for top 25 baseball? Concession prices are about on par with any other facility. Parking is free. Therefore, for approximately $15 one can get a game ticket and a good meal from the concession stand. This is hard to beat for Division 1 baseball at this level.
The Bud gets an extra point for the Rally Alley down the left field line, where picnic and hi-top tables offer a unique way to take in the game. Concepts like this should be incorporated more into college baseball parks.
A second extra is the good job the Monarchs do at promoting their history and former players. This is evident on the outfield wall, and with banners around the concourse.
For a look around the Bud, check out this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nXLa9mZnDA
Follow Joseph Oakes on Twitter @_JosephSJ
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Latest Crowd Reviews
A nice place to see a game – the park is modern, it won’t cost a lot, and you can get really close to the action. There is also a lot to do before or after the game Norfolk is a great place to spend the weekend if you want to take in the whole series.