The Hangar – Lancaster JetHawks
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Hanging out at The Hangar
“A new facility in a new community that hasn’t had baseball just creates an entirely new level of civic pride. I don’t what people in Lancaster get excited about these days, but next year everyone in Lancaster will be talking about Lancaster’s baseball team”
These were the words mentioned by former High Desert Maverick GM Steve Pastorino in a Los Angeles Times article on July 26, 1995, after it was announced that after years of flirtation of bringing professional baseball to town that a deal had been struck to relocate the Riverside Pilots to town for the 1996 season.
The move was simple since the Pilots had been playing in a less than desirable minor league ballpark that prohibited alcohol sales; Lancaster lured ownership to transfer to a new $14.5 million facility that would offer seating for 4,600 spectators plus two expansive grass berm general seating areas that could seat an additional 2,260 visitors.
The Hangar, known at the time of its opening as Lancaster Municipal Stadium, has been home to the Single-A California League Lancaster JetHawks for over three decades and firmly established the Antelope Valley as minor league foothold 70 miles north of Los Angeles.
Food & Beverage 4
There are some fine options to choose from inside the ballpark that includes your typical hot dogs and peanuts to cheesesteaks and pizza slices. The prices are reasonable and one can enjoy a hot dog for $4, nachos for $5, pizza slices for $6, and chili cheese fries for $5.
If one is looking for something fresh of the grill, the stadium offers a mac and cheeseburger for $9, turkey burger and BBQ chicken sandwiches for $7.75, and cheesesteaks with homemade kettle chips for $9. You can also build your own hot dogs or tater tots for between $6.50 and $7.50 with up the three toppings.
Coca-Cola products are served at prices of $3.75 and $5, while domestic beers sell between $7 and $8. Kinetic Brewing Company has three taps in the ballpark and their brewpub is only two miles away from the ballpark.
It is highly recommended to bring sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, or umbrella to the game. This is the desert and temperatures can hit the century mark during the summer months. There is also not a lot of shading, except for the carports in the parking lot that also double as solar panels, producing an astonishing 98% of the ballpark’s electricity.
The Hangar is simple in its design and offers luxury skyboxes, a video message board, and an old-fashioned manual scoreboard. The standard ballpark design features a middle concourse to allow for easy access to both general admission and home plate seats. There is also a large grass berm seating, children’s play area, and a 3,000-foot all-you-can-eat section called Pilots Pavilion.
There is a small concession stand offering team gear, a giant-sized promotional calendar, and team mascot KaBoom who can be found throughout the facility. Night and weekend games usually attract larger crowds, but if you here to only watch the game, crowds are pleasant enough to make that possible no matter the day or time.
The Hangar is directly off State Road 14 in between both Homewood Suites and Hampton Inn hotels. There are a few regional fast food restaurants nearby with In-N-Out being the most popular choice, but don’t shun El Pollo Loco. If you are looking for a few local options, drive the two miles downtown to the Boulevard.
Here one can find a collection of ethnic cuisine that includes 1800 Burritos & Tacos, Rio Brazilian Grill, Cuban Express, Bex Bar & Grill, and Cantarito Salvadorean Restaurant. JetHawks sponsor Kinetic Brewery is also located on the Boulevard and offers a range of craft beer and food choices.
Lancaster fans usually finish in the middle of the pack of attendance in the California League with healthy averages well above the 2,400 mark. Depending on the promotions, crowds are even bigger and the noise level higher. However, the atmosphere is still laid back enough to enjoy the game on the diamond. They have been supporting the Hawks diligently since 1996 and they have been doing it quite well.
The Hangar is located directly off of CA-14. If you are heading up from downtown Los Angeles, the distance is 71 miles, but keep in my freeway traffic. Once inside, it is even simpler to get around once inside the ballpark as bathrooms and concession stands are easy to locate from the main concourse.
Return on Investment 3
Ticket prices are $9 for grandstand and $14 for diamond club seating when purchased in advanced-add an extra buck if purchased the day of the game. Tuesday nights are buy one get one free, Thirsty Thursdays offer domestic drafts and sodas for $2, and Saturdays offer a free giveaway to fans. Also, parking is free for every home game, depending on what night you attend, the return on investment can fluctuate.
One star for the NASA F/A-18 Hornet that is mounted on display at the main entrance of the ballpark. The valley’s rich aerospace history is also on display on the main video board that features two space shuttles on both sides. Also, the Astronaut Race that pits John Glenn, Pete Knight, and Neil Armstrong; the mascots can be found walking around the main concourse for photo opportunities with fans.
Another star for the solar panel carports on the first base side of the parking lot, the panels serve as a great way to keep your car cool when you are at the game while saving the team and the city energy costs at the same time.
A final star for being able to build your own tater tot that includes chili, cheese, bacon, blue cheese crumbles, sour cream, and pico de gallo. Why don’t we have this at other minor league facilities?
The JetHawks have cemented their status as one of the class acts in the California League. The patience paid off for obtaining a team over twenty-years-ago and the franchise has been stable ever since. Lancaster is eons away from the bright lights and freeway congestion of Los Angeles and taking in a game here is a laid back event, reminiscent of minor league baseball the way it used to be.
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