Community Field – Burlington Bees

by | May 31, 2018 | Eric Hasman, MiLB | 0 comments

Fanfare Score

Total Score
3.43

 

Crowd Score

Total Score
3.71

 

 

 

Burlington Bees Baseball at Community Field

Professional baseball has been played in Burlington, Iowa at Community Field since 1947 when it was constructed.  Baseball Hall of Fame members Billy Williams and Paul Molitor played for Burlington along with other MLB all-stars such as Mark Buehrle, Vida Blue, Mike Moustakas, Chet Lemon, and Sal Bando.  From 1963 through 1974 they were a farm team of the Kansas City A’s, then the Brewers (1975–81), Rangers (1982–85), Expos (1986–87 and 1993–94), Braves (1988–90), Astros (1991-92), Giants (1995–96), Reds (1997–98), White Sox (1999–2000), Royals (2001-10), Athletics (2011-12), and Angels (2013 to the present).  The Bees have won the Midwest League Championship four times, in four different decades: 1965, 1977, 1999, and 2008.

The current stadium holds 3,200 people.  In June 1971, the grandstand seating burned down to the ground, but by 1973 new permanent grandstands were completed.  There have been various renovations to the ballpark over the years. In 1999 new bleachers, box seats, and a party deck were installed.  Again, in 2005, more renovations including a fully covered/expanded concourse, partial covering of the grandstands, a new press box, a “hall of fame” suite, a new brick facade and a separate front office building were completed. The last of the renovations were completed in 2006, which included a partially paved parking lot, a new marquee sign on the edge of Mt. Pleasant St. and a 100-foot-tall flagpole in the center of the parking lot, which holds an unmistakable 40-foot-wide American flag. The flag only flies when the Bees are playing at home.

The Bees are a community owned team and operate in the smallest market area in the Midwest League which makes cash flow a problem.  Renovations depend on the local government and volunteers. If you want to contribute to the maintenance of the ballpark all contributions to the Friends of Community Field are tax deductible

Food & Beverage 3

Nothing on the menu is unique or could be considered non-traditional baseball fare with the exception of the “Bees Rite” which is “loose meat” or sloppy joe sandwich ($4), and a pork tenderloin ($5).  Also, there is Lippy dog (crispy chicken smothered in buffalo wing sauce and ranch dressing served on a hot dog bun for $4.75) that is only available on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturday. The most expensive thing on the menu is the Wings basket (with fries) at $7.  The concession prices here are great.

Other food choices include brats/hot dogs/corn dogs ($3-$4 depending on which type of hot dog you get), hamburger ($5.50), macho nachos ($5), and walking taco ($4).  For snacks, you can choose from soft pretzel with cheese ($3.50), peanuts ($3), popcorn, or an ice cream sandwich ($2). Pepsi products as well as iced tea, hot chocolate, and cappuccino are offered at $2.50 each.

The basic beer choices are $4/can and include Budweiser and Miller products. Premium beers and cocktails like Smirnoff Ice, Boulevard Wheat, and Mike’s Hard Lemonade are $4.50.

Atmosphere 3

One of the first things you will notice is that there is no big video board, simply an older digital scoreboard.  So you will not see any replays or “get louder” videos. Currently the community is trying to raise funds for a new scoreboard.  There are a ton of ads on the outfield walls and old style truss lighting, which gives the stadium a classic look.

Down the left field line is the “Coach’s Corner,” which is an area where you can stand and watch the game without a net being in your way (otherwise there is netting everywhere in the stadium).  The cool thing about this area is that there are cup holders attached to the wall with the first names of locals. Apparently, that spot is their reserved “seat.”  This area is a bit lower than field level so you get a different perspective of the game.

There are four rows of box seats that run between the dugouts.  There are a few reserved seats but the rest of stadium is general admission.  The general admission seating in the stadium is metal bleachers.  There is a picnic party area down the right and left field line with plenty of picnic tables.  I would recommend that you buy general admission tickets and sit where you want since you can move throughout the park as you please.

A mascot is not at all games and apparently “Buzz” will occasionally show up (and mainly on Sundays), but he hasn’t been regularly in attendance for about 10 years.

The kids area is small and there is really not a lot to keep a small kid entertained.

The gift shop is a lot bigger than expected for a team that really doesn’t draw well, but it is great.  There are a lot t-shirts, jerseys, etc. to choose from and at very reasonable prices.

If you need to be constantly entertained by on-field between inning entertainment or you need big giveaways, then this is not the place for you.  This is old time baseball here.

Neighborhood 2

Community Stadium is located within a residential neighborhood.  About two blocks away is the Catfish Bend Casino. The casino includes a water park, go-karts, arcade, bowling and other stuff for kids.   Of course, there are bars, restaurants, a spa, and even a golf course for adults at the casino too. Bonus, if you stay at the casino, you get free tickets to the Bee’s game.

There are plenty of chain hotels (Holiday Inn, Fairfield Inn) within a half mile of the ballpark.  The restaurants in the area are mainly chain restaurants such as Taco Bell, McDonalds, Dairy Queen, and Godfathers Pizza.  However, Dillions BBQ is a few blocks away from the park and the brisket and pulled pork are very good. In addition, there is Gators Grill and Sports Bar, which is also very good.

Fans 3

The fans that show up have a good time watching the game and are some of the nicest people you will come across.  You’ll find several fans with a scorebook intently watching the game and keeping track of every pitch. Unfortunately, there just aren’t enough fans to create much of an electric atmosphere.

Access 4

Getting to the park is easy.  It is located on Mt. Pleasant Street about a half mile north of the intersection of Route 34 and Route 61Public transportation is not an option. Parking is available on the stadium grounds, but there isn’t a lot of it.  Parking on the grounds is free so that is a good thing.

Return on Investment 5

The prices of the tickets, concessions, free parking and people make this place worth visiting and a great deal.   

Extras 4

If you plan to get to the park early, then call the team and someone from the team or the community will likely be available to take you on a tour of the ballpark, press box, and clubhouses.

In the gift shop there are a few display cases that have old programs, memorabilia, and a championship trophy from Burlington baseball dating to the beginning of the game in town.

Final Thoughts

You can’t go wrong with the prices or the people at Community Field.  Couple the free parking with the great ticket prices, cheap food, and it is hard to beat the deal you get in attending a Burlington Bees game.  Put this stadium on the must see list. Especially if you like an old school, no-frills experience.

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Food and Drink Recommendations

Big Muddy’s

710 N Front St

Burlington, IA 52601

(319) 753-1699

http://www.bigmuddys.com/

 


Gator’s Grill and Spirits

3313 Agency St

Burlington, IA 52601

(319) 754-8313

https://www.gatorsgrillandspirits.com/


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Entertainment Recommendations

Fun City

3001 Winegard Dr

Burlington, IA 52601

(319) 753-2291

http://www.catfishbendcasino.com/funcity/funcity.asp


Catfish Bend Casino

3001 Winegard Dr

Burlington, IA 52601

(319) 753-2223

http://www.catfishbendcasino.com/casino/casino.asp


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Lodging Recommendations

 

Holiday Inn Express – Burlington

1605 N Roosevelt Ave

Burlington, IA 52601

(319) 752-0000

http://www.hiexpress.com/hotels/us/en/burlington/brgia/hoteldetail


Howard Johnson

2759 Mt Pleasant St

Burlington, IA 52601

(319) 237-8000

https://www.wyndhamhotels.com/hojo/burlington-iowa/howard-johnson-burlington/overview#


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Crowd Reviews

Latest Crowd Reviews

Date: 2018-05-31 14:22:42
By: Legacy Review

Total Score
3.71

Like many of the stadiums in the Midwest League, Community Field has an old time feel to it. You won’t get many bells and whistles when you attend the game but that is the charm of the stadium. You can spend very little money and sit back, relax, and enjoy a ballgame. By James Hilchen, Regional Correspondent, June 2013

Stadium Info

Community Field

2712 Mt Pleasant St

Burlington, IA 52601

Burlington Bees website

Community Field website

Year Opened: 1947

Capacity: 3,200

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