Davenport Field – Virginia Cavaliers
‘Hoos on First
Nestled away amid the mountains in the historic town of Charlottesville, Virginia is a baseball stadium called Davenport Field, home of the Virginia Cavaliers. Even though Davenport Field has only been open since 2002 it has already hosted a surplus of ten regional and super regional tournaments.
Unlike many of the modern stadiums that overkill the ads and leave you looking for Billy Mays, the only thing Davenport Field has you focus on is baseball. There are no massive billboards and the corporate commercials are kept to a minimum. Overall, Davenport Field is a prime example of what a modern day college baseball stadium should be.
Food & Beverage 4
There are a total of nine concession stands serving up everything from burgers and funnel cakes to tacos and Italian sausage at Davenport Field. It all smells amazing, especially along the third base line where they have burgers, sausages, hot dogs, fried chicken, grilled chicken, and tacos all within about 60 feet, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
The main gate at Davenport Field is located between the Klockner Stadium grandstand and the left field foul pole. The concession stand behind Section 2 of Klockner Stadium is open for baseball games and there is a tent selling fresh kettle corn, funnel cakes, sausages, and various other carnival style foods.
On the main concourse behind home plate are the two permanent stands that serve up the standard fare of hot dogs, burgers, sausages, hot chocolate, coffee, and a few more assorted snacks. When the forecasted temperature for the opening pitch is below 45 degrees, these stands hand out free coffee and hot chocolate as long as supplies last. Next to these two stands are two Ben & Jerry’s ice cream stands with hand made waffle cones, and when I say hand made, I mean they have a waffle iron and make the waffle cones right there. Behind the first base bleachers is yet another Third Base Grille.
Overall, the selection is decent, the prices are a bit steep, and the quality is good.
Every game may not be a sellout, but the atmosphere at Davenport Field is still among the best in college baseball. The focus here is on baseball, not corporate ads. It just feels like a ballpark. Those of you who have been to a real ballpark know what I mean. You walk in and are immediately drawn to the diamond. Reserved seating is in the grandstand behind home plate and the Keswick Clubhouse out in left center with general admission everywhere else.
Along the third base line is a grass hill where the kids can play while watching the game and is also a wonderful place to sit during the warmer days. Fans will even bring their own lawn chairs to set up at the top of this hill.
Charlottesville, Virginia was established as a small town on the Piedmont Plateau of the Blue Ridge Mountains in 1762, and Thomas Jefferson founded the University of Virginia here in 1819. Just a short distance up the road is The Rotunda and an area of town known as the Corner. The Rotunda and attached dorms are the centerpiece of the university as they were designed by Thomas Jefferson himself. All over campus you will find the legacy of the third American President as every building on the grounds is constructed using Jeffersonian architecture.
Across from the Rotunda is the Corner, home to such local favorites as Boylan Heights, The White Spot, and Bodo’s Bagels. Parking at the Corner is extremely limited, but you can easily reach it on foot from the John Paul Jones parking lots.
In the opposite direction and about the same distance away as the Corner is Barracks Road Shopping Center, where there is plenty of parking. The Barracks Rd Shopping Center is home to the old standbys such as Buffalo Wild Wings, Ruby Tuesday’s, and Ben & Jerry’s. I suggest leaving these places be. Where’s the fun in going to a restaurant you can find anywhere in the country?
Instead, I suggest you try Zinburger Wine & Burger Bar, Tara Thai, or Brixx Wood Fired Pizza. If you talk to any local, chances are that he or she has at least heard of Zinburger and will probably recommend you go there as it is reputed to have one of the best burgers in Charlottesville and it is not nearly as expensive as it sounds.
If there is one thing I can say about UVA baseball fans, it is that they are loyal. Most of the fans here have been going to games for years and even generations and you can count on them showing up regardless of the team’s record or the weather. A losing record or inclement weather may keep capacity crowds away during the regular season, but there is always a loyal and loud group of fans at every game.
These are baseball fans at a baseball park and they are there to watch baseball. It is not merely a social event like it is for 85% of Nationals Park for example. When the opposing pitcher throws a pitch in the dirt, you can rely on hearing, “Dirt ball! Dirt ball!” Don’t let this intimidate you; the only people these fans don’t like are the umpires and the opposition’s manager.
Much like the fans at Martinsville Speedway, nearly everyone here is more than happy to welcome any baseball fan, regardless the jersey they are wearing.
One final thing to note is the incredible baseball knowledge these fans have. They know the name of every player along with the stats for each player without looking in the program or up on the video board.
Parking is free and plentiful in the John Paul Jones Arena lots during the regular season and $5 for post season and is free for both regular and post season at the Ivy/ Emmet St. Garage. Pre-game traffic isn’t bad and is practically non-existent if you show up an hour or so before the first pitch. Post-game traffic can be a bit of a mess, especially for marquee games. Another thing you will have to watch out for is other events happening on the same day. Baseball season overlaps with the lacrosse and track & field seasons, so there will be days when three different events occur on the same day in the same place. Even when this happens, you can almost always find parking, just show up early to avoid the traffic. On the plus side, you may be able to attend multiple games during one trip. Post-event traffic for days like this simply cannot be avoided, but is bearable.
There are restrooms and water fountains in Klockner as well as on the grandstand behind home plate and porta-john’s behind the right field fence.
Return on Investment 3
For weekday games, general admission tickets are $5 for adults and $4 for youth (18 and under). Friday through Sunday, the prices go up to $8 for general admission adult and $6 for youth. Parking and game day programs are free, which is always a nice perk. These aren’t the cheap programs with a bunch of stats printed on a sheet of paper; these are legitimate programs with stats and information about the team and surrounding area.
On days when the projected forecast for the first pitch is below 45 degrees, there is free coffee and hot chocolate as long as supplies last, which is usually through the seventh inning. On days when it is a bit warmer, you can sit out in right field and watch NCAA Division I track and field without leaving your seat. UVA also does a good job with promotional giveaways such as baseball cards, posters, magnets, and t-shirts.
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1107 Emmet St N
Charlottesville, VA 22903
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