John Euliano Park – UCF Knights
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John Euliano Park (formerly known asJa y Bergman Field) is nestled between Bright House Networks Stadium and CFE Arena on the campus of the University of Central Florida in Orlando. UCF baseball reached great heights under head coach Jay Bergman from 1983 – 2008, with eight conference titles and nine NCAA Regional appearances.
The new era of Knight Baseball is under the direction of Terry Rooney, with two NCAA Regional appearances in 2011 and 2012. UCF faces great competition in the American Athletic Conference, providing an excellent platform for growth.
The capacity of Jay Bergman Field is listed around 3,600, improved by some recent renovations, including an addition of bleachers on the first base side. The reason the stadium has so much appeal for baseball fans is the vast amount of areas to watch the game including a lawn and a party deck in the outfield.
Food & Beverage 2
With so many great places to eat around campus, there is no reason to plan on buying food inside the stadium. It is severely overpriced and lacks quality. A cheeseburger, soda and bag of chips will cost $15.
They do, however, offer a stand with plenty of toppings for your burger/hot dog, including jalapeo peppers, hot sauce, relish, mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, and barbecue sauce.
Other items include pretzels with cheese ($4.50), nachos and cheese ($3.50), cookies ($3), lemon chill ($4), and candy ($4).
The ballpark is always a great place to spend a Sunday afternoon. The atmosphere isn’t any different under the lights. The layout of the stadium offers dynamic views of the action from just about anywhere, the video board is state of the art, and the crowd is really into the game. The PA announcer keeps everybody active in between innings and plays great music through the speakers.
Jay Bergman Field will sell out occasionally, especially when any of the major Florida schools come to play a series. During these games, the seating can be standing room only. It provides an electric college atmosphere on days like these. Even if you make your way over for a conference series, you’re still bound to have great energy and noise during the game.
The party deck in right field allows you to get close to the outfield wall. This is where fans park their cars and line up outside the fence to catch a glimpse of the game. They have a great time and provide plenty of noise for support. You can spend some time out there and then move to the top of the bleachers for a more scenic view. After that, you can move to the lawn area and catch some sun, provided it’s a day game.
The campus is beautiful, located on the east side of Orlando, 25 minutes from downtown. There is plenty to see and do around campus, including some great spots to shop and eat. There is an outdoor mall area located seconds from the field where you can walk and shop before the game.
Burger U usually has some good specials. If you venture outside this area, you can find Bar Louie on Alafaya Trail and University Blvd, a great place to grab a drink. Four Rivers Smokehouse started as a mom and pop shack in Winter Park, Florida with lines out the door. Now, there are 12 locations including a spot on University Blvd.
Tenders is another great restaurant on campus which offers fried chicken meals with an entire menu of sauce selections. If you’re from out of state, make sure to stop by Publix for a “Pub Sub.” These are the best sandwiches around and are made fresh to order.
Downtown Orlando is full of culture and concert venues. Schedule a doubleheader at Amway Center and catch an Orlando Magic game while you’re in town.
The fans are very active, but would provide more support if they could sell out more games. Playing in a conference with better competition would help facilitate bigger crowds, but it may take time before it develops into something special.
The fans along the outfield fence have the most fun in the parking lot. This is where students like to gather during the game to show their support. The student section at UCF is very active at a myriad of sporting events, which is expected for a school of this size. They should be able to get a good amount of students to their games.
Jay Bergman Field is easily accessible from the 408 East/West Expressway and is located right next to the football and basketball facilities. However, you shouldn’t use your GPS because the stadium address is difficult to find and will take you to another location. Instead, search for Bright House Networks Stadium for a direct route to the athletic facilities. Jay Bergman Field is very easy to find and offers plenty of amenities during the game.
Return on Investment 4
Tickets are well under $10 and parking is free in the lot next to the field. The Party Deck is accessible from the parking lot and may not even require a ticket to the game. The staff is very lenient with allowing fans into the ballpark, especially if attendance is low. It’s even possible to walk in from the right field entrance for free if you wait until the third or fourth inning, it really depends on the day.
The food is pricey, but the quality isn’t good enough to spend money at the concessions anyway. The experience itself is worth the money. Weather in Central Florida is absolutely beautiful in the early stages of the season and the competition provides great baseball action.
The campus earns a bonus point. It is always growing and provides new scenery during every visit due to rapid expansion projects.
The freedom to move about the stadium and check out the action from every angle is worth an additional point.
The final point is thanks to the Knight just outside the stadium. It is a really cool representation of school pride.
Jay Bergman Field offers a quality college baseball experience in a beautiful location at a great school. There is plenty of potential for the team to grow into something great, but football continues to be the main focus for improvement among the premier sports in the athletic program. Still, the return on investment is great and there is never a day wasted at the ballpark.
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