Seaman Stadium – Okotoks Dawgs

by | Aug 13, 2018 | Baseball, Collegiate Summer Baseball, Jim Flannery |

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3.57

 

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Alberta’s Dawg House

It can fairly be said that the Okotoks Dawgs are the crown jewel of the Western Major Baseball League. After spending a few years in Calgary (and earning a league championship in 2004), they opened their doors in Okotoks in 2007 and have been among the league leaders in attendance and wins ever since. They have earned three more league championships, and they’ve done it while bringing in between 2,000-4,000 fans per game going back to 2010. In fact, they are the only team in the league to average more than 1,000 fans per game every year between 2010 and 2018.

Seaman Stadium was specifically built for the Dawgs to develop high quality athletes. The field is the main feature in a baseball complex that now includes a year-round indoor training facility, an outdoor training ground, and two other diamonds for younger athletes to hone their skills.

The field is named for Don and Daryl Seaman, the businessmen who helped to finance the development, bringing collegiate baseball to the small city of Okotoks. Already an excellent baseball facility, more improvements are in the works to add additional seating options and enhance the fan experience.

Food & Beverage 3

There are two main concession stands on the concourse: one on the first base side, one on the third base side.

The first base concession has a fairly typical assortment of burgers, hot dogs, chips and beverages, including the adult variety. Lineups here are on the long side, but you still have a decent look at the field while you wait.

On the third base side is a combination of a candy store for the kids and Margaritaville for the grown-ups. On the candy store side you can get caramel crunch, popcorn, ice cream, and other treats. On the Margaritaville side you can get a good assortment of alcoholic drinks.

A little further down the third base line is a kiosk selling Spolumbo’s sausages on a bun. Spolumbo’s is a well-established Calgary deli that makes fantastic sausages, so this is definitely a place to visit if you want a real treat.

Atmosphere 4

The energy level in the stands at a WMBL game tends to be fairly laid-back and chill, which is quite nice for a ballgame on a summer evening. But if you’re looking for big crowd noise and non-stop cheering, you may come away a little disappointed.

The park itself is beautiful and makes for an excellent place to take in a game. The seats are comfy and all include cup holders. Also, because there are only a dozen rows of seats, you’re never far from the on-field action. Sitting on the grass on the Family Berm in left field is also a relaxed option for taking in a game. Remember to bring a blanket or maybe some lawn chairs to sit on out there!

There are also a few special seating locations around the diamond for people looking for a VIP experience. Rylie’s Cattle Barn BBQ House sponsors a VIP suite right next to the press box behind home plate, just to the first base side. On the other side of the press box is a similar suite called the Dawg Pound Lounge. The D’Arcy Dawg House patio is located on the right field end of the seating bowl. And there is also another reserved seating area between the Family Berm and the main seating bowl down the left field line.

The WMBL is a collegiate summer league featuring athletes that are playing at what is roughly A-level baseball, so these are talented ballplayers playing quality ball. Over the years the Dawgs program has had 28 kids drafted by Major League teams, with one of their very first recruits, Jim Henderson, having played three seasons in the Show. The caliber of the product on the field makes this a worthwhile visit all by itself.

Neighbourhood 2

Seaman Stadium is located to the east of old Okotoks downtown in the city’s industrial park. The closest thing to a place for pre or post-game dining in walking distance of the diamond is the gas station across the street. A few more blocks to the west is the Okotoks Cinemas if you want to catch a movie. Everything else you might want to get to is going to require a car ride. On the upside, Okotoks is only around 30,000 in size, so you’re really no more than five minutes from anywhere.

Heading straight north up the hill along 32 St. from the diamond you’ll reach a strip mall at Milligan Dr. There you’ll find a Tom’s House of Pizza franchise, which is open most days from 11:00 am-midnight, and Namaste India, providing quality Indian cuisine. The latter is only open until 9 pm, so it could be a pre-game option, but not really post-game.

Fans 4

The fans are fairly laid back. On the other hand, there are a ton of them. Whether they’re locals or making the short trek south from Calgary, consistently drawing more than 3,000 or more fans to games in a league that averages fewer than 1,000 means the Dawgs have a dedicated fan base that love to support their team.

Cheers and boos happen at the appropriate moments, so it is clear that the crowd is engaged, even if they aren’t expressing it every moment of the game.

Access 4

Seaman Stadium is tucked into the far east corner of Okotoks, well away from most everything. On the other hand, it is at about the mid-point of the city going north-south; the field is really not much more than a five-minute drive from anywhere in town. Signage is good, so it’s also pretty easy to find coming from outside the city limits. So overall, getting to and from the diamond is not an issue.

There is ample on-site parking and the parking is free.

The concourse area has lots of room to handle the crowds, so getting from one spot to the next is also not an issue, with no real pinch points noted.

Return on Investment 4

Seats at Dawgs games go for $18.50. Tickets to sit on the left field berm are $10. These prices are high-normal compared to the rest of the league, but not at all outrageous. Considering the quality of ball you’ll see, and the quality of the facilities, this is a great price.

Extras 4

The Dawgs have a team mascot named Diggity who makes the rounds during the game, entertaining the youngsters and participating in the typical between innings contests and promotions.

The Dawgs General Store is the pro ship for the team. It is arguably the best stocked with hats, shirts, and other team products of any such stores in the league.

The walls of the concourse area behind home plate are decorated with several large signs, including the Dawgs Wall of Fame, details on the field and its history, and the team’s championships, among other things. Take a few minutes before the first pitch to learn more about the facility, the players, and the people behind the scenes who built the organization.

Division and League Championship banners hang from the rafters directly above the top row of seating, giving the field even more sense of history, which is impressive considering that the franchise is still less than 20 years old.

It’s always nice to see a facility like this taking care of the environment and Seaman Stadium does just that, with recycling bins located throughout the park.

Final Thoughts

Seaman Stadium is what baseball done the right way ought to look like. The facility is not only athlete-friendly, but also fan-friendly. This is a great place to visit to see a ballgame, if you’re in the neighborhood!

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Food and Drink Recommendations

Nick’s Steakhouse & Pizza

2430 Crowchild Trail Northwest

Calgary, AB T2M 4N5

(403) 282-9278

http://www.nickssteakandpizza.com


Big T’s BBQ & Smokehouse

2138 Crowchild Trail Northwest

Calgary, AB T2M 4N5

(403) 284-5959

http://www.bigtsbbq.com/


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Entertainment Recommendations

Heritage Park Historical Village

1900 Heritage Dr SW

Calgary, Alberta T2V 2X3

(403) 268-8500

http://www.heritagepark.ca/


The Military Museums

4520 Crowchild Trail SW

Calgary, Alberta T2T 5J4

(403) 410-2340

https://themilitarymuseums.ca/


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Lodging Recommendations

Best Western Plus Village Park Inn

1804 Crowchild Trail NW

Calgary, AB T2M 3Y7

(403) 289-0241

http://www.villageparkinn.com/


 

Aloft Calgary University

2359 Banff Trail NW

Calgary, AB T2M 4L2

(403) 289-1973

http://www.aloftcalgaryuniversity.com/


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Stadium Info

Seaman Stadium

256 Don Seaman Way

Okotoks, AB T1S 1A5

Okotoks Dawgs website

Seaman Stadium website

Year Opened: 2007

Capacity: 5,200

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