Spuhler Field – George Mason Patriots

by | Mar 11, 2019 | Gregory Koch, NCAA Baseball

Fanfare Score

Total Score
2.43

Crowd Score

Total Score
2.29


 

Patriot Games at Mason

The George Mason Patriots baseball team has been in existence since 1968, but for the first two decades of their existence, they were forced to play their home games on temporary or high school fields. Finally, in 1986, they got their own field on campus when Spuhler Field opened. The stadium seats only 900 and is part of a sports complex on the George Mason campus which also includes the Field House and various other stadiums. It is named after Raymond H. “Hap” Spuhler, the school’s first baseball coach.

Food & Beverage 0

There was no food or beverage for sale at Spuhler Field when we visited. There is a food truck at games sometimes, but it was not there when we went and it is best not to count on it being there. Outside food and beverage are permitted, and many fans bring them in, but alcohol, glass bottles, and coolers are not.

Atmosphere 2

There are three sets of bleachers at Spuhler Field, all of which are behind netting. While it can be frustrating to watch the game through a net sometimes, this is a necessity as the seats are very close to the action and the ball can come off the aluminum bats very fast. All seats are bleacher seats with no backs, although fans in the top row can lean against the back fence. There is a small digital scoreboard in right-center field which shows the line score in addition to the count and other standard information. One unusual quirk of the scoreboard is that until a team records a hit or error, that square will remain blank rather than show a zero.

Once the game starts, the team doesn’t really make a lot of effort to keep fans engaged. There is a PA announcer and music played between innings and at-bats, but that’s about it. There isn’t even so much as a marketing table to keep fans informed of what’s going on with the team.

Neighborhood 3

George Mason’s campus is located in suburban Fairfax County, just across the border from the City of Fairfax, which like all cities in Virginia is a politically separate entity from any county. This confusing situation aside, Fairfax is a typical suburb located about 25 miles outside of Washington, D.C. The University Mall shopping center is located across the street from campus and features Brion’s Grille as well as several chain places and a movie theatre. The 29 Diner is a local favorite as well.

While Fairfax doesn’t have the same excitement you’d get in the District, it’s still a nice suburb with plenty to do and eat before or after the game.

Fans 2

There were less than 100 fans in attendance at the game we went to, and most of the ones that were there weren’t into the game at all. There were a handful of cheers occasionally, but these were mostly from friends and family cheering on one particular player rather than the whole team. Some fans didn’t seem to be paying attention to the game at all, but they were thankfully a small minority. Still, even a few fans completely ignoring the game can be noticeable when the crowd is as small as it is here.

Access 4

George Mason’s campus is about six miles off the Capital Beltway (I-495) or three miles off I-66. Once you’re on campus, ample free parking is available in the lot between the Field House and the stadium, with more parking available on the other side of the Field House in the unlikely event it is actually needed. Keep in mind the spaces closest to the field are within range of fly balls, so park there at your own risk. Unfortunately, Mason’s campus is not really Metro-accessible as the closest stop is Vienna, five miles away.

Return on Investment 3

Tickets for weekend games (typically Friday-Sunday) are $6 for adults and $4 for children, seniors, and Mason faculty/staff. Weekday games are free and GMU students get in free to all home games. Parking is free regardless. As a result, the value you get depends on when you go, but it isn’t going to break the bank regardless.

Extras 2

There are free programs available in a bucket attached to the center set of bleachers. Although they don’t provide much other than rosters and a very basic scorecard, it’s hard to complain when they don’t cost anything.

The outfield fence has banners showing the Patriots’ postseason appearances as well as three retired numbers.

Final Thoughts

Although college baseball is huge in the southeast, including parts of Virginia, George Mason doesn’t seem to be located far enough south to take advantage of that. With sparse crowds and little done to encourage more people to attend, there is not much to make the casual fan want to come here. If you’re a fan of George Mason or their opponent, or are just baseball crazy and will check out any game anywhere any time, you’ll want to check out Spuhler Field. However, for a typical neutral fan, there is nothing here of note.  

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Food and Drink Recommendations

 

Brion’s Grille

10621 Braddock Road

Fairfax, VA 22030
(703) 352-7272
29 Diner

10536 Fairfax Boulevard

Fairfax, VA 22030

(703) 352-0029

http://29diner.com/


 

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Entertainment Recommendations

 

Fair Oaks Mall

11750 Fair Oaks Mall

Fairfax, VA 22033

(703) 359-8300

http://www.shopfairoaksmall.com/


 

University Mall Theatre

10659 Braddock Road

Fairfax, VA 22032

(703) 273-7111

https://www.universitymalltheatres.com/


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Lodging Recommendations

 

SpringHill Suites by Marriott Fairfax Fair Oaks

11191 Waples Mill Rd

Fairfax, VA 22030

(703) 691-7880

http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/iadfr-springhill-suites-fairfax-fair-oaks/


 

Comfort Inn University Center

11180 Fairfax Blvd

Fairfax, VA 22030

(703) 591-5900

https://www.choicehotels.com/virginia/fairfax/comfort-inn-hotels/va073


 

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Crowd Reviews

Latest Crowd Reviews

Date: 2019-03-11 07:45:47
By: Legacy Review

Total Score
2.29

There are better college baseball experiences in the D.C. metro area, and if you don’t have a vested interest in either GMU or their opponent, there is really not much to see here.

Stadium Info

Spuhler Field

10723 School Street

Fairfax, VA 22030

George Mason Patriots website

Spuhler Field website

Year Opened: 1986

Capacity: 900

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