Stadium Minor League History: Northern League 1996-present
Current Status: Home
of the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks of the Northern League (Independent)
What's Good: This
is a fairly typical example of the mid-1990s style of ballpark construction.
A seating area comprised of individual seats rings the infield, while a
wide concourse runs behind of it with the concession areas and restrooms.
Above the concourse is a spacious press box and twelve luxury boxes, and
general admission bleacher sections are at each end of the grandstand.
While the stadium's exterior is imposingly large
and clad in handsome brick, the seating area inside is modest in size,
with all of the 3,200 reserved seats situated between first and third and
close to the field because of a relatively small
amount of foul territory. The setting for the ballpark -- on the
campus of North Dakota State -- is pleasant, easy to reach, and comes with
ample parking. The stadium is also just south of the large (and similarly
brick-clad) Fargodome, which is visible over the
outfield fence. While the structure of the place itself doesn't
seem particularly unique, it is well-enough suited as a baseball venue
that when the team's GM left to head up the Schaumburg Flyers, he patterned
much of that team's new Alexian Field after
the Fargo facility. There is a decent variety of reasonably-priced
concessions -- from frozen yogurt to subs to Summit Extra Pale Ale (and
on tap, no less!) -- and the souvenir store is attractive and sells a wide
spectrum of team merchandise. A couple of interesting items I spied
there included copies of RedHawks backstop Chris Coste's memoir of life
in the Northern League titled "Hey... I'm Just the Catcher" (which includes
several construction photos of the stadium), and CDs of Sioux City manager
Ed Nottle's vocal stylings. The usual parade of promotions filled
the time between innings, but the PA announcer was good, sound effects
were kept to a minimum, and the staff was uniformly friendly and professional.
Overall, Newman Outdoor Field is a terrific place to watch baseball, and
one of my favorites of the new breed of ballparks.
What's Not So Good: Very
little, actually. It's hard to fault a stadium for not being
old, historic, or unusual, and this is about as good as new ballparks at
this level get. One complaint might be that it's actually too small
-- the team reportedly operates at 95% capacity, so it's usually quite
crowded. And the management might want to find a new pizza vendor
(the Domino's slice I purchased was dry, tepid, and flavorless).
Still, if the worse criticism I can make is that I got a bad slice of pizza,
things have got to be pretty good here.
August 12, 2000 Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks vs. Sioux
(back to the index)