- Andrew Maurins
Greater Nevada Field – Reno Aces
Photos by Andrew Maurins, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.43
Greater Nevada Field
250 Evans Ave
Reno, NV 89501
Year Opened: 2009
Baseball Nights in Reno
With names like the Silver Sox, Oilers, Padres, Chukars, Blackjacks, Astros, and back to Silver Sox, professional baseball has a long, colorful history in the Truckee Meadows across multiple leagues and levels of play. Most of those teams played at the 4,000-seat Moana Stadium, built in 1947 as part of a city-owned sports park a few miles south of downtown. When the Pacific Coast League’s Tucson Sidewinders announced their intention to move to Reno in late 2007, city leaders knew the site would be wholly inadequate to host a Triple-A baseball team.
On a site next to the Truckee River and just east of downtown at the corner of 2nd Street and Evans Avenue, triple-A baseball finally came to Reno in 2009. A naming rights deal with a local credit union rechristened the stadium Greater Nevada Field in 2016, and now the ballpark enters its ninth season with a very noticeable enhancement in left field.
Food & Beverage 4
In terms of selection and overall quality, the food and drink at Greater Nevada Field are exceptional, and easily the most overwhelming – but also best – parts of a visit to the ballpark. The service is friendly, credit cards are accepted, and the only real criticisms we can offer are the occasionally long lines and frequent waits once your order has been placed.
The main concession stands have lots of items available either at multiple locations or specialty items at one particular location. These include a couple of grills (cheeseburger combo, all beef hot dog, chili cheese dog, pot stickers, spring rolls, souvenir nachos, refillable popcorn, crispy chicken sandwich, pretzels, chili cheese fries, fries, fruit cups, peanuts, candy, chips, funnel cake fries, deep fried Twinkies, ice cream sundaes, churros, waffle ice cream cones, giant corn dogs, specialty hot dogs, veggie burgers, chicken tenders, carnitas tacos, and kids’ hot dogs and tenders; a burger stand (specialty burgers, and Mexican street fries; and a pizza stand (pizza slices, nachos, small popcorn, verde meatball sub, and a monster cookie sandwich.
Of particular note are the specialty “VS Dogs” that change for every home game, depending on that night’s opponent. The selection broadens even more with the floating concession stands, like Steakadelphia (cheesesteak and “steak on a stick”; and Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory (caramel apples and chocolate-dipped sweets; Dippin’ Dots ice cream.
There is a cart from the nearby Arroyo Mexican Grill (street tacos, quesadilla, and a fajita burrito; Flocchini Summer Grill (bacon-wrapped hot dog, beer cheese brat, Italian sausage, foot-long hot dog, and Andouille sausage; Dickey’s Barbecue Pit (brisket sandwich, pulled pork sandwich or smoked chicken sandwich, each with a side; and a small stand for various candies (licorice ropes, kettle corn, caramel corn, cotton candy, and flavored ice.
Drink choices are similarly expansive, with sodas of both the fountain (Coke, Coke Zero, Diet Coke, Sprite, Fanta Orange, Barq’s Root Beer, and Dr. Pepper, and bottled varieties, along with bottled water, hot chocolate, coffee, Monster energy drinks, iced tea, and fresh squeezed lemonade.
Beer choices include the “domestics” (Coors, Coors Light, and Heineken in 24-ounce glasses and the always-changing “premiums”, as well as canned craft and Mexican beers, wine on draft or in small bottles, and cocktails. For the beer aficionado, the Burgertopia stand in the right field frequently has “tap takeovers” of one craft brewery’s offerings during select homestands.
For a true minor league ballpark experience, we recommend one of the VS Dogs sold behind home plate. They rotate the ingredients depending on the day’s opponent, leading to some inspired combinations. Beware, though: the buns tend to split when picked up.
There’s a solidly entertaining experience to be had at an Aces game, and it’s a few small complaints shy of a “5” here.
Most of the seats at Greater Nevada Field are folding plastic seats with armrests and cup holders concentrated along a single concourse level. There’s also a grass berm in the right field, additional cushions and personal concession service in the sections behind home plate, picnic table sections in the right-center field and the left field foul pole, and standing railings throughout the ballpark.
The natural grass surface stretches 338 feet to left, 410 feet to straightaway center, 424 feet to right-center, and 340 feet to right, with a tall wall extending from left to center field. The suite level above the main concourse extends around the infield and features newly upgraded local artwork in each suite, a press box behind first base, and Bugsy’s Sports Bar and the rest of the Freight House District behind third base.
The ballpark’s newest upgrades this season are a bigger HD video board in left field just above a brand new ribbon board, which spans nearly the entire left field wall. Smaller, secondary scoreboards on the opposite sides of the stadium were also added, which we appreciate.
In-game promotions include local pet adoptions, seat upgrades, a “Salute to Service” on the main video board, dance and kiss cams, crowd participation games like dizzy bat races and pie eating contests, and singing contests that pit one side of the stadium against the other.
Aces mascot Archie – sort of a cross between Grimace and the Philly Phanatic – is active in engaging with fans throughout the game, be it on the concourse or in seating sections. For the 7th inning stretch, a large, anthropomorphic baseball wearing an Aces cap named Mr. Baseball peeks over the batter’s eye in center field and begins singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” along with the crowd. The PA announcer and music are both at the right volumes as well.
If it’s your first visit to the ballpark, a general admission ticket will enable you to sit on the grass (bring a blanket or folding chair and enjoy the view) or anywhere there’s a railing. If a fixed seat is more to your liking, a left-field reserved seat on the third baseline will afford a good view and keep you sheltered from most of the sun. On that note, be aware of the sun beating down on the right field half of the park for the first half of most evening games, and bring sunblock.
To the west of the ballpark lies an expansive array of pre-and post-game dining options and hotels, as well as several attractions of note.
A considerable list of downtown dining choices can be narrowed down depending on what you’re in the mood for and how much you’re willing to spend. We recommend either Mellow Fellow, a gastropub directly across 2nd Street from the ballpark, or the Santa Fe Hotel, a family-style Basque restaurant on Lake Street.
Other choices at the Freight House District connected to the ballpark include Duffy’s Ale House and Arroyo Mexican Grill. This area frequently hosts outdoor concerts with cover bands during and after weekend games, but we suggest venturing further downtown.
The Truckee Riverwalk area boasts an assortment of shops and restaurants with scenic backdrops, and the Cargo Concert Hall is an intimate venue with different musical acts nearly every week. In the greater Truckee Meadows area, Virginia City and Lake Tahoe are both fine destinations for day trips.
Like its restaurants, downtown Reno boasts a slew of hotels to choose from, all of which come down to personal preference and your price range. We personally like the Courtyard Reno Downtown/Riverfront, within literal shouting distance of the ballpark.
Reno Aces fans are adequately engaged in the action at games and afford the team a decent home-field advantage by minor league standards.
The ballpark typically averages between 5,000 and 5,500 fans per game out of an official capacity of 9,013, both of which are in the lower half of the Pacific Coast League. The figures tend to be buoyed by weekend games and games with strong promotional tie-ins like the team’s annual Star Wars Night or games where dogs are allowed on the right field grass area.
Fans are appropriately reactive to big plays and respond well to music and cues to clap or sing along. In general, they’re fairly relaxed towards the proceedings happening on the field, but will happily cheer when given a reason to do so. Even if a game is close heading into the final innings, some people will still trickle out to beat the traffic home.
Because of its location adjacent to downtown and the ensuing parking problems that sometimes arise, getting into and out of a game at Greater Nevada Field is something of a minor hassle. Once you arrive at the stadium, however, things improve.
Luckily, options to reach the area by bus are plentiful, as the Regional Transportation Commission’s main transfer station at 4th and Lake Streets is a two-block, four-minute walk from the stadium. One such route can take you from Meadowood Mall to the transfer station in 24 minutes for $2 per adult per ride. Reno-Tahoe International Airport is about 13 minutes away by car.
Parking areas closest to the ballpark start at $5 for the Cal-Nevada, Harrah’s, or National Bowling Stadium garages on Center Street or various private lots in surrounding neighborhoods, and $10 at the Park Center Tower garage across the street. Center Street occasionally backs up after games because of this parking, but it’s not overwhelming. At the cost of an eight to ten-minute walk, we suggest trying the Eldorado or Silver Legacy parking garages if you don’t feel like paying but keep in mind they can also fill up for other events.
The main entrance gate is directly behind the third baseline, and a quick check of any bags (provided they’re smaller than 16x16x8 inches) is the only real security concern. Small folding chairs are also permitted in the grass area in the right field. While ticketless entry is technically possible, the ticket office informed us it’s a little hit-or-miss at this time.
On nights with more manageable crowds, the concourse is wide enough to comfortably accommodate everyone. But when long lines appear at concession stands, it can sometimes impede pedestrian traffic around the park. Fortunately, the concourse is completely open to the field and features closed-circuit TVs at every concession stand. The stadium’s bathrooms are big and fairly clean, with long waits (even for the women’s bathrooms) an extreme rarity. Handicap parking is available across Evans Avenue with a pass, and accessible seating is plentiful throughout the park.
Return on Investment 4
There are lots of options for how much to spend on a night at the ballpark, and they’re all just about the right price for what they offer.
Single-game ticket prices can vary depending on demand, promotions, group rates, and other factors. General admission tickets (grass area and standing railings) start at $8 to $9; right field reserved seats (sections 116-120) are $14 to $15; left field reserved seats (sections 101 and 102) are $15 to $16; infield reserved seats (sections 103, 115 and the upper halves of 104-107 and 111-114) are $18 to $19; seats right outside Bugsy’s Sports Bar on the suite level are $27 to $28; infield premium seats (near the dugouts in sections 104-106 and 112-114 and the upper halves of sections 108-110) are $25 to $26; and home plate premium seats (the lower halves of sections 107-111) are $32 to $33.
The team offers a good-sized game program for free at various stands on the concourse. Fans can save a little money with promotions like Two for $22 Tuesdays (two general admission tickets, two hot dogs, and two sodas for $22), Boomer BOGO on select Wednesdays (2-for-1 tickets for fans 50 and older), Coors Light Thirsty Thursdays ($2 Coors Lights and small sodas up to the middle of the 5th inning) a dollar menu for Sunday games ($1 hot dogs, ribs, small popcorn, and candy) and a Friends and Family deal for select Friday and Saturday games (a right field reserved seat, Aces hat and voucher for a Wienerschnitzel combo meal for $17).
We like the Kids Zone in right-center field, which features a playground and bounce house free of charge and a “test your speed” pitching game (3 balls for $1). It’s always good to have a place for young children to entertain themselves at a ballpark in the event they aren’t engaged in a game. Offering fans a free Wi-Fi network (with a quick sign-in) is also appreciated.
Lastly, a few quick hits: the murals painted by local artists at the stadium’s home plate entrance – which change every season – are a nice touch; anywhere in right field affords a nice view of the downtown Reno skyline; there’s a fireworks show after every Friday night game; and the team’s media personnel were all courteous and professional to us.
A game at Greater Nevada Field represents a solid all-around value for what a ticket through the gate will get you. Minor quibbles with parking and concession lines are made up for with a high degree of interactive entertainment and a great selection of high-quality concessions. Bigger crowds on more nights of the year could elevate the venue from “above average” to a must-see destination for any serious baseball fan.