Alumni Field - UMBC Retrievers
Photos by Richard Smith, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.14
1000 Hilltop Cir
Catonsville, MD 21250
Year Opened: 2004
The University of Maryland, Baltimore County is most commonly referred to as UMBC. Located about 15 minutes west of Baltimore between the suburbs of Arbutus and Catonsville, the university has just under 15,000 students. Sciences and Engineering are some of the highest-profile programs at UMBC, although there are over 50 undergraduate majors and more than 60 graduate programs in total.
The university began in 1966 and is obviously a sister college to The University of Maryland, College Park, Towson University, and the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore.
The men's basketball team at UMBC has made the biggest sports splash with their 2018 win over Virginia in the first round of the 2018 NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament. This was the first time a 16-seed beat a number-one seed in the tournament.
Sports have not always had great success at UMBC. Lacrosse and soccer are the most successful sports, along with the amazing chess team.
Chess has won the Pan American Chess Tournament 9 times between 1996 and 2009. Former team captain Alexander Onischuk went on to become the United States Champion in 2006.
Lacrosse is a usual fixture on the scene and is a common sight in the NCAA tournament. Men's soccer made the Final Four of college soccer, the College Cup, in 2015, eventually losing on the biggest stage around.
The baseball program is frankly little-recognized, although they have won their share of games and occasional conference championships over the years.
The mascot of the school is a Retriever and celebrates the Chesapeake Bay Retriever, the state dog of Maryland.
The home field of the baseball team is Alumni Field and it is located within the UMBC Stadium Complex. There have been recent renovations to the entrance to the complex that makes for a nice entrance plaza to the baseball field as well as the neighboring stadium. The stands for the stadium appear to be the same as the previous one but are easier to access.
Food & Beverage 1
There were no food operations in place at the stadium at the game we attended. We are giving them the benefit of doubt as a new concession stand exists on the new plaza. We are assuming it may be open for some weekend games. You can freely bring your own to the games.
There is not much of an atmosphere. Alumni Field looks to be jammed in between the UMBC Stadium (home of Retriever lacrosse) and the UMBC softball field. Many fans even stand on the top row of UMBC Stadium to watch games.
There are some simple bleacher stands that surround it. There are no real stands towards the first base side, but fans will sit on the hillside and a new rock wall to watch the game action.
There is a PA announcer and music is played between innings and during player walkups. The PA speakers even sit on the rear of the press box of UMBC Stadium. That press box, itself, has a pretty distinct look, which is one of the few things that gives Alumni Field a certain look or feel.
There is no neighborhood around UMBC. The campus is located between the Arbutus and Catonsville neighborhoods of Baltimore County. Downtown Baltimore is roughly a 15 to 20-minute drive down I-95.
Fans may want to stop into some of the shops and restaurants that line Frederick Road in Catonsville for pre-game activities. Taneytown Deli has limited hours but they are the best bets for stopping before afternoon games. Sorrentos in Arbutus is an old-school sub shop that is quite good.
That quick drive to Baltimore opens up a world of activities and dining options. The new Horseshoe Casino is located directly south of the Oriole Park/M & T Bank Stadium complex. Not too far from the casino is one of my favorites, the Abbey Burger Bistro, near the Cross Street Market at 1041 Marshall Street. The beer selection is good and they offer a large array of burger choices, and all are likely to satisfy.
This is a very typical Mid-Atlantic college baseball fan group, where most of the fans in attendance are family and friends of both teams. There may be a few local residents who attend the games. The fans are knowledgeable and friendly to visitors.
The UMBC campus is easy to access, as it is located off of Route 166 / Exit 47B of I-95. You will be routed directly into the campus without even going onto any surface streets.
Weekday games, while school is in session, may involve looking a bit harder for parking spaces. A weekday visit can be pretty hard to navigate while a weekend one will be a breeze. We are grading down because so many of the games are those weekday ones.
If you venture around through the nearby towns of Arbutus and Catonsville, you will use area roads like Wilkens Avenue, Frederick Road, and Rolling Road. You may need a GPS, as these roads tend to ramble a bit.
Return on Investment 4
Games are free, and parking has no cost associated with it. Your only expense will be gas and the cost of food you decide to bring to enjoy during the game.
Check out the plaque for the indigent school for boys that existed on the grounds of UMBC many moons ago. That is an interesting piece of history, indeed.
This is not the most high-end stadium and really seems like an afterthought. Jammed in between other athletic fields is a simple baseball stadium that will not wow you, but offers cheap, quality entertainment.