- Meg Minard
Brandt Field – New Mexico Highlands Cowboys
Photos by Meg Minard, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.86
Harold K. Brandt Baseball Field 1241 9th St Las Vegas, NM 87701
Year Opened: 1957
NMHU Cowboys Baseball
The New Mexico Highlands University Cowboys are a part of the Div II RMAC (Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference). Nestled in the small town of Las Vegas, NM, the baseball team calls Harold K. Brandt Baseball Field their home. Brandt Field, as it is locally known, received renovations in the late 2000’s with a new clubhouse and dugouts, and a pleasing new stone backstop.
Although not overly successful this season (2017), the Cowboys are the 2000, 2005, and 2010 RMAC Tournament Champions, and received a bid to the NCAA Division II Regional Tournament in 2005.
Baseball purists will enjoy watching a game here as it the simple things like the game and cheering on the boys on the field. No bells, no whistles; just the joy of the game.
Food & Beverage 3
Basic food and beverages are available for a Cowboys baseball game. One concession building located behind the third base dugout is open and is shared with the softball and football fields. It opens closer to the start of game time; it is not open 30 minutes prior to the first pitch.
It offers basic fare such as burgers/cheeseburgers, nachos, and jumbo hot dogs. Combos include a medium drink and chips and run $5 – $5.50. For something to snack on chips, popcorn, candy, and pickles are available for $1. The burgers and dogs are freshly grilled. Inviting, mouthwatering smells permeate the stands as the burgers are being prepared. A fan may have to come back 10 -15 min after ordering their burger waiting for it to be cooked.
Soda, water, hot coffee and hot chocolate (sometimes desired on cool spring days), and Gatorade run $1 – $2. To get a special deal on soda, purchase an HU souvenir cup for $5 and get $1 refills the entire season.
Smart Cowboy fans bring food and drinks from home (more often than not it is drinks for their son on the team).
NMHU merchandise is not available for sale during a baseball game at Brandt Field.
Brandt Field is a basic baseball diamond with watching the game and rooting on the players, the teams, and good plays the purpose for visiting.
Four sets of metal bleachers, 10 rows each with handrails, are located behind home plate. No cover is over the seating area so be prepared for any expected weather elements. A net surrounds the infield in front of the entire seating area, so there’s no place for fans to watch the game net free.
The scoreboard is located beyond the right field wall and provides the basic line score: batter number, ball, strike, hit / error, and runs per inning. It can be a little difficult to read during early afternoon games as the sun shines on it.
The music pregame is painfully loud. I’m guessing this is more for the players as they take batting practice and warm up. The volume is lowered when played between innings. Thankfully, no walk up songs are played as it just wouldn’t fit in this environment.
The announcer has a fabulous, nice, clear voice; he calls the starting line up a little too fast to capture on a scorecard but always repeats the name when the player comes to bat. Roster sheets are not provided.
The playing surface consists of real grass in the outfield and real dirt on the warning track but artificial turf on the infield. Trees grace the outfield view with leaves just beginning to bud during the early spring to mid-season games. There is a walking trail and creek behind the outfield. Third base is the Cowboys home side.
Brandt Field does not have stadium lights so all games are played during the day. Several doubleheaders with 12pm/2pm start times are played throughout the season.
Las Vegas, NM sits in the northern part of the state, about an hour’s drive east of Santa Fe, and 125 miles northeast of Albuquerque.
The New Mexico Highland University’s Brandt Field is located next to the John A Wilson Athletic Complex, the softball field, and the football field at the intersection of 9th Street and Raynolds Ave. It sits in a residential neighborhood and is a mile or less to restaurants and hotels.
The closest restaurant is El Sombrero Mexican Restaurant just two blocks away. Another great restaurant in town is El Fidel Restaurant who claim they have the largest craft beer selection in Las Vegas.
The Historic Plaza Square Park is about a mile away and has several restaurants in the area: Landmark Grill (located in the haunted Plaza Hotel; this also has a bar with several NM craft beers on tap), El Rialto Restaurant and Lounge (good for New Mexican food and their green chile), and JC’s New York Pizza Department (bowling lanes and pool tables are upstairs).
Visit the City of Las Vegas Museum and Rough Rider Memorial Collection to learn about the history of the city and the 1st US Volunteer Cavalry Regiment. Three national parks are in the vicinity of Las Vegas: Pecos National Historical Park, Fort Union National Monument, and the Sante Fe National Historic Trail which passes through the old town of the city.
Most of the hotels sit along Grand Ave and are about a mile from the ball field and price from $50 – $90 a night. I stayed at the Knights Inn and it is clean, comfortable, and safe. For a unique experience stay at the Historic Plaza Hotel built in 1882. It is gracefully restored and includes modern day comforts without tarnishing the history.
Fans turn out in limited numbers for Cowboys baseball. Most appear to be family and friends with a spattering of students and locals. Dogs are allowed. A good contingent of the visiting team fans (parents) can often be found.
Some of the biggest fans are the players in the dugouts.
Getting to Brandt Field is best by automobile. I did not notice any public transportation. The ball field sits on the corner of 9th St and Raynolds Ave. There’s no signage to ballpark – look for the John A Wilson Athletic Complex or the football stadium. The parking lot is next to the Wilson Complex. Entry to the field is from the parking lot beyond the first baseline.
I don’t really see how anyone in a wheelchair would be able to watch the game as the stone brick backstop looks like it is too high and would prevent someone sitting in a wheelchair to see over it.
Bathrooms are shared with the other sports facilities and located in the same building as the concessions. The ladies room is cement and has three stalls, enough for fans at the ballgame.
Return on Investment 4
The expenditure is quite worth the value (especially for those who go for the game).
Tickets run $6 for adults / $4 for 55+ and youth 13 – 18. Kids and students get in at no cost. Concession prices are quite reasonable (or bring your own) and parking is free.
Go on a doubleheader day and get to see two games.
Sometimes a softball game is played at around the same time as the baseball game and a fan can easily stroll over to see the softball game.
Las Vegas, NM is definitely not a vacation destination like its namesake in Nevada. However, if a resident of northern New Mexico or if passing through from Albuquerque to Denver one spring weekend, think about stopping in and catching a Cowboys baseball game at New Mexico Highlands University’s Brandt Field.
It’s always a treat to watch a ball game for the game and Brandt Field fits that desire.