Capaha Field - Cape Catfish
Photos by Marc Viquez, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.43
Capaha Field 627 Capaha Drive Cape Girardeau, MO 63701
Year Opened: 1949 Capacity: 2,400
Getting Hooked at Capaha Field
Capaha Field has been the home of the Cape Catfish of the summer collegiate Prospect League. The ball club arrived during the summer of 2019, but baseball has been played at the site by numerous teams dating back to 1894.
The ballpark was first known as Fairgrounds Field and included three separate grandstands. The first wooden grandstand was built in 1905 but leveled by a storm in 1911. A new one was constructed the same year and enlarged by 40 feet. It would be replaced by the current structure in 1949. A new press box was added in 2006.
The SE Missouri University baseball program has called the ballpark home since 1959 and added a 4,000 square indoor training facility on the right field side of the stadium. The St. Louis Browns and the Toledo Mud Hens held spring training on the site from 1943-1945 due to wartime restrictions. The ballpark is also home to American Legion baseball.
The Capaha baseball team is the oldest amateur club that began playing on the site in 1894 and got its name from the CA-PA-HA Flour Company, which sponsored the club in the early part of the 20th century. The ball club has won 20 state regional titles with a 4th place finish at the NBC in Wichita, Kansas.
A $1.8 million renovation plan changed the ballpark that included synthetic turf changes, sectioning off the road on top of the knoll on the right field side to make it the main concourse, adding a video scoreboard, a new outfield fence, new bullpens, and additional cosmetic upgrades. Chair-back seating from the now-demolished Houck Stadium was added to the grandstand in 2022.
Food & Beverage 3
There are multiple food trucks at the ballpark parked up on the hill serving food and beverage during the game. Kenny’s Flippin’ Burgers is a local restaurant that serves smashed burgers and hot dogs. The Cape Catfish version has grilled onions and smash sauce with homemade ribbon chips.
The Wat’s Knot truck offers pretzels, pretzel bites, cinnamon twists, and pretzel dogs. Simply Swirled is another truck that has 15 different flavors of shaved ice from grape, orange, wedding cake, and tiger’s blood.
Coca-Cola products are sold, while the beer options include cans of Modelo, Coors Light, Miller Light, Yuengling Lager, Yuengling Flight, and Cape Catfish Common from local Ebb & Flow Fermentation. It is a Kentucky Common beer, AKA steam beer. It is a well-balanced beer with maltiness that creates a dry and clean flavor profile.
Fans enter the stadium at the main entrance behind the grandstand and on top of the hill. The Plaza Tire Entrance used to be a small road for cars but is now part of the stadium’s main grandstand. The tree line area is designed with tables, concession stands, food trucks, a merchandise table, and a small hill where kids run up and down. It is a carnival-like atmosphere on most nights and is good use to increase the atmosphere at the game.
The main grandstand seats a little about 500 people and offers stadium seating. The grandstand features a logo of the ballpark and includes the emblems of all four teams that call it home during the spring and summer. Championship banners of the Catfish are on display, and old baseball bats are used as banisters in the grandstand.
A few private areas exist, and include the dugout club seating area down the first base side of the stadium and the homerun deck behind the right field that has its entrance. The party area can seat people up to 200 and comes with food and beverages. The SEMO football team was the guest during our visit and provided a noisy backdrop to the visiting right fielder.
The Catfish mascot can be found walking through the stadium giving high-fives, and posing for photos. A majority of the fans are found on the main concourse either on the hill at tables or sprawling out on the grass berm. The same can is for a few folks who watch the game from the road behind the outfield wall in the center field on top of another hill. They park their cars, pull out a lawn chair and enjoy the game free of charge.
The ballpark is inside Capaha Park, which includes a fishing pond, a rose garden, and a disc-golf course over 39 acres in the southwest corner of Cape Girardeau. The area around the park is a mix of residential and commercial use and is near Southeast Missouri State University and Southeast Hospital.
However, there are plenty of restaurants and breweries located within a mile of the ballpark. The restaurants include Mary Jane Bourbon & Smokehouse, Burrito-Ville, Kenny’s Flipping Burgers, and Broussard’s Cajun Cuisine. The breweries include Ebb & Flow Fermentation and Minglewood Brewery. Also, a mile from Capaha Park is the Mississippi River and riverfront.
The fan interaction at the is community spirited, with families out for a day during the summer, baseball diehards enjoying a few innings, and kids just having fun running around the spacious concourse and hill. There are many with Catfish caps and t-shirts cheering on the hometown team.
Cape Girardeau is accessible off I-55 and is 115 miles southeast of St. Louis along the Mighty Mississippi River. There are numerous spots to park behind the outfield walls in the grass and dirt lots, along with neighboring streets. Once inside the venue, the main concourse allows fans to direct themselves to many vantage points and the grandstand.
Return on Investment 4
Reserved seating in the grandstand is $12, $9 for adults, $5 for children 6-12, and free for kids under $5 everywhere else. Parking is free in the neighboring lots, and food prices are affordable. All cans of beer are $4, and the large tub of shaved ice is also $4 and perfect for kids to cool down during a hot summer day. However, there did not appear to be reasonable pricing for the ballpark staples of hot dogs, nachos, peanuts, and popcorn from any one of the food trucks. Merchandise includes an assortment of t-shirts and caps from $25 to $30, respectively.
The Catfish earn points for designing a ballpark that stands out in the Prospect League. The Plaza Tire Entrance makes good use of the old road and turns it into a festive and lively concourse during game time. The beer prices are $4 and almost half of what you might pay elsewhere in summer baseball. Another point is the multiple banners hanging up along the concourse that add a nice touch to the stadium.
Capaha Field has an illustrious history of baseball dating back to the late 19th century, and the Cape Catfish continue that tradition in Cape Girardeau.