Greenwood Baseball Field - UNC-Asheville Bulldogs
Photos by David Welch, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.71
Greenwood Baseball Field Campus Dr Asheville, NC 28804
Year Opened: 1988 Capacity: 1,000
Greenwood Baseball Field – University of North Carolina-Asheville Bulldogs
The adage “it is often the darkest before the dawn” might be the best way to describe the current status of Greenwood Baseball Field on the campus of the University of North Carolina-Asheville. Greenwood Field and the surrounding athletic facilities have been undergoing extensive renovation in recent years, so there is a bit of a pardon-the-dust-in-the-name-of-progress feel to the area.
Members of the Big South Conference, the Bulldogs have played at their on-campus baseball field since 1988, when they moved from McCormick Field near downtown Asheville.
Food & Beverage 2
The current concession stand that services the baseball field was built as part of the track and field facility, so it is set off a bit from the primary seating area, but conveniently located for fans along the third base side of the field.
Concessions are a bit thin, consisting of hot dogs, popcorn, candy, and chips – other than hot dogs there is not much of substance when it comes to the food options. Beverages include Pepsi products, Gatorade, and Celsius energy drinks. Currently, beer is only sold on Friday and Saturdays.
While Greenwood Baseball Field continues to undergo facility upgrades, seating is a bit of an assortment of traditional bleacher seating, benches, and picnic type tables, and fans bring their own tailgate chairs. The lone bleacher section is adjacent to the visiting dugout; these bleachers include traditional aluminum bench seating and a second section of one-piece seats. During the facility upgrades, the game operations center (scoreboard operator, official scorer, and television production staff) are located in a makeshift press box, or more accurately press tent, behind home plate. Fans down the lines are treated to unobstructed views of the action on the field, but definitely need to be on their toes for sharp foul balls down the line.
Greenwood Baseball Field is a natural grass field with grass basepaths up the first and third baselines. The field plays a bit short to the left field side with the fence sitting 320’ from home, with centerfield a touch short at 390’ – right field is a bit deeper than its left field counterpart at 330’. The outfield is encircled by an 8-foot-high fence from foul pole to foul pole. The field’s scoreboard sits beyond the left field wall; it is a basic royal blue scoreboard which provides fans with the inning-by-inning line score, run-hit-errors, and ball-strike-out information.
The game presentation is as perfectly simple as it gets. Baseball is kept at the focus of the entertainment, and there is not the added distraction of sound effects throughout the game.
The sun sets behind the first base side, so there is a bit of a sun field to contend with early on, but the nearby tree line helps to limit the impact the sun has on fans along the third base side. One of the biggest downfalls of the field though is there is no cover or shade to protect fans from the elements on a sunny, cloudless day.
The campus of the University of North Carolina-Asheville sits atop a steeply sloped hill, just north of downtown Asheville. The university’s athletic facilities are clustered in the southwestern corner of campus. Greenwood Baseball Field sits in the shadows of the Kimmel Center, the Bulldog’s home court for basketball. The upgraded facilities use a lot of stone and wood finish to help create a bit of a rustic, mountain cabin feel to them.
Asheville itself is known as a haven of craft breweries with approximately forty in the area; a handful of those are just down the slope of UNC-Asheville’s campus. The town is also known for its eclectic artisans, who bring a unique culture to the city.
There is also a great deal of history in the area – one of the most popular sites in Asheville is Biltmore Estate, which dates to the Gilded Age following the American Civil War. In another vein of history is McCormick Field, the third-oldest minor league baseball stadium still in regular use during the spring and summer months by the Asheville Tourists of the South Atlantic League.
Despite a partially completed stadium that still has a great deal of progress to go, the Bulldogs draw fairly well. Fans are not overly boisterous when it comes to their passion for anticipated action in the game, but they do make their presence felt in reaction to Bulldogs scoring runs and overall good baseball plays.
The city of Asheville is in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and a quick walk around UNC-Asheville’s campus will feel every bit of the mountains of the surrounding area.
Asheville is about halfway between Charlotte, NC and Knoxville, TN directly off I-40, so getting to Asheville is rather direct from either of these larger cities.
Once on the UNC-Asheville campus, parking can be a bit challenging to find if you do not research it ahead of time. Due to the ongoing construction, there is only a limited amount of parking at the field itself. The usual lot used for baseball is currently housing heavy construction machinery, gravel piles, and other construction supplies. Pay close attention to the parking signage in the lot in the back of the Kimmel Center, as an announcement could possibly be made that cars not in parking spots will be towed.
Parking on campus is free, but make sure to register your vehicle ahead of time. Parking at the field is limited at best, so the best bet might be the Campus Drive Garage, but it will still leave a bit of a walk to get to Greenwood Baseball Field.
Return on Investment 4
At the moment there is no charge to attend games at Greenwood Baseball Field, and fairly priced concessions make attending games even more enticing. With that said, the only real investment you are making is time getting to Asheville itself. Even though most fans will not seek out a trip to Asheville just for the sake of going to a Bulldogs baseball game, the city itself will make a trip worth the time.
The city of Ashville provides almost an endless number of adventures, especially those into outdoor activities, craft beer, or simply the free-natured spirit Asheville offers.
The mountains over the first base side of the field set up for some beautiful sunsets, especially earlier in the season when the full spring foliage has not completely blocked the view of the nearby mountains.
The Greenwood Baseball Field upgrades have all the makings to create a beautiful ballpark; they just seems to be stuck in progress at the moment. The fundraising campaign has been ongoing for nearly a decade, but it seems that movement has been slow going. At the current point in the upgrades, most of the improvements have been player focused, as they should be – new dugouts, some player development facilities, and general field upgrades.
There are still other upgrades to be made, however, and in due time Greenwood Baseball Field, or what the future name might be, will come together as a beautiful baseball facility. In its current state the fan experience is trending upward and steadily improving. The biggest question is, when will the full plans finally come to fruition?