Hammons Field – Springfield Cardinals
Photos by Meg Minard, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.29
Hammons Field 955 East Trafficway Springfield, MO 65802 Map It
Year Opened: 2005 Capacity: 10,486
Attending a baseball game at Hammons Field is a baseball purist’s dream and an altogether fantastic day or evening out. Hammons Field, in Springfield MO, is the home of the Springfield Cardinals, an AA affiliate of MLB’s St Louis Cardinals.
Hammons Field opened on April 2, 2004, and cost $32 million. John Q Hammons, a wealthy hotel developer and builder from Springfield MO, financed the stadium construction. The first year saw only the local college play ball at the park as no pro ball club had committed to playing there when it was built. The Springfield Cardinals of the Texas League began playing there the very next season.
Prior to 2005, the team was the El Paso Diablos. The owners of the Diablos sold the franchise to the Cardinals who relocated them to Springfield. The Springfield Cardinals won the Texas League Championship in 2012 and are looking to repeat that in future seasons.
The Missouri State University Bears baseball team uses the field in the spring. Hammons Field hosts other events for the Southwestern Missouri community, such as Trick or Treat on Halloween. It is an intimate, comfortable venue that exudes Cardinals baseball and is one well worth visiting.
Food & Beverage 4
The ballpark sells plenty of drinks, food, and snacks at higher prices than expected for an AA ballpark in Missouri. However, plenty of food promotions are offered throughout the season. Keep those in mind when visiting.
First, adult beverages are $3 off for the first 30 minutes after the gates open. That said, even with the discount, a 16 oz specialty craft beer is still $7. Tuesdays are $2 brats and hot dogs. Thursday home games are ‘Thirsty Thursdays’ with $3 off drink specials for fans 21 and older all game long. Kids get a free ice cream before Sunday home games.
Burgers and chicken tenders are sold at the Home Plate Concessions while there’s a Domino’s Pizza and a Chick-fil-A down the third base concourse.
Cardinals Cantina sells Mexican fare with gourmet nachos and burrito bowls (with fajita chicken, pulled pork, and white queso options) and a variety of toppings. They cost between $11.65 – $15.49. Other traditional snacks like popcorn, soft pretzels, chips, and peanuts are available for purchase.
Cardinals Creamery has nine different flavors of ice cream (a souvenir helmet is $6.49). Other snacks at that stand are funnel cakes ($7) and cotton candy ($5.25).
Bottled water is $4.99 and soda (Coca-Cola brands) are $6.25 and $7.49. KPub and the 1st Base Bar offer adult beverages such as wine, mixed drinks, and craft brews. Adults can purchase bottled and canned beer at most concession stands as well as Grab and Go Stations.
The venue emanates baseball and all staff members make you feel welcome and glad you are visiting their stadium.
The concourse runs on top of the seating area; fans walk down to their seats. Twenty-two rows of green stadium seats with cupholders and handrails make up the seating area. Plenty of handicapped and wheelchair seating runs along the top of the concourse. Suites line the second level of the stadium behind home and on the first base side.
The Redbird Roost (second level third base side) features premium seats and all-you-can-eat food and soda. The outer first base side has the Champions Club seats with an upgraded all-you-can-eat menu and four adult beverages included in the price.
The ballpark has an immaculately, green field. When the big Cardinals go to the playoffs, the grounds crew from Springfield goes to St. Louis to assist with the maintenance of Busch Stadium. Something a bit different, the batter’s eye is a set of trees sponsored by Coca-Cola.
Hammons Field Batters Eye, Photo by Meg Minard, Stadium Journey
Thankfully, the game day operation does not include music and noise between each and every pitch; instead, just between batters and innings. Contests and other forms of non-baseball entertainment include activities like wacky races and t-shirt tosses.
A grassy berm (general admission) is down the third baseline and kids can run around in that area (depending on attendance). The scoreboard is in left-center field and clearly shows the batter’s stats, the line-up, the line score, the pitcher’s name, and some unobtrusive advertisements
The team has plenty of promotions and giveaways throughout the season: t-shirts, jerseys, replica rings, Friday night fireworks, bobbleheads, and more. Check their schedule or follow them on social media to see the current season’s exciting offerings.
Hammons Field is in Springfield, MO, the southwestern part of the state. Several bars, restaurants, and hotels are within ½ to one mile of the stadium with more a little further away. It’s a safe neighborhood to visit and the town has plenty to offer a visiting baseball fan or tourist.
For starters, visit the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame (though it is 10 miles from the ballpark), an interactive museum of teams and individuals influential to sports in Missouri. The Bass Pro Shop in town (three miles from the ballpark) is the largest and has enough to be considered a museum with aquariums, waterfalls, a firing range, outdoor gear showrooms, and the archery hall of fame.
Route 66 museums, artifacts, and shops dot the area for those who enjoy nostalgia from the 40s and 50s.
For places to eat, visit Ebbets Field Sports Bar (three blocks away) or Rama Thai Café. Dugout Bar & Grill is a block away (a small neighborhood bar). Downtown Springfield is a mile away. There you’ll find Black Sheep Burgers and Shakes, Big Whiskey’s, or Civil Kitchen. Local breweries include Springfield Brewing Company (which serves food) and Mother’s Brewing Company.
If spending the night, the University Plaza Hotel is 1/3 mile from the ballpark. A Best Western Inn is a mile away and a Tru by Hilton borders downtown. Plenty of other chain hotels are three to four miles away off the Interstate 44 exit.
The baseball spirit, passion, knowledge, and courtesy always shown by St Louis Cardinals fans are displayed just as equally by its AA team fans and staff.
Fans wear lots of red… red caps shirts and jerseys honoring both the Springfield and St Louis Cardinals. You’ll hear many discussing the players and which ones will make it up to the bigs. The team has averaged 4,800 – 5,000 or so fans per game the last five-plus years.
Getting to Hammons Field is not too difficult. It is three miles south of Interstate 44. The closest airport is Springfield-Branson National Airport about eight miles from the park. Springfield has a bus service that looks like it has a stop .2 miles from the park. Check CU Transit to see if that option works for your visit.
Parking lots surround the park and range from $5 – $20. Twenty dollars is way too high for AA baseball. The team does not own the parking around the stadium and does not have control of the prices. Fans can park for free a few blocks away (.3 miles) at OTC (Ozarks Technical Community College) and Price Cutter. Free street parking is available a few blocks south on Walnut St.
The main entranceway is striking. It’s a large plaza with plenty of room for fans to meet. The brickwork and towers are picturesque. The interior has a covered, wide concourse lined with concessions and kiosks. It is open and fans can watch the play of game while walking on the concourse. Clean, serviceable restrooms are down both baseline concourses.
The Cardinals have a clear bag policy where bags must be standard stadium-sized (12” x 6” x 12”) clear bags.
Return on Investment 4
Attending a game at Hammons Field is well worth your sports dollar budget.
Tickets run $9 (General Admission) to $18 (Diamond Boxes – sections behind home plate). The Redbird Roost tickets are $30 (includes all-you-can-eat). Parking can be expensive; use the free lots a few blocks away. Food and drink prices are a tad high for the Texas League. Attend on a $2 Tuesday or Thirsty Thursday to save a few bucks. Take advantage of the different promotions offered throughout the season.
A nice team store along the concourse sells all kinds of Springfield and St. Louis Cardinals gear.
Be sure to pick up a lineup and game notes in the team store. It also comes with a pre-printed scoresheet.
It’s the little things that are noticeable. For example, the bar stands on both the first base and third base concourse leave beer cans unopened, and wrap hot dogs and brats in foil so fans can easily carry them in their bags without spilling. And, the staff striking up conversations and providing information on the park makes one feel welcome.
When transferring my notes for this review, I ran across this sentence I had written while at the game in Springfield, “This is the most wonderful place on earth right now. I feel like I’m in heaven.”
It radiates baseball here. It’s about the game; a baseball purist dream. At close to twenty years old, Hammons Field and the Springfield Cardinals continue to be a perfect place for baseball enthusiasts and other fans to spend their evenings.