Highland Stadium - Indiana Panthers
Photos by Marc Viquez, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 1.57
Highland Stadium 9135 Erie Street Highland, IN 46322
Year Opened: 1967 Capacity: 500
Making a Home at Highland High
The Indiana Panthers are new to the Northern League for 2023. The ball club had called Crestwood, Illinois, home for over a decade before crossing the border into Indiana. The club was renamed Indiana to act as a mobile team that can be placed anywhere in The Region or when league membership is uneven.
The Panthers last-minute move landed them at Highland High School in Highland, Indiana. The 500-seat stadium is your typical high school venue with two sets of aluminum bleachers and a press/concession stand in the middle. The layout is ideal for baseball in the league that operates in similar-style facilities.
Food & Beverage 0
Unfortunately, the concession stand is closed during the game, and no food and beverages are available. It is a shame since a simple cool pop or a bag of chips would be all you need to pass your time watching baseball. Fans can bring food to the game but maybe not alcoholic beverages. Fortunately, there are plenty of nearby local and chain restaurants, but skip down to the neighborhood section of this review for more information.
If you like baseball and baseball only, this might be the place for 9- innings. There is not much else taking place than the game on the field. Be prepared to sit back in the aluminum bleachers and enjoy the ballgame.
Unlike other members of the league, the Panthers do not provide much of a game-day atmosphere. You will not hear music, a PA announcer, witness one-field promotions, or even keep track of the game on the scoreboard (it was turned off).
The few fans in attendance are a mix of family members, fans of the opposing team, and curious onlookers from the neighborhood. The atmosphere does include hearing players’ banter in the dugout, the crack of the bat, and the sounds of cheers and jeers on the field. An interesting sight is the foul balls that land on residential lawns retrieved by the players.
The high school is in a residential area of Highland, Indiana, but a few miles away from the busy US-41, where a myriad of shops, retail chains, and malls exist. The average fan will find almost everything they want in these various spots.
Sophia's Pancake House, Kui Korean BBQ, Theo's Steak & Seafood, and Highland Gyros are on US-41, AKA Indianapolis Blvd. The Blue Top Drive-In is a throwback to the early 1960s that features burgers, fries, shakes, and a few muscle cars. It is a great spot for families.
The Highland Grove Shopping Plaza offers a variety of regional chains that include Chipotle, Panda Express, Dave's Hot Chicken, Noodles & Company, Tomato Bar Pizza Bakery, and Naf Naf Grill. Lou Malnati's is home to Chicago-style deep-dish and thin-crust pizza.
There is little fanfare at Panthers games. It is dominated by family members supporting their sons out on the field. You might gain a little interest from the opposing team's fans, but the fan support is light during games.
The stadium is located a mile or two from the busy US-41 corridor, and the small size makes it easy to move around during ball games. There are bathrooms and plenty of parking outside the stadium.
Return on Investment 1
There is no charge for games or parking. However, the atmosphere is not anywhere close to what you would find at nearby league games in Crown Point, Griffin, and Whiting. Attending a game should be for the curiosity seeker during the summer months.
The stadium earns a point for being in an area where fans get a chance to watch players fetch balls out of neighborhood lawns and driveways. It is something to don't see any other ballparks.
Highland High School might be a temporary fix for the Northern League and worth checking out due to its proximity to nearby Griffin High School, less than 2 miles away. However, there are better ballpark experiences in the league and The Region.