Jack Adam Stadium - Cincinnati Steam
Photo by Marc Viquez, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.29
Jack Adam Stadium 1915 Quebec Rd. Cincinnati, OH 45205
Year Opened: 2014
Full Steam Ahead in Cincinnati
The Cincinnati Steam are members of the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League; the team began operations in 2006 in the league. The organization plays at three different venues in Cincinnati, including the Reds Youth Academy, a couple of games at Xavier University, and Jack Adam Stadium, the home of the Elder High School baseball program. However, this is not your typical high school baseball field.
The $ 500,000 stadium was funded entirely through donations, including Elder alumnus Jack Adam who covered half the cost of its construction. The ornate brick venue opened in 2014 and is part of the Panther Athletic Complex that includes practice facilities for the high school soccer, golf, tennis, and track and field programs. The stadium features an arched entrance and towers to resemble the design of nearby Elder High School.
The Steam has played at other locations in town but feels that the Elder ballpark is their most prominent home. The club won championships in 2008 and 2009 and was named after Queen City’s riverboat heritage along the Ohio River. However, in a city where “red” is the color of baseball, how does “Steam blue” compare as an option for the baseball dollar?
NOTE: In September 2023 the Steam announced via Twitter that it would be on hiatus for the 2024 Great Lakes season to return to play in 2025.
Food & Beverage 3
There are food and drink options available at the ballpark. Hot dogs, sausages, and burgers are fresh off the grill and cost $1 each. Small packs of potato chips are included with your purchase, and you can wash them down with cans of Pepsi-Cola varieties. Since it’s a high school venue, alcoholic beverages are prohibited on the grounds. It’s not a lot of variety, but it makes up for the cost and taste.
The ballpark seats 300 people and includes bucket seats behind home plate with bleacher seating down each baseline. There is giant netting that protects fans, while an operational press box handles game-day announcements and broadcast operations. The seating behind home is colored purple after the Elder and packed with fans from both ball clubs-the opponent Hamilton is 29 miles north at Foundation Field.
The brick facade is tastefully decorated with a giant arched entrance with the name of the school etched on top. The stadium feels more like a castle than a place for baseball and includes the state championship of the high school’s past. There is also a bench with a replica of Mr. Red to pose with pictures.
The smell of the grill, banter from both benches and the cheering from the crowd complement the atmosphere. However, there are no on-field promotions, team mascot, or overly-hype PA guy. Here, the focus is on the game on the diamond; something that should please the baseball purist, but there are no rosters, scoresheets, or game-day programs for those such purists.
The ballpark is in the Price Hill neighborhood of Cincinnati in the city’s southwest corner along the Ohio River. It is one of the oldest outlying settlements of the city; it has gone through a revitalization that includes renovated older homes and the promotion of commercial and artistic opportunities in the region.
The best options for eating include the Incline Public House, Nation Westwood, Primavista, and Incline Smoke Shack. Tacos El Joven and Veracruz Mexican Grill are two other options for authentic cuisine. Price Hill Chili has been in operation since 1962 and is one of the city’s local chili parlors, but offers breakfast all day, double-decker sandwiches, pasta, entrees, and burgers.
A few miles down the Ohio River is Great American Ballpark, the home of the Cincinnati Reds and the club’s hall of fame. Across the river is the Newport Aquarium in Kentucky, and a mile up from the Great American is Rhinegeist Brewing. Two great attractions in the area include the Cincinnati Museum Center and the American Sign Museum.
The Steam attracts an enthusiastic crowd to the ball game, although having the local Hamilton Joes added a few more fans in the seats. The crowd concentrated on the game and remained focused throughout the nine innings. Due to the rather small size of the venue, the stadium felt much fuller than normal.
Jack Adam Stadium is more than a mile away from Elder High School. It caused a little confusion, as I had to ask twice how to get to the ballpark by a security guard at the football stadium on campus. He nicely pointed out that there was an address at the entrance to the football stadium, but type in Panther Athletic Complex into your GPS to find the ballpark without a problem.
Once at the complex, the ballpark features ample parking, easy access to the concourse and bathrooms, and more than enough room to move around. Signage off the main road is also visible for the first-time visitor of a Steam game.
Return on Investment 4
This is where the ballclub excels in terms of return on investment. All games are free, food options are a buck, and merchandise ranges from 10 to $15. In this day and age, at any level of Summer collegiate baseball, these prices cannot be beaten.
Hot dogs and burgers are a dollar, fresh off the grill, New Era caps are $15 in three varieties, and drift t-shirts are a bargain at $10. To say that a Steam game won’t break your wallet is an understatement. It is how a game at this level should be done.
The Cincinnati Steam earns points for one-dollar concessions and $15 ballcaps. The club gets another point for free admission to all home games. The final point is for the brick facade of the stadium and the arched entrance that stands out among the better high school ballparks in the area.
There is nothing truly fancy about the game-day operations for Steam in terms of gimmicks and promotions. Oh, that makes up for the cost and fan appreciation during the game. I have to say this is one of those small little ballparks that’s worth checking out that’s easy on the wallet and enjoyable at the same time.