Joe Faber Field – St. Cloud Rox
Photos by Meg Minard, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.86
Joe Faber Field 5001 Veterans Dr St Cloud, MN 56303 Map It
Year Opened: 1999 Capacity: 2,000
Granite City Baseball
The St Cloud Rox baseball team is a member of the wood bat collegiate Northwoods League. They came to St Cloud MN in 1997 as the St Cloud River Bats. After being sold in 2012, the league changed the team name to the Rox. The St Cloud Rox were a team in the former Northern League who played in St Cloud from 1946 – 1971. The name Rox represents the quarry (mining) industry in St Cloud (also known as Granite City), which has over 30 granite quarries in the surrounding area.
The team plays their home games at Joe Faber Field, a stadium in the Municipal Athletic Complex. The complex has two baseball fields, two hockey areas, a golf course, and a Veterans Plaza. Joe Faber Field opened in 1998 and sits just 200 feet from the other ballfield, Dick Putz Field.
Winning the Northwoods League championship as the River Bats in 1998, 2000, and 2007, the Rox entity won their last league championship in 2017.
Food & Beverage 3
Joe Faber Field sells traditional stadium fare at reasonable prices. Entrées run $4.50 to $7 and comprise burgers, dogs, and tasty brats. Fries, chicken tenders, spicy chicken sandwiches, pizza, pulled pork bbq sandwiches, and taco in the bag round out the entrée menu.
For snacks, expect to find nachos, candy, popcorn, pretzels, mini donuts, cookies, peanuts, ice cream, etc. You know … all that healthy stuff. Snacks cost $1.50 to $6.
Sodas are Coke products ($3.50). Domestic ($5.50) and craft beer ($6.50), as well as wine ($6.50), are the adult beverages. Miller is the popular domestic beer. Hard Lemonade, White Claw, Leinenkugel, Hop Valley, and local Beaver Island fall under the craft beer menu heading.
Uncommon at other Northwoods League stadiums, Dan the Beer Man roams the stands.
Except for a very few ‘prime seating areas,’ all the seats are uncomfortable narrow, cramped bleachers with backs with no room to move. Most of the seating area is behind home plate; fourteen rows of grandstand seating. A busy party deck is on the third base side, while bleachers in the sun occupy the first base. Grandstand seating in the shade, and we recommend those seats on those hot sticky Minnesota days and evenings. A thick netting is suspended in front of the seating areas to prevent foul balls from injuring fans.
The MAC installed a brand new video board in center field before the 2022 season. It shows the lineup of the team at bat, the player at bat’s name, number and season stats, and advertisements. A separate dot matrix scoreboard in center field shows the traditional line score by inning. The game day staff posts the starting lineup in the entrance lobby. All that makes it easy to keep track of the goings on in the game. The field consists of natural grass and real dirt. Pretty pine trees border the outfield wall making for an attractive backdrop.
Joe Faber Field Scoreboard, Photo by Meg Minard, Stadium Journey
The game day operations play incessant, painfully loud music/noise between each and every pitch. Fans are not able to talk with their neighbors nor can Dan the Beer Man hear you when ordering a brew. Ear plugs are suggested.
The game day staff provides entertainment between every half inning, many of which involves fan participation. These include trivia questions, the dirtiest car in the parking lot, hometown hero recognition, and more. A mascot ‘Chisel’ roams the stands as kids clamor to meet him and get a photo or an autograph.
The music is just too loud and the seating too narrow for this to be an ideal place to watch a game.
Joe Faber Field is one of the venues of the Municipal Athletic Complex 3 ½ miles northwest of downtown St Cloud MN. A shaded golf course is adjacent to the ballpark, as are the other sports facilities of the MAC.
Restaurants and hotels are not within walking distance, but visitors can find many downtown or two miles south near Heritage Park. We suggest eating or drinking at Olde Brick House (Irish) and 7 West Taphouse (American). For local craft beer, visit Beaver Island Brewery (no food), where the staff makes customers feel comfortable and welcome.
Beaver Island Brewing St Cloud MN, Photo by Meg Minard, Stadium Journey
Almost every chain brand hotel, low-end to high-end, is within five miles of the ballpark; the closest a Hampton Inn & Suites about 1 ½ miles away.
Be sure to visit the Munsinger and the Clemens Gardens when in the area; two very different gardens in which to admire plants and fountains, and stroll along the Mississippi River at a very reasonable price of zero. Other places for a stroll are Beaver Island Trail and the Downtown River Walk.
For an indoor activity, visit the Stearns History Museum, whose interesting and educational exhibits change periodically. Take a drive through St Cloud State University Campus and see if Herb Brooks National Hockey Center is open.
For other sports in the area, St Cloud is about an hour from Minneapolis, so a visit to the MLB Twins, MLS Minnesota United FC, or the MiLB St Paul Saints are options. The closest Northwoods League team is the Willmar Stingers, 60 miles to the southwest.
Most fans are local families or groups out for an enjoyable evening. Fans of the St Cloud Rox averaged just over 1,500 fans per game in 2022, making it 75% full on most evenings. Most are there to spend time with family and friends while enjoying the game on the field.
If you have a vehicle, getting to the ballpark is relatively easy. It is located in the Municipal Athletic Complex off State Route 15, about three miles northwest of downtown. St Cloud does have buses that go to Joe Faber Field, but the buses don’t run late enough to take fans back after the game so that’s not an option. The closest commercial airport is Minneapolis/St Paul (MSP), about a one and a half hour’s drive.
Once getting to the ballpark, plenty of parking is in the lot surrounding the MAC ice arena building. If you get there early, some spots are available right in front of the only stadium entrance. Have no worries about your car being dinged with a foul ball as the parking is too far for that to happen.
Gates open an hour before the first pitch. The team has no rules on what type of bags are allowed in.
Fans walk into a lobby that contains the team store, the concessions, and the restrooms. And then walk either left or right down hallways to get to the stadium and field. The hallways show the many players from St Cloud who have been drafted by MLB.
Joe Faber Field Hallway MLB Drafted St Cloud Players, Photo by Meg Minard, Stadium Journey
Traffic is a mess getting out after the game. Wait twenty minutes for the parking lot to empty.
Return on Investment 3
Ticket prices are comparable to other Northwoods League venues. General admission (bleachers on the first base side in the sun are $10 and reserved seats are $12. Tickets for the third base party deck, which includes all you eat and drink (soda), are $30. Season tickets are available, as are 7-day game plans.
Food prices are similar to other parks in the league and parking is free of charge.
Several additional items are worth noting when visiting Joe Faber Field.
First, the organization features an elaborate and enjoyable fireworks presentation after all Friday home games.
Next, the Rox Report, a game day program, is handed out before each game. It contains rosters for both the Rox and the visiting team as well as player stats, the team schedule, and Northwood League standings. Extremely well done.
Finally, be sure to visit the Veterans Plaza outside the entrance which showcases plaques that honor men and women veterans from Minnesota who served in wars and conflicts from the Spanish-American War to recent times.
Joe Faber Field and the St Cloud Rox game day staff, and the baseball team do an adequate job at providing an entertaining evening out. With the beautiful setting and providing important play of game information, all they need to do is turn the music volume down to make it an even better game day experience.