Nymeo Field At Harry Grove Stadium – Spire City Ghost Hounds
Photos by Jill Smith and Richard Smith, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.43
Nymeo Field at Harry Grove Stadium 21 Stadium Dr Frederick, MD 21703
Year Opened: 1990 Capacity: 7,027
An Additional Key In Frederick
Frederick, Maryland almost lost their baseball team, but instead, they now have two teams. The Atlantic League of Professional Baseball team began play in 2023. The franchise competes in the South Division of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball.
From the start of the season through June 23, 2023, the team's hats and jerseys feature question marks in place of a name. On the 24th the name was announced as the Spire City Ghost Hounds. The other finalists for the team names were the Bone Shakers, Rail Frogs, Sawbones, and Screaming Alpacas.
Orioles Park at Camden Yards sits 49 miles east of Frederick’s Harry Grove Stadium. But the two stadiums are much closer in terms of the influence that they have played on how baseball fields are designed since the early 1990s.
Even as late as when Harry Grove Stadium opened in 1990, most stadiums were built with an older design aesthetic in mind. Harry Grove Stadium was different, with a concourse where fans could watch the game while buying a hot dog or a beer.
Family attractions such as game activities and a carousel were unheard of before the opening of this stadium. Now the design elements, as well as the varied attractions, are the norm for minor and major league baseball stadiums. It was not the first stadium to have this design, but because of its links and physical proximity to the Orioles’ stadium, it got much credit for a change in stadium design.
The Atlantic League team shares the stadium with the Frederick Keys of the MLB Draft League.
Food & Beverage 4
The choices are pretty sound here with food found at a variety of stands such as Bullpen BBQ, Hot Corner BBQ, and Dugout Dogs. Prices are reasonable at all stands in the stadium.
Keys Creamery offers a good value helmet sundae. Kids will always love this treat that comes served in a take-home souvenir. There is a stand that has specialty beers as well as wine.
Be warned though that if crowds are small, stands could start to close around the fifth inning so if there is anything specific you want maybe get it early in the game.
The design of the stadium is the norm now. The concourse is in full view of the field so that one can always stay engaged with the game action. This concourse is pretty small and would likely now be designed to be a bit bigger than what it is currently. It can be a tight squeeze moving around the concourse between and during innings.
I-70 is in the outfield view, but you cannot see it much because of the huge amount of ads that adorn the outfield walls. This would usually be a bad thing but is a plus when compared to a view of a major interstate highway. The ads, though, can make it difficult to differentiate between a home run and a ball bouncing off of the lower wall.
There is a decent scoreboard in right field and a small video board in left field. Between the two, they do a good job of detailing all the information one needs to follow the game's action. Sound from the PA system does not travel well to the lawn seating areas.
Nothing is close to the stadium except a cemetery, a park, and a Costco. You will need to drive to find anything else of interest. Luckily shopping, lodging, and restaurants are abundant at nearby Francis Scott Key Mall and its surrounding area.
Downtown Frederick may offer the best choices. The surprising renaissance of downtown Frederick means that there is an ever-growing selection of restaurants and shopping in the area.
The Roy Rogers fast food chain is slowly disappearing from the region when it used to be ubiquitous. But the chain is still thriving around Frederick. You must stop in and have a Double-R-Burger, Gold Rush Chicken sandwich, or Roast Beef sandwich. Just don't forget to use the Fixin's Bar and get a holster of fries. A location is nearby the stadium at 301 Ballenger Center Drive.
The fans are probably pretty confused by the teams playing at Harry Grove Stadium. Do they support the Keys, now a college-level team, or the much higher level of the Atlantic League team? This gives the fans plenty of games to watch, but this also means it is spreading out the love a bit far. The Atlantic League team does seem to be drawing less than the more established Keys team name.
The fans that sit right behind the plate are knowledgeable. Once you get out to the fringe parts of the park you may see the more casual fan. Harry Grove Stadium seems to make both types of fans feel right at home.
There are numerous promotion nights so expect that a Fireworks night or a popular giveaway item will increase attendance. Promotion nights have included having a catch on the field or meeting players before the game so be on the lookout for a promotion night that meets your interests.
I-70 is right next door to the stadium. There have been improvements to the roads nearby the stadium so accessing the park is easy and quick.
Directional signs can be found on the highway. Parking is free and plentiful, even if you may have to park on the grass outside the stadium. You will not have an issue. The lot behind the right wall is usually the best option.
Return on Investment 3
The prices are good for this level of baseball. Tickets for field seating, reserved seating, and general admission can all be had for less than $15.
The team offers many other packages, special dates, and group incentives that make attending a game an even greater value.
Francis Scott Key is buried across the street. The lawyer and poet wrote the lyrics to the United States National Anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner." The team name comes from this historical figure. Fun fact: the national anthem played before each game in the stadium can be heard from Key’s gravesite.
This is one of the parks that started the concourse viewable trend that is now commonplace in Minor League Baseball. So it is historic in a manner of speaking. Newer parks may have bigger concourses with even more choices, but this is the original.
If you have a family, Harry Grove Stadium offers many distractions for the children so that the baseball fan can stay involved in the game action. The Fanzone, past the right field seating area, is a nice place for families with children. There is even a carousel. The nearby lawn seating is also a nice addition that makes the game seem more leisurely.
For those who like to have a lot of information about the game and team they are watching, the programs handed out to game day attendees are exceptional.
Both teams and their staff go out of their way to make Harry Grove Stadium a place where both casual and hardcore baseball fans can be entertained and enjoy a quality game experience.