Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park - Texas A&M Aggies
Photos by Brett Gibbons, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.00
Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park 301 Olsen Boulevard College Station, TX 77843
Year Opened: 1978
History, Tradition, and SEC Baseball in Aggieland
Game days at Texas A&M are unlike anywhere else, regardless of sport. From the clear military cadet influence to the ways you are greeted are just different. What is immediately evident in the athletics portion of campus is the grandeur and scale of the facilities. From the 102,000+ seat Kyle Field just beyond center field to Blue Bell Park itself, Aggies pride themselves on having some of the most pristine venues in the country. While not quite the same scale as Kyle Field, the park still sits 6,100 fans, 12th among on-campus baseball parks in Division I baseball.
A ball game at Blue Bell Park perfectly embodies baseball in the SEC: from huge turnouts to elite talent, the Aggies fit right in the SEC mix. There aren’t many better ways to spend a sunny Saturday afternoon than watching the Aggies win games and engaging in the chants that make Texas A&M so famous across all sports. A victory in Blue Bell Park isn’t rare– A&M has a 0.762 winning percentage at home in the past five seasons. A Texas A&M home baseball game is all you need to leave the blues of winter firmly behind.
Food & Beverage 3
Fans are offered a wide selection of great concessions at the park, if they are willing to pay, ranging from peanuts to corn dogs. Lines are minimal and food comes quickly, likely due to many fans being deterred by pricing.
Prices are stadium standard, with a bag of popcorn costing $5, a pretzel costing $6, and a cheeseburger basket costing $10. The food is of the utmost quality, with hamburgers being actually grilled and everything is made fresh for customers. Blue Bell ice cream is a highlight of the menus, with the vendors having naming rights to the ballpark. While no real risks are taken with special food items, there is something on the menu to satisfy just about any craving.
Beer is offered in an exclusive zone on the third base concourse, which will cost you $5 to get in. All ages are welcome, but minors under 18 years old are required to be accompanied by an adult. This porch gives an unobstructed view of the game and a close and immediate drink stand stocked with soda, water, and beer.
Blue Bell Park offers one of the most charming, unique, and memorable experiences in baseball, regardless of league. Aside from everything you’d expect from a premier SEC ballpark, Texas A&M tradition paints the experience its own color.
Everything about the park ties it in with the other venues, all modeled after Kyle Field’s iconic rusty brick and concrete trim. Even the overhang above the stands is uniform throughout all of the sports venues. Renovated in 2012, Blue Bell Park still stays polished and provides excellent seating for everyone.
The highlight of a game day at Blue Bell Park (or any Texas A&M sporting event) is their student section. Always packed, students bring their legendary chants to energy to the diamond. A favorite of the section is to incorporate the name of the current opposing pitcher into, well, everything. The noisy, rhythmic chants often disrupt the pitcher, drawing walks and hits. The synchrony of the fans is something that can only be found in College Station, with the game almost seeming to be scripted because of the flawless unity.
The P.A. announcers and scoreboard operators add another dimension to the game, playing cheeky songs and sound effects relevant to the situation. Aggies get a strikeout? The opening to “The Rifleman” is played. Aggies hit by a pitch? “Hurts so Good” is played. Creativity and thoroughness are incredible.
Overall, the atmosphere is great if you’re on the side of Texas A&M or a just a fan of baseball. For opposing players, though, Blue Bell Park and its fans can be a nightmare.
The park is in the middle of the athletics portion of campus, sitting right next to the monstrous Kyle Field and within walking distance of the George Bush Presidential Library. A stroll through the campus of Texas A&M is imperative before or after a ballgame at Blue Bell Park.
The most famous spot for photo ops is the giant sculpture of the Texas A&M class ring, which can be found not too far away from the ballpark. The student center was just recently renovated and is worth a quick walkthrough.
College Station is a fantastic college town (with an appropriate name, too), with plenty of nightlife and college dives. Dixie Chicken is the oldest bar in town, operating since 1974, and often hosts live music on the weekends. Dozens of other bars and restaurants sit in the area and make activities outside of the game easy to find.
Texas A&M fans are some of the most passionate, dedicated, and fanatical fans in the world. The devotion to their Aggies is symbolic of the devotion of the cadets to their country.
Even in early season non-conference games, attendance will push over 5,000. Sellouts are not uncommon when conference rivals make their way to town, and ranked games will draw well over capacity, with their record attendance being 1,437 over capacity in 2018 against historic rival Texas.
The fans have chants memorized and their energy can disrupt opposing teams. While the crowd lulls during gaps in scoring or hitting, when the Aggies are on a roll, the fans can push the decibels to nearly uncomfortable. During the seventh inning stretch, the fans sing “God Bless America” and “Deep in the Heart of Texas,” unique to Blue Bell Park.
Following Aggie runs scored, thousands of bubbles will fill the stadium, a long-running tradition in the park followed by the iconic Aggie War Hymn. Texas A&M baseball fans are friendly and dialed in and give life to the ballpark.
Located right in the middle of several sporting venues, Blue Bell Park isn’t difficult to find. It can be found on George Bush Parkway, one of the most major streets on A&M’s campus. The ballpark shares a parking lot with Reed Arena, so close parking is plentiful for only $5.
College Station sits just 90 miles from Houston and within three hours of Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio. Several highways lead in and out of “CStat,” including routes 47, 21, 30, and 6. Despite being removed from the interstate, traffic is minimal, backups only occur immediately following the game and only last a maximum of ten minutes.
Return on Investment 4
General admission seating on the lawn sections only cost $5 through the official A&M website and can be found for even less on third-party sites, depending on the opponent. Reserved seats will only set you back a maximum of $12. Parking is very cheap considering the campus and the concessions are average.
Free posters and programs are passed outside of the park before the game and you might just be lucky enough to come away with free Whataburger from fan promotions. To see an elite SEC program in a premier ballpark won’t cost you much more than $20.
No doubt, Texas A&M is a football school. While the chants and fan dedication are uniform across the sports, the iconic cadets are missing from baseball games. The atmosphere lacks the authentic Texan feel, despite the school priding itself on Texan traditions and culture. However, the environment is great for families and inviting to non-A&M alumni (a rarity in College Station).
Overall, Blue Bell Park provides a relaxing afternoon at the ballpark where you can watch some elite talent in a gorgeous venue. The student section is fun and engaging and chances are you’ll see an Aggie victory. The history and tradition of Texas A&M are on display in a way only found in College Station. Great seats and a fun day without breaking your bank is what can be expected from a visit to Blue Bell Park.
Follow Brett Gibbons’ stadium journey on Instagram @roadtocfb