- Lloyd Brown
Riddle-Pace Field – Troy Trojans
Photos by Lloyd Brown, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.57
Riddle-Pace Field Luther Dr Troy, AL 36081
Year Opened: 1938
Where the Trojans Hit the Horsehide
Baseball has a long history at Troy University, as it first fielded a team in 1911. The team’s home, Riddle-Pace Field, has stood on its present site since 1938. Most of the present infrastructure of the stadium was built in 2002, with more than $4.7 million in renovations taking place in the following years. For many years Troy played baseball at the Division II level but has been a member of Division I since 1994. They are members of the Sun Belt Conference.
Riddle-Pace Field is a great place to catch a ball game. It has a seating bowl that runs between first and third base and provides great sight lines of the action. The seating capacity of the stadium is 2,000, but in truth, many more people can catch the game than that. There are 300 stadium seatbacks in the reserved seating area along the front rows of the seating bowl with the remaining 1,700 general admission seats being bleacher seating.
Approximately 30% of the seats at Riddle-Pace are protected from the elements by an awning that extends out from the press box. Instead of luxury suites, the stadium offers a patio, “The Triple Play Patio” atop the Trojans dugout with shaded tables and in-person concession service for its major donors.
Two unique features in the playing field are the fully synthetic playing surface and a 27-foot-tall wall known as “The Monster” in the right field. The synthetic turf field was installed in 2014 and has cut down on maintenance costs and the number of games lost to the elements significantly. Only the pitcher's mound requires work by the grounds crew, as even the base paths are synthetic surfaces. The right field wall creates quite a challenge for hitters and outfielders as well. The wall also includes a massive scoreboard filled with game stats.
The exterior of the facility is designed to match the architecture of the surrounding campus and it does this flawlessly. Fans enter through an open plaza featuring bricks saluting donors who donated towards the stadium’s construction. The concourse runs underneath the bleachers between first and third base. It includes a concession stand, restroom facilities, and a salute to Trojan baseball.
Food & Beverage 3
There is one central concession stand located on the concourse underneath the bleachers at Riddle-Pace Field. It offers ballpark standards at very reasonable prices. The menu includes hot dogs ($3), hamburgers ($4), chicken sandwiches ($4), nachos ($4), popcorn ($4), pretzels ($3), roasted peanuts ($2), sunflower seeds ($2), cracker jacks ($2), candy ($2) and chips ($2). The beverage selections include Coca-Cola brand sodas ($3), bottled water ($3), and Budweiser brand canned beers for $5.
The lines can get quite long on hot days, and there is no TV monitor on the concourse, so you may miss a lot of the action on refreshment runs.
The Trojans have quite a baseball heritage. During their days in Division II, they won two CWS National Championships (1986 and 1987). They have been to the NCAA Regionals 21 times and the CWS on seven occasions. The stadium is partially named for longtime Coach Chase Riddle, who had an unbelievable .747 winning percentage at the school. Coach Riddle coached at Troy for 11 years and is the winningest coach in Troy’s baseball history.
Riddle-Pace Field does a great job of celebrating this tremendous baseball heritage with a veritable history lesson on the sport along the length of its concourse. Large placards salute every conference championship the team has won, from Division II through their Atlantic Sun Conference days and up to the present days of Sun Belt Conference success. In addition, a separate exhibit salutes the members of the Trojan Baseball Hall of Fame. The support beams holding up the grandstands are even utilized to recognize the All-Americans who played for the school.
Riddle-Pace Field is an on-campus facility on the beautiful Troy campus. Rather than standing out, the stadium melds in perfectly with the architecture permeating the remainder of the campus. Campus buildings are red brick with white columned fronts with many of the newer structures featuring a turret or rotunda-shaped roof at the main entrance. In between the buildings are large open quad areas with beautiful landscaping and statuary. One of these spaces is located just behind the left field fence.
Just outside of the campus is the small town (population 18,000) of Troy. It is a true college town, as the major employer in town is the university. You will also find many of the merchants in the downtown area cater to the needs of college students, with several fast food locations, bookstores, and other service-oriented stores.
Among the restaurants close to campus, two stand out from the rest. The first is the Sisters Restaurant and the second would have to be the Santa Fe Cattle Company which has a much broader menu than steaks or Tex/Mex as the name suggests. For adult beverages, head to Sips on the Square, where you will find the most varied selection of craft brews.
The Trojan Nation has come to expect a lot of the Troy baseball program due to its storied past, and many contributed to the construction of Riddle-Pace Field. The primary fan base comes from the townspeople of Troy, alumni, and families of the players. Surprisingly you do not see as much student support at Trojan baseball games as you would see at a football or basketball game. The baseball games draw well, especially when they are playing Sun Belt foes such as Georgia State, Southern Alabama, or Georgia Southern. Troy also takes on the SEC powers in Alabama and Auburn.
Some of the Trojans most faithful fans never miss a game but never set foot in the stadium. The outfield fence in left field is a simple chain link fence, providing a clear view of the action. The area behind the fence is traditionally used for football tailgating, but on baseball, game days are filled with fans who come with coolers, lawn chairs, tents, and baby strollers to watch the action. The school does not seem to mind a bit and has thoughtfully provided some porta-potties for these fans.
The directions to getting to Troy are quite simple. From Montgomery, you would take Highway 231 South for 40 miles which will bring you straight into Troy. Once in Troy simply follow the campus directional signs to the school. Riddle-Pace Field is located immediately behind the main entrance to the campus. Free parking is provided adjacent to the stadium, but make sure you park out of the range of foul balls.
Once you enter the arena you will see that it is well-designed to maintain a constant flow of fans. The concourse is quite wide and there are four entrances to the bleacher area. The only real bottleneck is at the concession stand.
Return on Investment 4
The return on investment from a visit to Riddle-Pace Field is excellent. General admission seating is $8 and reserved seating is $15. Parking is free and the concessions are very reasonably priced. Add to that the possibility of watching the game for free from behind the outfield fence and it is a price that is hard to beat.
The concourse displays featuring the Trojans long history of baseball success are very well done.
The days of viewing from behind the outfield fence may be in danger. The school has long-term plans to expand Riddle-Pace Field capacity to 4,000 and add 12-15 luxury suites.
Riddle-Pace Field does a great job in celebrating this tremendous baseball heritage with a veritable history lesson on the sport along the length of its concourse and is worth a visit by sports fans.