- Paul Swaney
Theunissen Stadium – Central Michigan Chippewas
Photos by Paul Swaney, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.86
100 W Campus Dr
Mt Pleasant, MI 48858
Central Michigan Chippewas website
Year Opened: 2002
Theunissen (pronounced ten-uh-son) Stadium has been the home of Central Michigan Chippewas baseball since 2002. The Chippewas have been relatively successful over the years with 13 appearances in the NCAA Tournament, most recently in 1995. However, the team has yet to appear in the College World Series.
It’s a very comfortable and straightforward game day presentation when you’re at a CMU baseball game. As long as the weather cooperates, you can expect to have a beautiful day at the ballpark.
Food & Beverage 2
There isn’t a lot on hand in the one small concession area on the third base side behind home plate. The most interesting items (pretzel bites) were sold out before the game began. I tried the classic hot dog, which was decent, and enough to get me through the game. Snacks are the only other option including nachos, popcorn, caramel corn, candy, and beef jerky.
Bottled beverages are available including Pepsi products, water, and Gatorade. If you just need something to sip or chew on, you’ll be satisfied, but if you come hungry, be prepared to be disappointed.
It’s a very laid-back atmosphere at Theunissen Stadium. One could easily sit back and take a nap. I like this when I visit college baseball venues. You’re here for the game, more than the entertainment value (as opposed to minor league baseball where the entertainment is a big part of the draw). You’ll hear some walk-up music for the home team from a pretty good sound system, as well as the announced batter, but otherwise, it is a very clean presentation.
There are two display boards. In the right-center field, there’s a basic line score scoreboard. In the left center, there is a small video display board that displays the batters' name, number, position, and home town along with a picture.
About 20% of the seating is maroon chair back seats stretching between each dugout. The legroom is slightly below average, but there are cup holders for your drink. There’s a good pitch between rows, allowing an unobstructed view of the person in front of you. The seating is general admission, so if you don’t mind the screen in front of you, it is worth it to arrive early enough to find a seat in this area.
The remaining seats are silver metal bleachers which are less than ideal, but fairly roomy. There is seating above each dugout and extending down the line for those fans who prefer not to have the safety screen in their view. All of these are bleacher seats.
There are not a lot of foul territories, especially in the outfield, making the park feel more intimate, despite its fairly deep and symmetrical outfield fence (330-375-400-375-330). There is no covered seating so be sure to bring a hat and/or sunscreen if the weather is warm.
Baseball and beer go well together, and I am always glad to find a local brewery when I visit a new ballpark. In Mount Pleasant, this means a stop at the Mt Pleasant Brewing Company. It’s a couple of miles from the park, but the drive is worth it. They have eight beers on tap ($3.50 each), and pretty good sandwiches. I can particularly recommend the Brewben (Reuben) for $8.
Another favorite of mine is La Senorita. It’s a chain Mexican restaurant found in many towns in Northern Michigan, and this is the original location. I don’t know if I would call it authentic Mexican food, but I’ve always liked it, especially the seafood burrito, and their margaritas.
There were a couple of hundred fans in attendance during my recent visit, which made the place feel rather empty. For the most part, it was a quiet collection of patrons, enjoying the game and the fine weather. Similar to many college baseball venues, you will find mostly friends and families of the players participating, meaning that the few fans that are on hand are interested in the outcome.
Theunissen Stadium is located just a couple of miles from M127, just north of the geographic center of the lower peninsula of Michigan. It sits alone off of West Campus Drive, with the football stadium (Kelly/Shorts Stadium), basketball arena (McGuirk Arena), and softball stadium within proximity.
Parking is free, the concourse is wide, and restrooms are larger than they need to be, so you shouldn’t expect to stand in any lines.
Return on Investment 4
Free parking, a comfortable stadium, and low concession prices combine for a very enjoyable day at the ballpark. Programs are available at the ticket window for $1. If you want a program be sure to get one before you enter the stadium, as it is a little bit of a hassle to go down the stairs and over to the ticket window. The school would be well served to offer these at the concession stand as well.
I appreciated the ability to choose a seat that wasn’t behind the screen. Many universities don’t give you the choice. There are times when safety is appreciated, but in most instances, I would prefer to be able to see the game without mesh interfering with my view.
While the second scoreboard didn’t offer much, it was nice to have a little bit more information in front of you. The display of some stats would be a nice addition, but I was happy just to have a little more than the basic line score.
Overall, this is a very affordable sports experience, and worth a stop if you’re in the area.