L.P. Frans Stadium – Home of the Hickory Crawdads

Built in 1993, L.P. Frans Stadium is home to the Hickory Crawdads, the high A affiliate of the Texas Rangers. The stadium seats just over 5,000 people and overall probably has a bit more to offer than most stadiums that host a team on that level.

 

One of the most unique facets of the ballpark is Crawdads Café which is down the right field concourse. It is essentially a full blown sports bar inside of the ballpark which has amazingly reasonable prices. Two people can have a meal of grilled cheese sandwiches, fries and two drinks for under $15 – which is amazing considering at a Major League Ballpark that cost probably wouldn’t feed one person. The atmosphere there is great as the waiters are dressed in uniforms and there are pieces of Crawdad history that line the walls. The café also features flat screen TVs in the corners so fans can watch other sporting events if they are there early.

Families with small children will be happy to find an extremely well equipped play area down the left field concourse. There are three different apparatuses for children to play on as well as a few children’s games set up for kids to play while the parents are enjoying the game. There are also other booths set up on the concourse as well including clowns making animal balloons and face painters.

By far the most entertaining part of the evening was provided by the between inning entertainment. One of their performers who goes by the name BBoy McCoy performed at least three times throughout the game and had the crowd’s attention throughout each skit. BBoy McCoy’s specialty is dancing and he had moves that continued to wow the crowd even as the game neared the ninth inning.

There are various promotions run throughout the game as well that all revolve around decreasing the price of food. At various points if a specific Crawdads player got a hit, all sandwiches or drinks would be one dollar. Even if fans didn’t partake in purchasing food during this time, watching as parents gave their kids money to run to the concession stands all around the park was certainly humorous.

The team shop was a down point of the trip, but this was in no way due to the staff person who was working in there. She should be commended for being extremely cheerful even though she had to oversee a store in such cramped quarters that it contributed to a lack of options for shoppers. The prices were comparable to what fans would fine across the country at other stadiums for this level of play, but the cramped quarters were not. Apparently the team store was recently moved from its previous location to where it was when we visited. Hopefully this mean they are taking on some expansion for the store as well as this would certainly add to the value of a family experience.

All tickets for the stadium were under $10 which is slightly lower than what most parks of this level offer. There truly isn’t a bad seat in the house as all of the seats provide a good view of the entire playing field. There were only a few suites which would have been characteristic of a park built in 1993, but this puts it slightly behind other ballparks built after that as this was just before the time period when a big focus started to be put on suites.

Overall visiting LP Frans Stadium was a classic Minor League Baseball experience. Everything from the $2 parking on the grass lot to the multitude of kids running around not paying any attention to the game, it had the feel of everything a Minor League Baseball game is supposed to.

Minor League Stadium Grade: 3/5

Overall Stadium Grade: 3.75/5

 

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