Dell Diamond
Round Rock, Texas
Year Opened

Current Team
Round Rock Express

Houston Astros

Pacific Coast League


Location Map

My Grades
Stadium A-
Atmosphere A-
Concessions A

Photos taken in 2010
Round Rock, a suburb of Austin, lured the Jackson, Mississippi franchise here for the 2000 season. The team got a lot of attention initially because of the team name, the Express, which came from the nickname of the team's co-owner, Nolan Ryan. The Dell Diamond is a beauty, though the setting leaves something to be desired. It is located on a busy road (Rt 79) on what seems to be the edge of town, some four miles off of I-35. Apparently it was built in what had been just an open field. Originally built for AA baseball (the Express moved to the Pacific Coast League in 2004), The Dell Diamond is pretty similar to other parks that have been built since 2000, though on a slightly larger scale. It is built into a bowl with the concourse overlooking the field. and luxury boxes located directly above the concourse. The seating sections stretch from foul line to foul line and are all green fold down chairs. The seats past the bags are angled towards the infield, allowing for a good view of most of the action but completely obscuring any views down the lines in the outfield. Additionally, there is a large seating deck in left field which is referred to as the "home run porch." It is very similar to the right field deck at Rangers Ballpark in nearby Arlington, only on a smaller scale. It is probably the park's most distinctive feature. Another cool feature is the wooden rocking chairs that are located underneath the deck - the only other park I have seen something similar at is Banner Island Ballpark in Stockton. The outfield also contains large grassy berms for overflow crowds (which apparently are quite frequent here). Because of the outfield seating, the concourse wraps completely around the ballpark - a nice feature for sure. The only problem is that the concourse closer to home plate can get very cramped and therefore is not conducive to wandering around on during the game. This is because all the concession stands are built perpendicular to the field rather than parallel to it. There is a backside to the concourse, but it seems to be underused and mostly a haven for smokers. This seems to be a design flaw, though the same ownership group used a similar design in Corpus Christi and it turned out much better. Concessions here are outstanding - the variety is great and the quality is high. You may pay a bit more for the food, but it is well worth the price. Some of the unique items the Express offer are turkey legs, sausage on a stick, "Nolie" burgers, Pok-E-Jo's BBQ (inlcuding smoked turkey sandwiches), and garlic fries. A decade into their existence the Express continue to be a great draw at the gate. It is easy to see why with all the fan-friendly amenities they have. There is a large play area for kids in centerfield and a pool available for group rentals in right field. There are also several other group areas available. As with most AAA parks, the experience is mostly geared towards the game on the field. A few between inning games are performed and the team plays lots of unique movie and tv clips between batters, but the Express certainly do not go overboard. Overall prices seem a bit high here ($14 for all box seats, $5 for parking), but this does not seem to keep many fans away. All in all, The Dell Diamond is one of the finer minor league ballparks in the country - a lively atmosphere, tasty concessions, and well maintained amenities combine to make it a top-notch facility.
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