Dutchess Stadium
Fishkill, New York
Year Opened
1994

Current Team
Hudson Valley Renegades

Affiliate
Tampa Bay Rays

League
New York-Penn League

Capacity
4,494

Location Map

My Grades
Stadium C+
Atmosphere C-
Concessions A-

Photos taken in 2017 & 2008 & 2009
Home of the Hudson Valley Renegades, a Tampa Bay Devil Rays affiliate, this remains one of the tougher tickets to get in the NY Penn League, despite the novelty of it having worn off. Built in 1994 (in just three months time), it is rather typical of the class A minor league stadiums constructed at the same time, though clearly feels dated now. However, the team is owned by the Goldklang Group (who also own the St. Paul Saints), so know how to put on a show and draw fans. In this day and age of every new team needing a new ballpark, it is quite amazing that the Gades continue to draw so well in a lackluster ballpark. Clearly, it is all about the atmosphere here.

Hits

  • While the ballpark is easily accessible from I-84, the setting is actually quite bucolic as it is mostly surrounded by trees.
  • The team does a good job of recognizing their history as there are banners along the concourse of some of their most famous alumni (which included Evan Longoria and Wade Davis).
  • A play area (Rascal's Playhouse) is located in the left field corner which includes several inflatables. A extra fee is charged in order for kids to play.
  • Two mascots (named Rookie and Rene, they were married during the '97 season) roam the stands during the game for the kids' enjoyment. A third mascot, Rascal (Rookie and Rene's pup), was added in 2001 and a 4th, Rupert (Rookie's dad) was added in 2004. Don't know why they need four mascots, but apparently management must think the majority of the fans come to see them rather than the baseball.
  • The Baseball Scout Hall of Fame is located on the exterior of Dutchess Stadium. This would be cool if you could actually see the plauques. But sadly, they are obscured by tents during most games.
  • Sightlines are good here, especially from the box seats which are very close to the field. So much so that extended netting was added before the 2017 season.
  • -
  • The Landshark Landing, located in the right field corner, is a hangout area for fans who don't want to stay at their seats. This was added about 10 years after the ballpark originally opened.

Misses

  • Unless you are sitting in the box seats, you will most likely be uncomfortable. The reserved seats are of the bucket variety and the rest of the seating is aluminum benches. Be prepared to be cramped. Also, if you are sitting in the bleachers, the incessant banging on them by bored fans gets old very quickly.
  • Moreso than any other minor league ballpark I've attended a game at, the game really almost seems to be secondary in nature here, as promotions occur between almost every inning and there is almost non-stop sound effects. It is simply not a very relaxing environment.
  • The PA announcer, Rick Zolzer (who also owns a DJ business), sometimes thinks he's the entertainment rather the game. While he can be humorous and witty, he sometimes forgets that there is a game going on. I realize a lot of fans enjoy him, but I just wish he would tone it down a bit.
  • Parking is $5 and fans have no choice where to park. There is just one large unpaved parking lot where all fans must park. Egress after the game is very slow as there is only one exit onto a two lane road. I've gotten out of MLB games faster than Dutchess Stadium.
  • A large video board was installed prior to the 2017 season. Unfortunately, the team has not quite figured out how to use it as the linescore is not shown at all times. For a baseball fan like myself, the linescore should always be visible.

Eats

  • The Renegades do a great job of providing a good array of concession choices, seemingly adding new items every season. In addition they have a couple stands where the food items rotate on a nightly basis.
  • There are two main concession stands as well as many smaller kiosks and carts. Combos (which include a soda and chips) are available at the main concession and are a decent value.
  • The Crowd Pleaser stand always features a speciality item. For the 2017 season, it was the Cracker Jack Burger.
  • Eben's Eatery (named after the current general manager) usually offers a dish that you wouldn't normally find at a ballpark such as pasta or chinese food.
  • The Top Off stands sells fries, hot dogs, and nachos with various toppings like buffalo chicken, cheese, and chili.
  • Prices tend to be on the high side, but the quality is good and portions are generous.
Overall, "The Dutch" is not a bad park, just not one of my favorites, mainly due to the metal seating and the incessant promotions and sound effects that seem to excite the fans more than the game itself. But it is hard to argue with the success of the team as the continue to be one of the top draws in the NYPL, even after 25 years.
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