L.P. Frans Stadium
Hickory, North Carolina
Year Opened
1993

Current Team
Hickory Crawdads

Affiliate
Texas Rangers

League
South Atlantic League

Capacity
5,100

Location Map

My Grades
Stadium B Atmosphere B+ Concessions B-

Photos taken in 2006
L.P. Frans Stadium is home to the Hickory Crawdads, a team that got a lot of attention in the mid 1990's because of their unique nickname. The ballpark is located on the outskirts of town near the city airport, on what appears to have just been forest land before. Now, a few other businesses have sprouted up nearby the ballpark, but overall the setting is unspectacular. L.P. Frans is a bit different than other 1990's parks as the luxury boxes are on the concourse level. Because of this, the concourse (which is completely uncovered) is not open to the field, meaning you will miss some action while getting concessions. The seating, which consists of both fold down chairs and benches, is split by a middle concourse. There's a large picnic area in left field and the Crawdad Cafe is located in right field. This cafe includes lots of outdoor seating, though nobody seemed to be using it the night I was there. A small cantilevered roof covers the luxury boxes and the back few rows of seating. Concessions here could be improved. With only two stands, lines were long before the game even started, and this was with only about 50% capacity. Unique menu items include the Carolina dog (served with chili and slaw), BBQ, and brats. Prices and quality were both average for the minors. The atmosphere at L.P. Frans is pretty much the standard minor league experience. A few between inning games were played (unique ones included the inner tube stack and an egg race with the mascot) and a mascot (Conrad Crawdad) is on hand to entertain the kids. Some music is played, but at least the team tries to find some different songs which match the player's names rather than using the same tired songs which have been in use for the past decade. Overall, L.P. Frans Stadium is a clean, comfortable, no-frills ballpark. It certainly doesn't match up to some of the newer SAL ballparks like those in Lakewood or Eastlake, but still it is very suitable for the level of ball being played here.
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