Medlar Field at Lubrano Park
State College, Pennsylvania
Year Opened
2006

Current Team
State College Spikes

Affiliate
St. Louis Cardinals

League
New York-Penn League

Capacity
5,000

Location Map

My Grades
Stadium A- Atmosphere B- Concessions A

Photos taken in 2006
Lubrano Park may not break any new ground from an architecture perspective, but it improves on almost every aspect of the "new ballpark template" which is so prevalent across the country. Combined with a fabulous setting, this is really a top notch new ballpark. Located on the campus of Penn State, Lubrano Field was built directly across the street from Beaver Stadium, the huge football stadium of the Nittany Lions. Fortunately, the ballpark faces away from the stadium, so you don't even notice it looming over you. Instead, the backdrop is of the lush green Pennsylvania mountains. Once inside the ballpark, the most noticeable aspect is the roominess. The concourses are extra wide and feature numerous picnic tables for fans to enjoy their concessions at. But it's not just the concourses which are spacious, it's also the seating. I have never seen as much legroom as they give you here. You won't have to worry about people crawling over you as you don't have to move if people want to get by. There is so much room that you almost can't reach the cupholder on the seat in front of you ! Almost all of the seating is blue fold downs, though there is a bleacher section behind the right field fence and a picnic area in the left field corner. Another nice feature is the porch area in the right field corner which features many more tables where fans can enjoy their food and watch the game. Speaking of concessions, the Spikes have perhaps the best variety you'll find at any park in the northeast. Menu items include Mexican (walking tacos, nachos grande), burgers, wings, steak sandwiches, Italian sausages, and chicken wraps. Prices are reasonable and the quality is excellent. A large gift store is located off the main entrance. It is well stocked, but most of the merchandise seemed a bit pricey. Yearbooks were $6, but fortunately the programs are free. The atmosphere was the one area that I wasn't as impressed with. It seemed a bit forced at times as the fans seemed to be more interested in the baseball game than the other shenanigans. There are a few between inning promotions, but the Spikes don't go overboard like some teams. Also, the music and sound effects were kept to a minimum. The same cannot be said of the advertisements. The video board was used more for ads than it was for baseball purposes. The team also has a mascot, which is a humanoid with a deer head. A couple of minor complaints about Lubrano Park - first, a full wrap around concourse would have been nice. With plenty of room behind the outfield fence, I'm not sure why this wasn't done. Secondly, the teams charges $3 for parking on lots that are already paved. Just another instance of a team charging because they can, not because they need to. But overall, I found this to be one of the most comfortable parks I've been to. The setting and spaciousness certainly set it apart from almost all other ballparks. Unfortunately upon a return visit in 2011, I was very disappointed to discover that netting had been installed above the dugouts, causing sightlines to be greatly diminished. This forces me to slightly downgrade the park, especially since the team had admitted that the netting was put up to protect non-baseball fans.
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