|When Prince George’s Stadium opened in 1994, it was probably the class of the Eastern League. Unfortunately, twenty plus years later the same cannot be said. I first visited this ballpark in 1997 and then not again until 2017. In that time period, it seemed that almost no improvements or renovations had been made to the park. While there haven’t been any rumblings about the team moving, it would be nice to see a bit more care put into the ballpark as attendance does seem to be dwindling. Even in a league that doesn’t have a lot of new ballparks, Bowie is close to the bottom in my rankings.
- The ballpark is easily accessible off Crain Highway and provides plenty of free parking
- The concourses are wide and allow for fans to see the field from most places (though the pressbox does block views from behind home plate)
- A carousel is located in the kid’s area in right field. While more common now, Prince George’s Stadium was one of the first places to have this type of attraction.
- Free programs are given out at the gate. In addition, numerous roster and stat sheets are available for free at the fan center area.
- The kid’s area contains three inflatable games besides the carousel. There is an additional charge for all the activities.
- They have yet to extend the netting here, so sightlines remain unobstructed for most of the seats.
- The atmosphere is laid back with no sound effects and only walk-up music played. When the crowds are small, pretty much all you hear are the natural sounds of baseball.
- A multi-tiered picnic area is located down the left field line. This is available for use by large groups only.
- Too much general admission seating (all which are benches). The team did add some more fold down seats behind home plate since the park originally opened, but almost all the upper level seating is general admission.
- A middle concourse splits the seating areas. This pushes some seats further from the field. This was a design flaw of some ballparks built during the 1990’s.
- The park lacks a wraparound concourse, which is almost standard at every new ballpark nowadays. There is plenty of room for one if they ever wanted to add one.
- A new video board is sorely needed. It is surprising to see a double-A ballpark using an outdated video board like the BaySox are.
- During games that are lightly attended (like the night I was there in 2017), only the concession stands on the first base side are open. The others are shuttered, which is never a good look for a ballpark.
- The ballpark’s one iconic feature, an orange and white lighthouse, was damaged by a storm in June of 2017 and therefore something I did not see. Hopefully they will replace it soon.
Prince George’s Stadium is actually an “old” ballpark by today’s standard, but this is still not a good excuse for the lack of renovations or upkeep. Other ballparks built at the same time, like those in Durham and Grand Rapids, have been maintained fabulously. I’m sure the Orioles love having their AA team nearby, so Bowie losing their team any time soon is unlikely. From a fan’s perspective, there is nothing awful about Prince George’s Stadium, but compared to other AA ballparks, this place just does not stack up.
- The main concession stands serve up the usual ballpark fare (hot dogs, fries, pretzels, burgers, chicken fingers, etc.) as well as some healthy options like salads and wraps. Nothing is cheap, however, as everything is at least $4.
- “Value” baskets are offered - these come with fries in addition to a hot dog, burger, or chicken. These cost anywhere from $7.50 - $10.
- One unique stand they has is just for kids. Here they sell hot dogs, snacks, and drinks that are smaller sizes and more affordable (most items are around $2).
- There is also a “Black Angus Grille” stand that sells higher quality burgers as well as some BBQ sandwiches.
- Several ice cream options as well as Krispy Kreme donut holes are available at the Sweet Shop stand.