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1500 Route 9D
Wappingers Falls, NY

Stadium Opened:1994
Capacity: 4,494
Dimensions: LF- 325 ft.  CF- 400 ft.   RF-325 ft.
Surface: Artificial Turf (installed in 2014)

Former Names of Ballpark: None

Parking:

The parking was $5; a bit steep for a minor league stadium. Major traffic issues getting into the stadium as soon as you get off the exit from I-84. Traffic getting out of the stadium is TERRIBLE! The parking lot attendants appeared to be around 15 years old...don't be deceived by their fancy uniforms. The attendants appeared to not really be too experienced in keeping traffic flowing.

 

Food:

The stadium featured a wide variety of concessions. The food ranged from the traditional ballpark food to wings and mozzarella sticks. Instead of chicken fingers, they featured "Chicken O's", which are exactly what they sound like. Chicken in the shape of an "O". New item in 2008- The Chili Davis Wrap.

 

Seating/Stadium Design:

There are three different kinds of seating- box seats, reserved seating, and bleachers. In the past, I sat in the bleachers and despite having a ticket for the game, it took nearly 15 min. to find a place to sit. Very disappointing. If you go to a game here, get a ticket for a box seat or a reserved seat. I don't recommend a general admission ticket, since you may have a hard time finding a seat, like I did.

Dutchess Stadium is correctly going through some renovations to the exterior of the stadium. I have no idea why they chose to do this during the season, when this could have been done in the off season. Also, the stadium is starting to look run down and in need of a power wash. Don't build new features if you can't keep up on the structure that already exists. I am disappointed in the maintenance of the stadium.

  • From the stands, you can see a Correctional Facility.
  • One of the fastest stadiums to be built. Construction began in March 1994 and was opened in June of that same year.
  • The ballpark is basically a clone of Skylands Park in Augusta, NJ. Both parks were built the same year.
  • Turf was added to the field in 2014.

 

Atmosphere/Character:

When the Renegades took the field, they were accompanied by a local Little League baseball player. This is called the "Baseball Buddies" program. The Little Leaguer is announced along with the Renegades player and they get to stand next to their "buddy" during the National Anthem.

A unique component to the stadium was that the PA announcer asks the fans to keep making noise until after the first pitch has been thrown. The fans stomped their feet on the metal bleachers creating a noise that sounded like a train was going through. Unique, but also annoying at the same time. While we are on the topic of the PA announcer......I have to say that the style of the PA announcer, Rick Zolzer is not something I care for at all. He does WAY too much talking. He actually talks DURING a play. I think he thinks he is the play-by-play announcer. It's really out of line as far as I am concerned. As long as he is the PA announcer, I will not be making trips back to Dutchess Stadium, despite it being within an hour of my home. He contributes to what is wrong with minor league baseball these days. It's not a carnival, it's a professional baseball game. The casual fan may find him entertaining, but I certainly do not.

In terms of sound effects, there were way too many. There pretty much is a sound effect between every pitch. Now, don't get me wrong, I like music and sound effects, but to me it is important that whichever sound effect is played that it actually makes some kind of sense with what is happening at the time. For example, if "Another one Bites the Dust" is played after a batter strikes out, that's perfect. Dutchess Stadium just feels that any sound effect or song clip is appropriate at any time. For example, the pitcher threw a pitch, the Homer Simpson sound effect in which he says "boring." was played. Ok, now let's analyze this.....how in any way is a pitch to home plate boring, especially by your own pitcher?" I might understand that audio clip if the pitcher had just made several throws to 1st base and it was the visiting pitcher. In the first 2 innings of the game I attended, there was just an absolute explosion of sound effects. it was almost like they blind folded a person in the sound booth and said, "Ok, here's the deal, after every pitch, just press any random button you want, SEVERAL times, not just once, but SEVERAL times." Also, the sound person comes very close to playing sound effects when the pitch is about to be delivered. Finally, Dutchess Stadium completely wears out the ever popular, "Everybody clap your hands" song clip, but at least that one makes sense. I was absolutely disgusted by the amount of sound effects that take place during the game. It just makes no sense to me. Dutchess Stadium draws a good crowd almost every night, so there is no need to try to force all this noise and commotion when just having that many fans there in attendance will naturally create a spirited environment. I have to say a major change needs to be made when it comes to this, or Dutchess Stadium will be leading the charge in ruining the game of baseball on the minor league level.

To add more excitement for the fans, at the beginning of the game a player from the away team is chosen as the "K-Man" of the day. If this player strikes out 3 times, all fans receive a voucher for breadsticks from Pizza Hut. Also, there are numerous free items thrown out into the stands...t-shirts, frisbees, squishy balls, etc. They are thrown not only from the field, but also out of the press box. The fans go absolutely nuts for free stuff. This I don't understand at all....I mean, I understand getting excited over a t-shirt, and MAYBE getting excited over a frisbee if I was a kid. But, the number of adults that practically fall out of their seats to catch a frisbee or squishy ball is just unreal. First of all, how many people still play with frisbees in the year 2008? Not too many. I guarantee that these fans have risked life and limb to catch something that will probably end up in the garbage or for sale at their next garage sale. Come on folks....let's focus on the baseball game.

  • Very good attendance.
  • 2 female fans (known as the Hanson Sisters) have box seats behind home plate and have practically a entire choreographed routine to all the different sound effects with stuffed raccoons. Good for them for being into the game, having fun, and being dedicated fans.....but I pity the fans who constantly have their view blocked by these stuffed racoons on a stick and raccoon puppets.I just don't get it, sorry ladies.

 

Recognition of Team's History and/or MLB Affiliate:

I don't recall seeing anything but I will give them the benefit of the doubt that there was something that I missed.

Origin of Team's Name:

  • Name was chosen in a "Name the Team Contest". Other finalists: Hudson Valley Vipers, Hudson Valley Venom, Hudson Valley Hawks, Hudson Valley Jailbirds.

 

 

Overall Rating:

Review is based on my visits on 7/12/03, 8/5/07, 8/6/08, and 6/22/09.

 

amanda@baseballstadiumreviews.com