Although they may not be as well known as Fenway or Dodger Stadium, softball stadiums are one of the unique highlights of the American landscape. Each softball stadium holds a special place in the heart of local softball fans.
Here are 9 stadiums that aren’t to be missed.
Farrington Stadium at Arizona State
Not for those who prefer cooler climates, Arizona State Sun Devils call Farrington Stadium their home. Seating about 1,500 people, be prepared to break a sweat as you root for your favorite team.
Built in 2000, Farrington Stadium is still relatively young and features beautiful sunken dugouts. So grab a cold drink at the built-in concession stands and head over to ASU’s Phoenix hotspot. It’s the coolest place in town.
Melissa Cook Stadium at Notre Dame
Melissa Cook Stadium is the perfect example of beauty born from tragedy. The stadium was named after softball player and Notre Dame graduate Melissa Cook who was killed in a tragic accident.
Melissa Cook first came to Notre Dame on a softball scholarship. She was known to play third base, shortstop, and catcher. After graduating, Cook maintained strong ties to the Notre Dame community until her unexpected death.
Just hours before her 30th birthday, Cook was killed when the scaffolding of a skyscraper collapsed onto her vehicle.
Melissa Cook’s parents, Linda and Paul Demo, chose to donate the millions received from the subsequent lawsuit in honor of their daughter.
Today, the $4.9 million dollar Melissa Cook Stadium stands in tribute to a life gone too soon. Open since 2008, this softball stadium features heated dugouts and advanced field and lighting technology.
Tiger Park at LSU
Tiger Park is Louisiana’s state-of-the-art softball stadium. With nearly 1,300 seats this fan-favorite boasts beautiful batting cages that make it a favorite for players as well.
Tiger Park also boasts a party deck that’s just perfect for celebrating. This must come in handy since LSU has made it into the Women’s College World Series in 2001, 2004, 2012, 2015 and 2016.
If you ever find yourself in the Bayou State, Tiger Park is a sure winner.
Sherri Parker Lee Stadium at the University of Tennessee
This Knoxville, Tennessee stadium has been a must see since it’s opening in 2008. Sherri Parker Lee Stadium is home to the University of Tennessee Volunteers college softball team. The stadium itself seats over 1,600 fans.
The Stadium is made possible by several women who made generous contributions to the University of Tennessee. Their contributions made it possible for women’s sports to receive proper funding.
When asked why she was compelled to make such a generous donation, Sherri Parker is quoted as saying, “Girls need opportunities. UT athletics has recruited the best players, and they’ve got to have good facilities. These players are fine quality women–the leaders of tomorrow. UT women’s athletics is head and shoulders above the competition.”
When ask if having their names emblazoned on sports stadiums was overwhelming, one generous female donor said, “I wasn’t really comfortable with that at first, but I’ve come to see that having my name on the court can be a good thing if it inspires other women to make gifts.”
Perhaps softball fans come to soak in the inspiration AND the game.
Margie Wright Diamond at Fresno State
With 27 years as a Fresno State softball coach, Margie Wright earned her place on the marquee. The Fresno State Bulldogs garnered one NCAA title, three NCAA runner-up placements, three NCAA third-place finishes, and three NCAA fifth-place finishes under her leadership. In total, Margie Wright led the Bulldogs to a very impressive ten College World Series trips.
With a current seating capacity of nearly 2,500, get ready to soak in some California sunshine and a great game. The stadium averages a spirited 1,700 person crowd.
Getterman Stadium at Baylor College
Named for Waco mainstays, Ted and Sue Getterman, Getterman Stadium is a tribute to a well-respected former mayor. Getterman stadium is a tribute to the largest single donation ever made to Baylor College Women’s athletics.
Home to the Baylor Bears, Getterman Stadium features 430 chairback seats and 800 bleacher seats. The stadium also features a VIP booth, a fully air-conditioned press box, and an impressive two-level press room.
It is said that when former President George W. Bush visited the Western White House that his staff would frequent Getterman Stadium for a quick pick-up game. President Bush is quoted as saying “This is truly an amazing stadium, and it speaks to the advances in women’s athletics”
Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field
Columbia, South Carolina has a lot to be proud of. With a max capacity of 1,480, this stadium boasts an average of 1,100+ paid spectators per game.
This stadium has been a labor of love and has been slowly renovated into a top of the line facility. Home to the Lady Gamecocks, this field is filled with memories.
16 no-hitter games, 4 perfect games, this softball stadium has many more historic moments to come. Be sure to drop in to see the Lady Gamecocks run the bases.
Jack Turner Stadium at the University of Georgia
Opened in 2004, Jack Turner Stadium is home to the University of Georgia Bulldogs. Part of the Turner Family Sports Complex, this softball stadium was named for Jack Turner. Turner served as chairman of the board of American Funds Distributors, a subsidiary of the American Funds Group.
Turner was also a great philanthropist, founding the Turner Family Foundation. Turner’s support of sports has garnered him many awards. In 1999, he was honored for his contributions to amateur football by the National Football Hall of Fame and in 2002 he was inducted into the inaugural class of the UGA Athletic Association’s “Circle of Distinction”.
This $5.5 million dollar complex is one of our nation’s premier softball facilities and is located in Athens, GA.
Red & Charline McCombs Field at the University of Texas
This $4.5 million dollar stadium complex is the home of Texas softball. Although Red & Charline McCombs Field opened it’s doors in 1998, 2009 brought the opening of the much anticipated 4,400 square-foot training facility.
This training facility is located along the left field line and offers three movable hitting bays and an additional skill development area. This training facility allows Longhorns to sharpen their skills with cutting edge wireless technology, capable of analyzing swings, motion, and form.
With so many beautiful stadiums to choose from, deciding where to go first may be your hardest challenge. So pack up the car, grab your friends and family, and settle in for a memorable game at any one of these locations.