Friday, January 27, 2012

FAQ: Going to the Game

Sports Park at Mizzou

How do I get to Simmons Field?

Three ways to go:

1) Take the Stadium Blvd. Exit off I-70, head south on Stadium Blvd. for about 4 miles to Providence Road. Turn right (south) on Providence. Less than 1 block later, turn right on Carrie Francke Drive (directly across from the football stadium). Simmons Field/Taylor Stadium is at the top of the hill

2) Take the Providence Road Exit off I-70, head south on Providence Road about 3 miles. Less than 1 block past the Stadium Blvd intersection, turn right on  Carrie Francke Drive (directly across from the football stadium). Simmons Field/Taylor Stadium is at the top of the hill.

3) Take the Highway 63 Exit off I-70, follow Hwy 63 South (see Hwy 63 directions, next); Take the Stadium Blvd Exit, head west on Stadium Blvd about 2.5 miles. Turn left (south) at Providence Road. Less than 1 block later, turn right on Research Park Drive (directly across from the football stadium). Simmons Field/Taylor Stadium is at the top of the hill.

Where can I park at Simmons Field?

The parking lot closest to the ballpark, at the top of the hill, is NOT OPEN to athletic event parking between 8 AM and 5 PM. Your car will very likely be towed if you do not follow this restriction. After 5:00, fans may use that lot.

The paved lot just to the south of that lot (still at the top of the hill) IS OPEN to athletic event parking at ALL HOURS.  However, for many baseball games, that lot is reserved for staff and others with special passes.

A gravel lot running along the south of the Walton Soccer/Track Stadium is also open to baseball parking.

Parking will probably not be allowed on the side of the road leading down the hill.

There are parking lots at the bottom of the hill, south of the ballpark, that are also available for athletic event parking. Occasionally a golf cart, driven by a crazed Event Staff employee, will be available to give weary fans a lift up the Summit.

Also, there is a walkway over Providence Road, connecting the Faurot Field football parking area with Simmons Field. When other events do not conflict, parking may be available there.

Where SHOULD I park?

As any college baseball fan knows, foul balls are drawn by a mysterious scientific force to the windows of cars parked in stadium parking lots. Therefore, if you park in one of the lots at the top of the hill, the safest spot is farthest away from the ballpark, or behind some Jayhawk's van.

Where should I sit at Simmons Field?

Anywhere you want. Seriously, people move all over the place. Even the people with reserved seats sit wherever they feel like. The only exception is on those occasions when there is a packed house, when you might not be able to sit in someone's reserved seat.

The fans of the visiting team generally sit along the 1st base line, above the visitors' dugout. But they are generally free to sit wherever they want. They usually don't stay sitting in front of me for very long, though, unless they wear ear plugs (or ear muffs, given the weather at Simmons Field).

It doesn't take long upon your first to Simmons Field to figure out where the bad sight lines are. Some people choose to sit in the bleachers higher up in the stands, to put some distance between their eyes and the black netting of the backstop. Personally, the netting doesn't bother me. I sit in the fourth row up from the backstop and enjoy the view just find.

There is also a covered pavilion along the third base line, where some people enjoying watching the game from a different perspective. There are only a few benches and picnic tables there, but some people bring in their own seating.

There is no outfield seating at Simmons Field.

Simmons Field Weather

That nice spring-like weather you felt when you walked out of lunch does not mean you should show up in shorts and a T-shirt.

The general wisdom among regular fans of MU Baseball is that it is always 10 degrees colder at Simmons Field than anywhere else in Columbia.

Some days you can literally feel the drop in the temperature as you climb the stairs from the ballpark entrance to the stands.

It's a good idea, therefore, to dress warmer than you think you logically ought to. Think layers. After all, you're going to spend most of the time sitting in one spot, not moving around generating body heat.

What can I take into the ballpark?

I regularly walk into Taylor Stadium with a medium-sized duffel bag or backpack. The Event Staff has gotten more diligent in the past couple of years about searching for food and drink. But there are ways.

If you try to walk into the ballpark with visible food, the Event Staff will almost certainly not let you take it in.

Alcoholic beverages are NOT allowed into Simmons Field.

Is there food available at the ballpark?

Of course there is. The concession stand is operated by campus concessionaires, the same people who manage food sales for all MU athletic events.

The menu is pretty tame, nothing to knock your socks off, but it is typical ballpark food.

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