Harlingen Field
Harlingen, Texas
Year Opened
1950

Current Team
Rio Grande Valley White Wings

Affiliate
N/A

League
United League

Capacity
4,500

Location Map

My Grades
Stadium B Atmosphere D Concessions B-

Photos taken in 2008
Harlingen Field was the second of my back to back ballparks visits (after Laredo) that both provided a very annoying atmosphere. I didn't think it could get much worse than Laredo, but I think Harlingen has them beat in terms of being obnoxious. The ballpark itself isn't bad, but there is very little baseball atmosphere here to speak of. Located north of the Route 83/77 junction and in a big open field, there is little sense of place here. Of course because of the flatness of south Texas, this would be hard anyhow. The ballpark opened in 1950, but received extensive renovations in 2002 before the White Wings came to town. The exterior is quite attractive with signs that indicate both the name of the park and who plays there. Parking is both plentiful and free. Inside, the main seating bowl is uncovered and consists of box seats (which are of the bucket variety) and metal benches. A large bleacher section is located down the left field line, but doesn't appear to get much use since it is quite a ways from the action. There is also a large picnic pavilion in the right field corner. The concourse area is located behind the grandstand and features several concession stands and the souvenir shop (though there were hardly any souvenirs). In addition, there is a small bar underneath the grandstand which also stays open for an hour after the game is over. Concession items include burgers, sausage dogs, frito pies, cheetos with cheese, and freshly popped kettle korn. The prices and quality are both average. I did appreciate the fact that programs were free here, but unfortunately no scorecards are provided. For someone who likes to keep score, this is quite annoying – how hard is it to put a scorecard in the program ? Certainly the most memorable aspect (and not in a good way) of Harlingen Field is the over the top atmosphere. The sound effects and music just seemed to be endless – not a pitch went by when something wasn't blared over the PA system. And most annoying was the ad that was announced after every foul ball - “there goes another Glass Etc. foul ball”. If I lived in Harlingen, I would boycott Glass Etc. just because of that. The PA announcer was enthusiastic especially when he would say “White Wings”, so I do have to give him credit for that. The team does have a mascot, Wild Wing, but he was pretty useless. Only a couple of onfield games were performed between innings – race the mascot and dress like a White Wing. Perhaps all the creativity went into the numerous sound effects. As with Laredo, there is no play area for kids here either. It's really a shame that teams feel the need to overload your senses when you're trying to watch a baseball game. A night at the ballpark is supposed to be a relaxing experience, but a place like Harlingen Field is more annoying than it is relaxing. If the White Wings would just tone it down a bit, this would be a very pleasant place to see a game.
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