Dutchess Stadium
Fishkill, New York
Year Opened
1994

Current Team
Hudson Valley Renegades

Affiliate
Tampa Bay Rays

League
New York-Penn League

Capacity
4,494

Location Map

My Grades
Stadium B- Atmosphere C- Concessions B+

Photos taken in 2009 & 2008
Home of the Hudson Valley Renegades, a Tampa Bay Devil Rays affiliate, this remains one of the tougher tickets to get in the NY Penn League, despite the novelty of it having worn off. Built in 1994 (in just three months time), it is rather typical of the class A minor league stadiums constructed at the same time. There are three different kinds of seating - box seats which are nice wide fold down chairs with plenty of leg room, reserved seating which are bucket seats (making them a bit cramped), and aluminum benches with backs that are both uncomfortable and cramped. As to be expected with any newer parks, there is no covered seating whatsoever. But the concourse running behind the seating area offers plenty of cover in case of rain. The metal bleachers can make for an obnoxious night at the park, especially when large groups of kids (or adults) become bored with the game, and decide to start making noise by banging incessantly on the aluminum. The game almost seems to be secondary in nature here, as promotions occur between almost every inning. Two mascots (named Rookie and Rene, they were married during the '97 season) roam the stands during the game for the kids' enjoyment. A third mascot, Rascal (Rookie and Rene's pup), was added in 2001 and a 4th, Rupert (Rookie's dad) was added in 2004. Don't know why they need four mascots, but apparently management must think the majority of the fans come to see them rather than the baseball. So if you've come for a baseball atmosphere, this is not the place for you - there are sound effects blared between almost every pitch and there are on field contests between every inning. The whole circus-like atmosphere can be a bit tiring as it does not make for a relaxing night at the ballpark. The Renegades do feature one of the best PA announcers in the minors in Rick Zolzer. His humor and wit, while obnoxious at times, make the overall experience a better one. The park contains an good array of concession choices (including a few "healthy" options) as well as a nice gift shop. Programs are priced at $2, and actually came down in price in 2001. After complaining for years about not having a separate scorecard, they finally added a 50 cent one in 2007. Parking is plentiful, but the $5 charge is ridiculous, especially since the lot is not paved. And don't expect to get out quickly after the game is over - with only one way out onto a single lane road, it makes for a slow exit. Also, access to the stadium has gotten worse over the years, especially on weekdays when commuter traffic must be contended with. It may sound silly, but it is easier to access Yankee Stadium on a weekday than it is Dutchess Stadium. Overall, "The Dutch" is not a bad park, just not one of my favorites, mainly due to the metal seating and the incessant promotions and sound effects that seem to excite the fans more than the game itself.
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