|Usually when I get out of the northeast, I'm fairly certain that I'm escaping much of the over the top atmosphere that plagues many of the ballparks in that area. Unfortunately, the two ballparks that I visited in south Texas on back to back nights were very reminiscent of my "home" ballpark in the Hudson Valley. Both believed that fans were not there to see the game, but were there to be entertained by various sound effects and sideshows. Now I realize that Veterans Field is not a flashy ballpark and that the independent United League doesn't provide the highest level of play, but can you let the game breathe a little bit ? Apparently, the answer is no in Laredo. Located in a residential section to the west of I35, Veterans Field underwent extensive renovations in the 1970's that included the installation of all the metal seating that currently comprises the park. The main grandstand is covered, but is set back a long ways from the field. Fortunately there are box seats at the field level that do provide better views. These seats also provide copious amounts of leg room – probably the most I've ever seen at a park. Besides the box seats, all the other seating is metal bleachers. Sightlines are poor here not only because of the how far back the seats are, but also because the netting obstructs all the seats. The concourse area is located behind the grandstand and features just two concession stands and a small souvenir table. Programs were free, but unfortunately there was no roster inserts to be found. Concession options include frito pies, cheetos with cheese, burgers, polish sausages, and chicken fingers. The prices were fine, but the quality of food left something to be desired. The biggest problem was that they seemed unprepared to serve food when the gates opened and were still struggling as game time approached. This is inexcusable at a professional ballpark. But as I eluded to earlier, this was not my biggest complaint. That came with the atmosphere which just included too much noise. Sound effects and music were blared between almost every pitch. The PA announcer was muffled. And the annoying onfield DJ, the “Dancing Chef”, thought he was the show. It's all a little much if you are there to see a baseball game. Though it seemed like most of the fans were into the game, so I'm not sure why the team finds the need to provide so many distractions. A few between inning games were done, but mostly just junk (t-shirts, balloons, etc.) was tossed into the crowd. Strangely, there is no kid's play area at Veterans Field. There is very little to recommend here. The ballpark is boring, the atmosphere is over the top, and the quality of baseball is poor. The team has been trying to get a new ballpark built on the other side of town and here's hoping it happens. Then at least there may be one reason to go to the ballpark. A new Laredo ballpark will be opening in 2012, but it won't be for the Broncos. Instead, it will be for an expansion team in the American Association. Because of this, the Broncos ceased operations and there will be no professional baseball in Laredo in 2011.