A summer trip to “The Joe” is definitely worthwhile, especially if you are within short distance of New York’s Capital Region.
Joseph L. Bruno Stadium sits on the campus of Hudson Valley Community College. It’s not what you would think about when you think of a community college stadium or one where a short-season Single-A team plays, that’s for sure.
Opened in 2002, the stadium is open-style, with a concourse that goes around the bulk of the stadium. There was spots to watch the game from the outfield and the main seating is fold-down plastic seats. There’s really not a bad place to watch a game, that’s for sure.
My first viewing of this stadium came several years ago, when I was still covering pro baseball for a local newspaper. The season before, the team I covered has been quite successful, so I got to head up the interstate to cover the opener at Tri-City. It was one of only two times I ever got to travel to cover the team, so it was pretty cool.
More than that, though, was liking the stadium. I walked around some, I peeked at what there was to offer. The press area was nice and they took care of you. But, even more so, was the overall stadium. What a feel for a game. They draw good crowds. They have a good announcer. There’s something for everybody.
I had the chance to visit two times this year, once for the Summer of Baseball Tour, and a second time as my final game of the year when I went up for the final game of the New York-Penn League Championship. The atmosphere was similar each time, though the wind as taken out of the home team’s sails in the first inning of the championship when State College scored nine runs.
When you come into the stadium, the team store is on your right. The store has a lot of goodies and the prices are pretty good. Walking into the main area, you’re greeted by a customer service area (where, if it’s your first game, you can get a button). There’s lineups on the wall nearby and each baseline has a plethora of concessions to offer. There’s the normal ballpark fare, then a pizza station and a taco stand, local beers and more. So there are some pretty good offers. I didn’t see soft ice cream, though, which always gets to me as I’d rather just have a soft serve cone than hard ice cream, especially at a game.
And like many newer parks, if you get up to visit a concession stand, you can see the field. The big scoreboard in right field is nice to keep track of things, too.
At the first game we attending, one friend caught a foul ball, so that was cool. The second game I went solo, so I just relaxed with my scorebook and watched the Spikes win the championship.
Parking, too, is plentiful — and free. This is also another stadium that gives programs away for free, which is always welcome. The atmosphere is nice and everybody I dealt with was extremely friendly and helpful when needed. If I lived in the Capital Region, I’d likely be a season ticket holder as it’s a great sport to watch baseball. If you are a baseball fan and are in the area, it’s definitely worth checking out.
Joseph L. Bruno Stadium — “The Joe”
Troy, New York
Home of the Tri-City Valley Cats (short-season Single-A affiliate of the Houston Astros)
Visited on: Friday, July 25 and Monday, September 8
Opponent: Staten Island Yankees (short-season Single-A affiliate of the New York Yankees) and the State College Spikes (short-season Single-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals)
Ratings (out of 10)
- Stadium: 8.5/10
- Concessions: 7.5/10
- Parking: 8.5/10
- Ambiance: 9/10
- Friendliness: 9/10
I am embarking on a summer of baseball with the plan to hit a minimum of 10 stadiums this summer. Hopefully, there will be more than that. I will report on each park that I hit on the blog.
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