Whenever you want to see family fun minor league baseball at an inexpensive price, LeLacheur Park in Lowell Massachusetts is a top ballpark to cross off the bucket list. The 5000 seat stadium off the Merrimack River is the home of the Lowell Spinners. The Class A short season affiliate of the Boston Red Sox
And since opening day in 1998, it has seen its fair share of rain outs and rain delays.
So, without any roof over the concourse, unlike North East Delta Dental Stadium in Manchester, where do fans run to stay dry?
Most people run to the staircases in which they entered the stadium, but that still exposes fans to the rain. The Best places to hide from mother nature are the Gator Pit, a Barbecue joint on ground level of the stadium, the pro shop on the third base side (if you think the storm will pass soon and the game will continue) or the main pro shop just to the left of the box office (if you have no intentions of returning to your seat, or if the game gets called off on account of a torrential downpour.)
Personally, I have been caught in my fair shares of getting caught in the rain at LeLacheur Park. From a passing thunderstorm and a slight drizzle, to a torrential downpour to the point where my sneakers filled with water. It was difficult as a kid to get out of the rain quickly. Having to wait for family, I couldn’t run off to wherever was going to keep me dry. The attempt to stay dry became easier once I got a cell phone so I could call whoever I was there with and say “hey i’m in the team store on the third base side staying dry.”
So, what are some good ideas for the fans to avoid the rain?
Option 1: Build a roof like the one at North East Delta Dental Stadium (and many other ballparks)
This is by far the most expensive approach to an intermittent situation. This would cost the city of Lowell hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions of dollars. Traffic getting over the bridge that overlooks right field would become a nightmare due to multiple construction vehicles surrounding the ballpark. Detours would most likely follow as all the streets surrounding the ballpark are one way streets. Lowell Police and the Campus Police at the University of Massachusetts Lowell would more than likely be working a heavy amount of overtime. Although here is a positive that comes out of this more than unlikely scenario. The tough summer sun would not be as much of a problem to the fans sitting on the first base side as collums and said roof would block the sun earlier in the evening as it began to set.
Option 2: Allow fans to Re-enter the ballpark by stamping hands (if there is a possibility of the game continuing)
Amusement parks do it, so why can’t baseball stadiums? The idea of letting fans re enter the ballpark isn’t the worst idea. This would give the fans more options to protect themselves from the rain. Yes, everyone without an umbrella or a car waiting for them would still get wet, but it would give them more than a handful of options rather than being stuck in one spot due to being required to stay in the ballpark. For extra security, fans should also be informed to keep their ticket just in case any “re-entering the ballpark” scenarios occur. With a stamp on the hand and a valid ticket stub, this is an option that could potentially work.
Option 3: Do nothing and keep everything the same.
Yes, the Lowell Spinners are a professional business. But we’re talking about a Single-A minor league baseball team here. Sure they have a valid ticket policy as far as postponed games go, and does it work in the fans favor? More often than not, it does. This policy allows fans to exchange their ticket for a future game and even allows fans to save money if the ticket they exchange is of lesser value by covering the difference in “Spinner Dollars”. Currency that can be used on food, in the team store, and many other places around the ballpark.
All in all, roof or no roof, LeLacheur Park continues to be one of the best minor league stadiums for family fun in all of New England, and the home of future Major League Baseball all stars such as Jackie Bradley Jr, Rafael Devers, and Andrew Benintendi.