Finding Your Way Around Hadlock Field

The Finding Your Way Around Hadlock Field
by Malcolm MacMillan
  • Main concourse is located below cross-aisle
  • Team shop is small, but has wide selection of items
The Maine Monster in left field is one of the most recognizable sights in the Minors.

If you're a die-hard baseball fan, part of your enjoyment about visiting a new ballpark is getting there early. At some parks, you can watch the action on the field before the gates open and at others, you can stand behind the outfield fence and shag batting practice home runs. Hadlock Field doesn't offer a wealth of pre-gate attractions, but get here early and you'll have the chance to explore a little.

You've got the choice of parking at one of Hadlock Field's official lots or elsewhere around the ballpark. Regardless where you choose to leave your car, head to the main pavilion in front of the ballpark's gates. You'll see a large statue of Slugger, the team's mascot, which is ideal for photos. The park's ticket office is to the right of the main gates and if you stand in the parking lot farthest from the gate, you'll be able to see some of the field. If you have time, check out Fitzpatrick Stadium, which doubles as a clubhouse and hosts numerous Portland teams in a variety of sports, and the Portland Expo Building, which is also home to the NBA Development League's Maine Red Claws.

Once Hadlock Field's gates open, you've got the option of exploring the concourse or going straight to field level through one of the sets of stairs that takes you up to the cross-aisle. If autographs are your mission, it's best to get to field level right away. Otherwise, the concourse offers a variety of sights. As you might expect, the park's main gate puts you in the home plate concourse. Concession stands run from one end of the concourse to the other, and if you walk to your right, you'll see the Sea Dogs hall of fame and nearby, a series of aerial photos of all the Eastern League ballparks.

If a souvenir is your goal, the team shop is located to the left of the main gate. Hadlock Field's team shop sells a wide variety of items, but is small. Unlike some stores that you can walk through, this one keeps its goods behind a counter, so you'll need a team shop employee to assist you.

Upon reaching the cross-aisle, you'll probably be captivated by the Maine Monster, which is an excellent representation of Fenway's Green Monster. Although you can't get atop it, you can get close for some photos. You'll see a large bleacher area down the third base line and behind it, a concession area, picnic tables and a small kids' area. The walk down the first base line is rather short, as there's a large group picnic area just beyond first base. If you look up toward the suite level, you'll see a number of suites that bear the names of Red Sox legends -- how many names do you recognize? Up here, you'll also see the team's division and league banners and the numbers of a number of notable alumni.