L.P. Frans Stadium
Review by Gary & Mike
L.P. Frans Stadium is the longtime home of two area baseball teams, the High-A East’s Hickory Crawdads and the Catawba Valley Stars of the summer Carolina Virginia Collegiate League. Named after a local Pepsi bottler who helped to finance construction, the stadium seats just over 5,000 fans and lies along the I-40 corridor among the myriad of ballparks in North Carolina.
Upon walking up to the ballpark, a nice red brick façade greets you with lights shaped like half-baseballs adorning the walls and vestibules inside and outside. The field itself is a dugout bowl design surrounded by trees to give the entire footprint a very cozy atmosphere.
A notable feature of the ballpark is one of the longest covered picnic areas I have ever seen, extending from first base all the way to the left-field foul pole. The view from these picnic tables would seem to be terrible as it is flat, has a railing, roof supports and half of the benches face away from the field, so I imagine that these are for folks who just want to have a picnic, with the sounds of a baseball game for ambiance.
Having one of the cooler names in the minor leagues, the Crawdad theme is carried nicely throughout the stadium with The Crawdad Cafe and a sign that reads “Crawdudes” over the Mens Facility. We did not note the name over the Womens accommodations because we are gentlemen. An upright, man-sized red crawfish wandered the stands and concourse, terrorizing children with its alarmingly large claw.
The red brick building continues on the interior of the grandstand and is covered by a nice angled roof with ample lighting in the ceiling for Crawdad night games. A wide concourse stretches all around the seating area, which separates the two main sections of seating from pole to pole. Overall, menacing crustaceans aside, LP Frans is a nice place to watch some baseball on a warm Carolina evening.