L.P. Frans Stadium
Review by Gary & Mike
L.P. Frans Stadium is the longtime home of two area baseball teams, the South Atlantic League’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.