Summer of Baseball: Rockland a good independent experience
It would seem independent professional baseball is doing quite well. There are several league that all seem to be unique and have solid ballparks and players.
In the end, it’s baseball and it’s usually pretty solid.
Last season, I went to several Atlantic League games. Thus year, I might do the same but I also want to sprinkle in a few Can-Am League games.
The Can-Am League, founded in 2005, is a six-team league with teams in the United States and Canada. One (Rockland) is in New York, two (New Jersey and Sussex County) are in New Jersey, and three (Québec, Trois-Rivières, and Ottawa) are located in Canada.
Over the years, some other teams have come and gone. Québec is the crown jewel of the league, it seems, winning six of the 11 league championships.
By chance, the first Can-Am League game I’ve seen featured the Capitales as they visited the Rockland Boulders and Palisades Credit Union Park.
As has been my experience with independent ball so far, the stadium delivered for the most part. There were some things that seemed like they could be better, but overall this stadium is really solid and probably could even be good for a minor league/affiliated team.
The 4,500-plus seat stadium opened in 2011 and cost $38 million to build. A full walk-around concourse gives you the chance to have some really cool views. Parts of the stadium are really nice, while others seem a tad unpolished. The seating bowl is really nice and gives you excellent views of the action.
There were several seat features that I liked. First, in right field, they had the Budweiser Short Porch that put you field-level and close to the action. As you went toward center, there’s a higher bleacher area, but it also had a table in front of you. So every seat had a place to lean. If you do book (like I do), it’s even better in that regard. It almost gave me the feeling of an older press area.
As you continued around, the left and left-center bleachers are nice and give you a good view. In the left-field corner, there’s a “party” bar area with more seats – in foul ground – that are field level. Pretty cool.
It was definitely a cool place to catch a game.
The concessions were standard ballpark fare. Hot dogs were average. The fries were normal. They had souvenir cups, which is always a bonus. One total plus? Rita’s Italian Ice. That’s always a bonus when I go to a park on a warm night.
The seats were comfortable and wide, which is always nice. There didn’t seem to be a bad seat in the house. The lineup board (double-sided) was right when you came in. Programs were free, but a scorecard (which had rosters and such for both teams) was just a buck. The team store had a variety of items and the prices were solid overall.
The food choices were OK, and what I tried was decent.
There were some negatives here, though. There seemed to be a lack of security as some kids in our area threw their baseball gloves all over the place for much of the game. The section wasn’t crowded, mind you, but it was annoying and the father had his nose in his phone for most of the game. In the right field section, there was a massive play area for kids. Now, if you stayed away from there, bonus. But it’s there as a warning. There’s also a kid’s train that goes arounf the park the whole time.
The focus didn’t seem to be on baseball for many in attendance. It was a scout night, though, so that could have been a major factor in it. But the ambiance at the park didn’t seem like a baseball focus.
In the end, I’d go again. It was a nice stadium at a decent price and extremely easy to get to. The baseball was pretty solid overall and I enjoyed the night. The stadium is nice and it has its own unique features, making it a place to check out if you get the chance.
On a side note, Québec’s uniforms were awesome and I need to get a hat. I did like Rockland’s uniform’s, too – very solid.
Palisades Credit Union Park
Pomona, New York
Home of the Rockland Boulders (Independent – Can-Am League)
Visited on: June 4, 2016
Opponent: Québec Capitales/ Les Capitales de Québec (Independent – Can-Am League)
Ratings (out of 10)
- Stadium: 8.5/10
- Concessions: 7.5/10
- Parking: 8/10
- Ambiance: 7/10
- Friendliness: 9/10
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