Few collegiate baseball facilities rival the Seminoles’ beautiful Dick
Howser Stadium. Located on the campus of Florida State University, the stadium has provided over one million fans with the feeling of having “the best seat in the house” to watch the finest in college baseball action. Additions and improvements to the stadium since its 1983 opening have made it one the best ballparks in the country.
The Seminole Baseball “Tradition Room” underneath the third base stands holds an attractive showcase which tells the story of the great players, award-winners and tremendous teams of the past. Trophies and plaques depicting Florida State’s baseball success through the years adorn the walls. It also provides a comfortable lounge area adjacent to the FSU clubhouse, complete with VCR and big-screen television, where Florida State players can relax before and after games.
Florida State’s players and coaches enjoy the convenience and luxury of a clubhouse and locker-room located behind the Seminole dugout. The main lockerroom area is fully-carpeted and contains personalized lockers for each player, a separate lockerroom for the Seminole coaches, a video area where FSU players and coaches do videotape analysis, and a coaches’ office. A built-in stereo system blares the players’ latest favorites. Adjacent is a room which doubles as a weight and training area, complete with lifting machines.
There are on-going efforts to keep Dick Howser Stadium one of the top facilities in college baseball. Truly a “player’s ballpark,” the stadium has had many upgrades: the addition of a screen to the top of the right field wall, the addition of a roof to the grandstand and a state-of-the-art electronic scoreboard, complete with message center. New bleachers have just been installed down the rightfield line this season and the outfield wall was padded last year.
Dick Howser Stadium, named after the late Kansas City Royals and Florida State manager who was also Florida State’s first-ever baseball All-American, is a showcase befitting one of the top collegiate teams in the nation. From the beautifully-manicured playing surface to the chairback seats and modern press box, Howser Stadium is one of the best places in the country to watch a game.
In 1994, the one-millionth fan walked through the gates of Howser Stadium in only its 12th season of operation. For the eighth consecutive year the Seminoles averaged over 2,000 fans a game.
With a listed capacity of 5,000 in Dick Howser Stadium, Florida State continues to set attendance records. Every year, over 5,000 fans witness the home team take on the University of Miami. Florida State annually ranks in the top 10 nationally in attendance.
Florida State fans are simply the best and most knowledgeable in college baseball. Although they live and die with “their” Seminoles, the FSU faithful are known nationwide for their sportsmanship and appreciation of good baseball by both teams, as well as their sometimes “creative” brand of support. They, along with the stadium and a professional game operation, are a large reason Dick Howser Stadium has been the site of 13 NCAA Regional tournaments in the 15 years since its opening in 1983.
The stadium was dedicated in honor of Dick Howser in March of 1988 prior to an exhibition game between Florida State and the Kansas City Royals, two of Howser’s former teams. As part of the stadium dedication, Kansas City all-stars George Brett and Bo Jackson helped unveil a new $150,000 matrix scoreboard and a bronze bust of Howser. Both items were permanent additions to the facility.
Old Seminole Field was christened Seminole Stadium March 28, 1983, after over one million dollars of renovations were completed on the park. Wooden bleachers were replaced with a two-tier concrete grandstand seating 2,500. Modern concession areas and restrooms, and a press box complete with separate booths for radio and television broadcasts were also added.
The lower level seating is arranged like box seats, while the upper level has metal bleachers with chair backs. All 2,500 grandstand seats annually sell out. Additional seating down both lines provides 2,500 more seats. Nearly 1,000 seats are available for overflow crowds and the park was designed to allow for future expansion.
The playing surface dimensions measure 320 feet to rightfield, 400 feet to center and 340 feet to left. Prior to the 1986 season, a screen was added to the top of the right field wall; it rises from the 10-foot high wall, increasing in five-foot increments from 20 feet in the power alley to 30 feet in rightfield giving a unique effect.
A matrix board which provides lineups, statistics and messages throughout the game, a high quality public address system, modern concession stands and vendors circulating the stands give Howser Stadium a “big league” look.
The playing field itself is also often compared to that of a major league park. Long-time FSU grounds chief Robert Barrett and his crew oversee the everyday upkeep of the playing surface and surroundings, spending hours on the field year-round. The hours of hard work put in by Barrett and his ground crew are often taken for granted, but they give Dick Howser Stadium a playing field unsurpassed by any collegiate team in the nation.
The beautiful home of Florida State’s baseball Seminoles, from the Tradition Room, clubhouse area and lockerroom to the top-notch playing field, chairback seats and overall family atmosphere, is indeed a fitting tribute to one of FSU’s greatest alumni, Dick Howser.
Baseball Tradition Room
The latest addition to Dick Howser Stadium is the Seminole Baseball Tradition Room. A beautiful area adjacent to the FSU clubhouse and lockerroom. This room, located underneath the stadium, holds an array of FSU baseball memorabilia and trophies which tell the story of Florida State baseball success.
Separate wall displays, attractively backlit, are devoted to Florida State All-Americans, former Seminoles in the pros, and FSU’s 15 College World Series teams. Another wall is lined with FSU’s most recent tournament and conference championship trophies, as well as replicas of the Golden Spikes Awards of Mike Loynd, Mike Fuentes and J.D. Drew.
Another corner contains a VCR and large-screen television where players can enjoy the latest videos. Couches line the room to provide a comfortable area for relaxed viewing.
The Seminole Baseball Tradition Room, built thanks to the generous donations of Florida State former players, friends and alumni, gives Seminole players an area in which to relax before and after games and practices, and serves as a showcase for the great tradition which is Florida State baseball.
Stadium Quick Facts Capacity 5,000 Dimensions 320' right - 400' center - 340' left Height of Wall 10' Height of Right Field Screen 30' Playing Surface Natural Grass (Bermuda) Opening Day March 28, 1983 First Game Result FSU 5, LSU 15 First FSU Win FSU 10, LSU 5 (3/29/83) First Day Crowd 1,305 First Run Tommy Zoeller (FSU) First Hit Zoeller, single to left First RBI Danny Dowell (FSU), single to score Zoeller First Batter John Morse (LSU) First Putout Rick Figueredo (FSU), 5-3 putout on Morse First Assist Mark Barineau (FSU) on Morse grounder First Double Ronnie Corbett (LSU), sixth inning First Triple Ronnie Corbett (LSU), eighth inning First Home Run Rick Figueredo (FSU), fifth inning FSU in Dick Howser Stadium 526-108-1 Percentage .829
Season Home Attendance Totals (Since opening of stadium in 1983) Year Dates TotaL Average 1983 30* 57,575 1,919 1984 51* 72,518 1,422 1985 58* 103,552 1,785 1986 45* 118,897 2,642 1987 43* 86,209 2,005 1988 46* 86,628 1,884 1989 46* 87,240 1,896 1990 40 106,081 2,652 1991 40* 109,549 2,739 1992 41* 90,278 2,202 1993 40* 80,757 2,019 1994 42* 106,352 2,532 1995 35* 85,137 2,432 1996 36 72,382 2,010 1997 38 98,622 2,595 TOTAL 631 1,361,777 2,158
Stadium opened in middle of 1983 season. * Includes NCAA Regional games. Bold indicates FSU single-season record
1997 Totals (Includes Tournaments)
DATES TOTAL AVERAGE Home* 36 98,622 2,595 Away 29 72,101 2,486 TOTAL 67 170,990 2,548
Top Crowds No. Opponent Date Atten 1. Miami 4/11/86 6,145 2. Miami 4/13/91 6,039 3. Miami 4/12/91 6,032 4. Miami 4/11/92 5,945 5. Miami 4/14/90 5,877 6. Miami 4/14/91 5,740 7. Miami 4/08/94 5,524 8. Florida 3/05/94 5,486 9. Florida 3/09/91 5,450 10. Florida 3/10/90 5,434 11. Memphis State 4/21/85 5,423 12. Arizona State 2/09/91 5,413 13. Miami 4/11/87 5,405 14. Miami 4/13/90 5,385 15. Miami 4/09/94 5,375