Cohen Stadium

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Cohen Stadium On a visit to Cohen Stadium, be prepared to be bombarded with sound effects, an annoying PA announcer, and an atmosphere that is more conducive to a circus rather than a baseball game. The ballpark itself is fine, but the whole experience needs to be toned down a bit. It is no wonder they don't draw better - the team certainly has no interest in trying to bring baseball fans to the park. Cohen Stadium is an early version of the now common ballpark template. Fans enter on a wide concourse which overlooks the seating bowl and field. A canopy was added above the third base concourse several years ago as this are was previously uncovered. This is certainly a welcome addition as it can be quite warm in El Paso during the summer months. The seating bowl is very reminiscent of Prince Georges Stadium (Bowie, MD) as it features half fold down chairs and half metal benches. The grandstand is is rather high so some of the seats are a bit far from the field. A picnic area is located in left field and a grassy berm in right field. Cohen Stadium is located north of the city in what should have been a very scenic location. Unfortunately, the park does not face the surrounding mountains. Concessions here are average at best. The usual ballpark fare (burgers, hot dogs, brats, pizza) is offered, but strangely there are no Mexican options. A small team store is located off the concourse behind home plate. Certainly the most memorable part of my visit to Cohen Stadium is the atmosphere. While I thought this experience only existed in the Northeast, unfortunately I was wrong. It all starts with the "cool" PA announcer who was constantly urging the crowds to cheer and make strange noises. For a whole inning he requested that fans howl at the full moon. And if that wasn't enough, there are tons of sounds effects and music played between pitches and at-bats. And of course between innings there was the usual on-field games. All these gimmicks combined with tons of bratty kids running around made for a rather unpleasant night at the park. I prefer to relax when I go to a ballgame, but that is almost impossible to do here. Certainly the El Paso area is big enough to support baseball, but I just wonder if the over-the-top experience at Cohen Stadium has turned some people off. Apparently it did as attendance dwindled to a point where the Diablos were sold and moved to Springfield (MO) after the 2004 season. Fortunately, the Central League quickly moved in and put a franchise here. The bottom line is that if you are a fan of baseball, Cohen Stadium is probably not the ideal place to see a game.