Grab your peanuts and crackerjacks, and let’s play ball! This week, Discover Austin takes in an evening of baseball at Dell Diamond with the Round Rock Express. If you’d prefer to read about Dell Diamond, the video’s script can be found below the video.
Greetings I’m Craig Smyser. We’re going to take in a little bit of baseball for this episode of Discover Austin. We’re at Dell Diamond, home of the Round Rock Express.
The Round Rock Express started playing in the 2000 season, the same year that Dell Diamond opened. The team is owned by a group led by Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan. Nolan’s nickname while playing was the Ryan Express, which is why the Round Rock Express is so named. Dell Diamond is owned by the city of Round Rock and leased to the team. While not going deep into the team history, the Express started out at a double-A minor league team but is now a triple-A team, which is just one step below the major leagues which means that some really good baseball is played here and you will occasionally get to see a big league star come through on a rehab stint.
The team logo is stylized old time train engine with a cow catcher. Spike is the team’s mascot. Decked out in train engineer overalls, he entertains the crowd throughout every home game. I personally love that an active railroad track runs nearby so you usually hear an actual train whistle a few times during the game.
Dell Diamond offers 8,631 reserved seats for spectators, plus outfield lawn seating which accommodates up to an additional 3,000 fans. The park fills its seats, not just for baseball games, but also for concerts, festivals, and expos. The stadium has been featured in a few Hollywood productions. Filming of part of “The Rookie” took place in and around Dell Diamond and the field was transformed into the largest set used for the fourth season of “Fear the Walking Dead.” Tours of Dell Diamond are available several days a week if you would like to get behind-the-scenes look at the ballpark.
Features of Dell Diamond include the Fun Zone which keeps kids entertained when they aren’t watching the baseball game. There is a pool and spa available for groups to rent. The United Heritage center offers 10,000 square feet of event space which is great for entertaining clients during a game. There are, of course, luxury suites available and premium seats behind home plate. The Intel Club offers an exclusive area where guests can watch the game in air-conditioned comfort in a restaurant-style setting.
Dell Diamond prides itself on the fact that 80% of the materials used to build the ballpark are from right here in Texas. Everything from the limestone exterior, to the Bermuda grass, and the infield clay dirt!
There’s always something fun going on at the game. There are fireworks on Friday nights and Kids Days are on Sunday so the kids can run around the bases after the game. Theme nights include Harry Potter, Augtoberfrest, and Renessaince Night among others. Of course, they also have nights with discounted hot dogs, soda, and beer.
My son and I have been attending Round Rock Express games at Dell Diamond for years. It’s a top notch ballpark, it’s always a good time, and it’s a family friendly atmosphere. So come on out and enjoy an evening of baseball. I’m Craig Smyser, thanks for joining me for this episode of Discover Austin.