The commute to Segnette Field puts ‘Pack baseball games out of students’ reach

HASANI GRAYSON

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Despite playing in a facility that can hold about 600 fans at full capacity, Loyola baseball players have found themselves playing to crowds without students.

The Wolfpack play their home games at Segnette field in Westwego, La. The field, situated on the other side of the Mississippi River from Loyola, is approximately a 20-minute drive from campus.

Many students cite the commute as the main reason for not attending games. “If they want to know why students don’t go there, it’s because it’s across the river,” said Michael Dewey, criminal justice sophomore. “How many people here can drive, or want to drive across the river to go see a baseball game?”

Aside from his concerns that field is inconveniently located on the West Bank, and that the facility itself was “too small,” Dewey also thinks Loyola baseball should do more to market itself.

He suggested that the baseball program highlight the important matchups on the schedule to help drum up excitement for the games. “Yeah, we have schedules, but who knows when we actually need fans?” he said. Dewey was one of the Loyola students who went Loyola’s home game against Lee University.

As part of collaboration between the SophoMORE Initiative, the Student Government Association, Mission and Ministry, and Athletics and Wellness, transportation to the field and back was organized. Concessions were also provided with the purchase of a $5 ticket to the March 25 matchup against #2 Lee University. The average attendance for home games has been estimated by players and coaches to be between 50 and 75 fans, though regular counts by fans put numbers around 30, most of whom are friends and family. Estimates for attendance on that date put crowd around 150.

“I enjoyed it. It was a good time,” said Dewey. “I’m glad they actually played well for once.” After holding on to a 3-1 lead heading into the top of third, Lee defeated the Wolfpack 7-3 in front of the largest crowd the Wolfpack had at Segnette all season. Those who watched the remainder of the game were treated to a post-game firework show.

The March 26 double-header was a quieter atmosphere as attendance numbers returned to normal and Lee completed the three-game weekend series sweep. Loyola students cheered when the ‘Pack put runs on the board the night before, but the loudest fan response came from Lee University supporters, who cheered when their team scored seven runs in one inning of Wolfpack pitching.

According to sports information desks at these universities, Lee’s average attendance is between 150-200 for their home games, while SSAC opponent #15 Auburn-Montgomery also averages about 200 fans for weekend games. Faulkner averages about 60 fans per game, not including visiting fans. All three of these facilities are on or near the school’s campus.

Loyola students who would rather avoid crossing the Huey P. Long Bridge to see Loyola baseball can cross Freret instead on April 16 and 17.

Despite the team’s overall record of 15-30 and in-conference record of 5-7, Loyola students are excited about the games that have been relocated to Tulane’s Turchin Stadium while Segnette Field is under construction. Performance sophomore Casey Wilkes, who has been wanting to see a Loyola baseball game since last season, is excited that he will finally be able to walk to one after being deterred by the long distance.

“It’s hard enough trying to get down the street without a car, let alone the West Bank, so it was just impossible for me to go,” he said.

Third base coach Brett Simpson is also looking forward to the series against Faulkner at Greer Field, saying, “We’re excited to be playing this weekend at Turchin. We were fortunate that they were on the road and the field was available for us to host Faulkner in this weekend series.”

The upcoming games will be important as Loyola currently sits in fifth position in the SSAC West. They will need to be in fourth by season’s end to qualify for the post season.

Hasani Grayson can be reached at

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