Many fans often lament that attending a Yankee game is too expensive. People complain about everything from the cost of the seats, parking, and concessions. Luckily for the budget conscious fan, there is a cheaper alternative not too far away — the Trenton Thunder. I recently went to a Thunder game; here’s my review of the park, atmosphere, and baseball.
Arm and Hammer Park is easily accessible from New York as well as Philadelphia. From New York City it is about 90 minutes down I-95, or you can hop on NJ Transit from Penn Station and take it right to Trenton for $16. Once you get to Trenton Transit Center, the stadium is a 10 minute Uber ride. If driving, simply park right at the stadium for only $5. If coming from Philadelphia, it is a 40 minute car ride or a 50 minute train ride from 30th Street Station. The train costs $10 each way. Overall, the stadium is easily accessible from most of the Mid-Atlantic.
All of the tickets cost between $11 and 15 per seat. I was able to sit four rows behind the dugout for $15. With just over 6,000 seats in the stadium, there isn’t a bad seat in the house. With their low ticket prices, the Thunder provide affordable professional baseball for virtually any budget.
Arm and Hammer Park has all of the classics. Hot dogs, peanuts and cracker jacks can be found throughout the stadium, all for under $5. They also have a smokehouse BBQ pit down the left field line and a Chickies and Petes down the right field line. In terms of beer, there are various beer gardens and beer stands throughout the stadium. Sixteen ounce pints are between $5 and 6, and 32 ounce drafts are just $10. Beers include Michelob Ultra, Bud Light, Goose Island IPA, and Stella Artois. Whether you’re looking for a hot dog and a light beer or a brisket sandwich paired with a craft beer, this place should have you covered.
Obviously AA baseball does not carry the same atmosphere that is found in the Bronx. During the game I went to, the Thunder made three errors but still hung on to win 3-2. Both teams were a bit sloppy, but that was to be expected. The stadium has great sight lines and there is youth oriented in game entertainment between almost every inning. Additionally, the Thunder have a “Bat Dog.” Rookie the golden retriever fetches the bats during a few select innings each game, always to a thunderous applause. You can also take pictures with Rookie near the third base entrance when he is done with his bat duties.
All in all, the Thunder provide a great value. If you don’t feel like shelling out hundreds of dollars in the Bronx, or you are just looking for something different to do, a Thunder game will do just fine. It’s very accessible, and you are guaranteed to have a great view of the game no matter where you sit. No, you won’t see Aaron Judge hit a 500 foot home run or Aroldis Chapman throw 100 MPH fastballs, but you will see professional baseball in a laid back environment at a reasonable price.