During my travels around PA, I always enjoy visiting the many great baseball stadiums in the state. And while I quite enjoy catching MLB games at the stadiums in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, there’s no team I’ve watched more in person than the Harrisburg Senators.
The Harrisburg Senators are the Double-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals and play their games at FNB Field on City Island in Harrisburg. As its name implies, City Island is an island in the middle of the Susquehanna River. The stadium is the most prominent feature of the island, but there is also a mini golf course, a (concrete) beach club, two marinas, and the Pride of the Susquehanna Riverboat.
The current iteration of the Senators first came to Harrisburg in 1987 as an affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates, though the history of professional baseball dates back much further than that. In fact, professional baseball has been played on City Island since the early 1900s when both the Harrisburg Athletics and the Harrisburg Giants (who played in the Negro League) called the island home.
During their years here, Hall of Famers Babe Ruth, Oscar Chamberlain, and Satchel Paige played games on City Island.
If you have time before or after your game to check out the island beyond FNB Field, making sure to find the fading Harrisburg Giants mural on the eastern side of the island. There is also a historical marker dedicated to them outside the stadium.
Today, FNB Field is a modern stadium that offers great amenities and a very intimate setting. In fact, the stadium’s capacity of only 6,200 fans makes it one of the smallest Double-A parks in the country.
This smaller size means that all of the seats feel very close to the action, and while there is a small bleacher section, most of the seats are quite comfortable. There are even a few luxury boxes if you are looking for a higher-end experience. (And, having seen a game from one once, they are excellent.)
I’ve sat in several places around the park, and my favorite area is the Box Seats, which are located just behind home plate. Even better, they are only a bit further from the field than the Club Seats but are less than half the cost. They are also only a couple of dollars more than the cheapest seats in the park, which really does make them a great value.
Tickets can be purchased in advance online and at the stadium’s box office, or you can buy them at the box office on the day of the game. Unless you are visiting on an especially popular night, you should have no issue getting good seats the day of the game.
The Harrisburg Senators play 138 games each season (69 of which are home games) between early April and late September, which means there is great baseball to be seen all summer, and there are many opportunities to check out a game.
Parking is available on City Island for $5 per car. You could also park in the city and walk over the Walnut Street Bridge to reach the stadium, but you’ll likely pay more to park except on Sundays when parking is free in the city.
Inside the park, you’ll find a nice variety of food and drink stands. There isn’t a lot of uniqueness to the food found here, but the quality is good, and the prices aren’t as high as you’d find at a Major League stadium.
They also have a very nice selection of local craft beer available here, in addition to the larger brads often found at stadiums.
There are various promotions throughout the year including buy-one-get-one tickets, dollar dogs, bring your pet night, and more, but my favorite promotion is their fireworks shows. Every Friday night after the game, there is a very nice firework show shot off for fans to enjoy.
Of course, even if you can’t make the game, this is still a fun show to see as you can see the fireworks from a variety of places around the city.
Since the Harrisburg Senators play several levels below the Major Leagues, the quality of baseball isn’t going to be quite as good as what you’d see in Philadelphia or Pittsburgh. However, the quality is still very good.
You’ll also have a chance to see some of the best up-and-coming players as there are typically several top prospects playing for both teams during the games.
And, while baseball is, of course, the star here, there are also a lot of other fun activities to do, including some fun elements during the breaks between innings. You can also walk around the stadium and enjoy the Senators’ life-size Bobblehead Hall of Fame and the Kids Zone (which is an extra cost).
Overall, watching a Harrisburg Senators game at FNB Field is a really fun way to spend a spring or summer evening in Harrisburg, with an experience that is both less expensive and more intimate than what you’ll find at Phillies and Pirates games. I know it’s one of my family’s favorite activities in the Harrisburg area, and if you like baseball, I’m sure you’ll have a great time too.
Find out more about attending a Harrisburg Senators game and purchase tickets on the team’s website.