The Everett AquaSox play in the oldest ballpark in the Northwest League. However, Funko Field at Everett Memorial Stadium has undergone several renovations and looks good for a facility that opened in 1949. A naming-rights deal between the Everett School District and local toy maker Funko signed before the 2019 has brought new life to the park, too.
Arriving at the ballpark
Funko Field at Everett Memorial Stadium is less than a mile from downtown Everett. The ballpark is also under a mile from an interchange with I-5. So, it is incredibly easy to reach the stadium from anywhere in the area. Limited parking near the team’s front office at Broadway and 38th Street costs $6 per vehicle. Free parking is available behind the stadium at the intersection of Broadway and 39th Street. Everett Transit operates two routes (Route #7 and #8) with stops near the ballpark. The cost depends upon your starting location, but ranges between $2-$3.
Entering the ballpark
There are two entrances to the ballpark. Fans parking behind the stadium are closest to the south gate while fans who park elsewhere are more likely to enter at the north gate. Regardless of which gate fans use to enter the stadium they can receive a giveaway item, as both entrances have the freebie on hand.
Exploring the ballpark
Most fans will enter the ballpark at the south entrance and see the Kids’ Zone behind first base. Entering from the north gate brings fans to the beer garden.
A plaza behind home plate is the center of activity at the ballpark. There are some concession stands under canopy tents along with the guest services tent. A banner and a cutout of the team’s mascot stand behind guest services, which is across from the team store.
It was at the home plate plaza that my wife Katie and I found the team’s mascot and Funko’s mascot. We seized the moment and had our picture taken with the duo. It was also Star Wars Night, so members of the 501st Legion’s Garrison Titan chapter wowed fans of all fans with a variety of characters from the Star Wars universe.
The ballpark is symmetrical, so the Everett AquaSox chose to decorate the space behind the general admission bleachers with identical screens. In addition to the screens there are banners with retired numbers and former players now in the Majors.
A white board on the third base line has the game’s lineups. Nearby is another white board with the Northwest League standings.
The most interesting spot in the park is in right field. The Home Run Porch is a great spot to watch the game and bask in the shadow of Freddy Funko.
Eating at the ballpark
There are certain advantages and disadvantages at smaller ballpark. One thing that cuts both ways for the Everett AquaSox is the lack of space for concession stands. That’s not to say that there aren’t enough food choices at the ballpark, but that the concession stands are concentrated in one area because there is not enough space elsewhere. All the food stands, except for one, are behind the seating bowl on the first base side.
There are two “general” concession stands with six lines behind first base that offer typical ballpark fare like hot dogs and bratwurst. The stands also offer local items like Alfy’s Pizza and a chowder bowl. Fans seeking out grilled food should check out High Heat BBQ, which in addition to having pulled pork also serves burgers, Hempler’s sausages, and more. Diedrich Espresso serves the typical caffeinated beverages you expect, but also has smoothies and shakes.
After much debate, Katie & I decided to try the chowder bowl. However, by the time I ordered early in the fifth inning there were no more chowder bowls left. So, I chose the salmon burger as a replacement. It was tasty, but it was surprising to see that it was served without the typical LTO or tartar sauce.
Drinking at the ballpark
There are plenty of beer options at the ballpark. There are two places craft beer drinkers should check out at Funko Field. Behind first base is a beer stand that carries a lot of craft options, although it has a few macrobrew choices, too. The most popular beer spot is the beer garden on the left field line. It has similar options as the beer stand by first base, but it does not duplicate all the choices.
There are several locally brewed beers available such as Mac & Jack’s African Amber, Hop Valley Bubble Stash IPA, and AquaSox IPA. Despite the labeling AquaSox IPA is not a collaboration between the club and a brewery, but is Mac & Jack’s Resolution IPA (at least according to the server). There are also several local craft options available in cans like Fremont Summer Ale, Hop Valley Citrus Mistress, and Schilling Cider. Wine is also available at the beer stand by first base.
Watching the ballgame
Everett AquaSox left-handed pitcher Félix Hernández delivers the first pitch to Spokane Indians shortstop Derwin Barreto.
Despite being situated off a main thoroughfare in town, the view from behind home plate does not have any skyscrapers or any elements that are especially unique to Everett. The view is nice, but not the typical postcard shot people expect at the ballpark.
The grandstand is symmetrical, so any seat gives fans a good view of the action.
After watching a few innings from my seats along the third base line, I walked around so I could capture a few action photos. Seeing the Spokane Indians on the road meant I got to capture some shots of their uniforms, which include the city’s name in the Salish language of the Spokane Tribe of Indians (read more here).
Although Seattle Mariners pitcher Félix Hernández started the game as he rehabilitates from an injury, I did not get any photos of him on the mound. However, I got several photos of AquaSox players wearing specialty Star Wars jerseys.
Recapping the fan experience
Attending an Everett AquaSox game is a mix of old-school and modern baseball experiences. The ballpark is 70 years old, but underwent a major renovation 20 years ago. The park features old-school elements like the manually-operated scoreboard in right center field, but also boasts the newest and largest videoboard in the Northwest League. Fans will find the typical ballpark food, but also unique items from a variety of local vendors. A partnership with local toy maker Funko has brought a bevy of giveaways to the park, which has led to multiple sellouts on Funko Fridays. The result of these contrasts is a fun-filled experience that gives fans the best of both worlds.
Final: Spokane 2, Everett 5