Four Winds Field: Home of the South Bend Cubs

Four Winds Field: Home of the South Bend Cubs
4/29/24: South Bend Cubs take on the Quad City River Bandits on a humid afternoon at Four Winds Field.

Four Winds Field is a quaint, family friendly ballpark in the outskirts of South Bend, Indiana. Built in 1987, the ballpark has many interesting features that tie into their storied history and affiliation to the Chicago Cubs organization.

The city of South Bend felt like a group of towns combined together to create a small and residential city. The vibes across the different parts of South Bend varied widely with some communities looking newly developed with others very run down and deteriorated.

South Bend Cubs (affiliate of the Chicago Cubs since 2015)
Established: 1988
Ballpark: Four Winds Field (opened 1988)
League: Midwest League, West Division
Notable Alumni: Archie Bradley, Mike Cameron, Carlos Gonzalez, Ian Happ, Eloy Jiménez, AJ Pollock, Justin Upton, Brandon Webb
Championships: 1989, 1993, 2005, 2019, 2022

Location/ Scenery/ Amenities (3/5)

I'll start off by noting that the location was subpar, if that. Driving into the southwestern part of South Bend where the stadium was located was desolate and run down. There were plenty of abandon buildings around the ballpark and the county jail was no more than 500ft down the road.

Even though the location was a less than ideal, I thought the scenery wasn't too bad. If you look closely, you might be able to tell the subtle features that hint back to Wrigley Field, the home of their parent club, the Chicago Cubs (bleachers on top of buildings in outfield, ivy on outfield wall). I really enjoyed that aspect of ballpark as it added a lot of personality. Another unique feature was the splash pad in the right field corner of the park. This added another element beyond baseball to the ballpark that catered to kids and families. However, one thing I would of liked to be done better in this area was the spacing. There was little room, if any, to walk past the splash pad without getting wet as it took up the entirety of the concourse.

Finally, the amenities were the worst part of Four Winds Field. The concourse was very narrow and there were 10-20 minute long lines at virtually every concession stand. On the plus side, there were picnic table areas, a kid zone, premium padded seating with a small counter, a tiki bar, and two berms spread around the park. All of these auxiliary areas gave fans choices throughout the game with different options to experience the game. With the aforementioned positive features, along with the splash pad, the amenities did have some bright spots but the overall design of the ballpark was too clustered for my liking.

Food (2.4/5)

After waiting a generous amount of time in the concession lines, I was unimpressed with the product. One pet peeve I had was their dish names, particularly at the smash burger stand. For one, their menu had absolutely no descriptions of what was on each burger. Secondly, they had a Pub Burger AND a Cub Burger. Yes, it was as confusing as it sounds. So not only did I have no idea what was on either but they can easily be misheard, which is evidentially what happened. I asked for the Pub Burger but received a Cub Burger. After sorting that out, I had my hands on the Pub Burger ($12) which was a smash burger patty with cheese and bacon on a pretzel bun. The burger was bland and there was way too much cheese on the patty which led to the cheese melting over the sides, making for a messy dish. The Philly Cheesestake ($12.50) was a slight improvement. It was basic but it was a reasonable portion size and a satisfying dish for a ballgame. Typically, I enjoy when ballparks think outside the box and put quirky twists on traditional ballpark foods. I didn't feel that the food options here were too creative but they did the job which equates to the middle of the road grade.

Entertainment (1/5)

There was not much entertainment at Four Winds Field. The various amenities and places to experience the game kept me busy but there was not much on field entertainment or moments in the ballpark that I found to be memorable.

Sam's Score: 42.6/100

I hate to give this ballpark such a low grade because there was aspects of it that I thought were truly amazing. My favorite part was the way they embedded pieces of Wrigley Field into Four Winds Field. The vibes, particularly in the outfield section, were enjoyable. However, the food and the fundamental design of Four Winds Field left me feeling unfulfilled and claustrophobic. Ultimately, I would say that Four Winds Field is worthy of a visit if you are in the area. If you are a Cubs fan, I would definitely recommend making a trip to South Bend.

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