McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Photo by Meegs via Wikipedia.
Yesterday was Memorial Day, meaning summer is unofficially here! For many of us, summer means an afternoon or evening at the ballpark with a hot dog and cold beverage. Will we have to do without that this year? Well, maybe not – at least, sort of. Given the current restrictions due to coronavirus as well as concerns about whether or not Minor League Baseball will be played this year, many MiLB teams are coming up with unique solutions to stay in business right now – or at least entertain us. The Pawtucket Red Sox, for example, have found a way to allow fans to experience their 78-year old ballpark, which was to be their home for just one more season this year. With Rhode Island now allowing restaurants to serve customers outdoors, the PawSox are offering on-field dining. Capacity is limited to 20 tables of no more than 5 people. There is at least 8 feet between tables.
Blue Wahoos Stadium in Pensacola, Florida. Photo courtesy of the City of Pensacola.
According to MiLB.com’s Ben Hill, several teams have offered curbside pickup of ballpark foods, at least on a limited basis. In fact, the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, are not only offering curbside pick-up, but are providing “safe outdoor dining for lunch, dinner and brunch with eating spaced throughout the ballpark, giving fans access to Blue Wahoos Stadium’s award-winning views of Pensacola Bay and exclusive areas of the ballpark.” The team also explained their safety precautions:
“The safety of customers and Blue Wahoos staff is the team’s number one priority. All Blue Wahoos staff will have their temperature taken when they arrive at the ballpark each day and all staff will wear a protective mask when inside the ballpark. All in-stadium seating will spaced a minimum of six feet apart. Fans in line to order will be required to maintain six feet distance between themselves and other customers. During all in-stadium dining availability, a Blue Wahoos Compliance Manager will oversee the ballpark to ensure physical distancing and safety guidelines are strictly followed by all. In accordance with CDC COVID-19 safe dining guidelines, no refills will be offered on any product and all condiments will be delivered in single-serve packets.”
The Blue Wahoos have also put their stadium on AirBnB. For $1,500 a night, you can stay at the ballpark. You get access to the clubhouse, batting cages, and field. A bedroom connected to the clubhouse sleeps 10 and includes a kitchenette. Sign me up!
Here are some other examples of teams offering curbside pickup of ballpark food:
- Several teams have offered food on limited dates. The Altoona Curve had a limited sale of their “Curve Burgers,” which were available for pre-order and ready for pick-up on May 5 and May 22.
- The Charleston RiverDogs have ballpark meals available for pickup and delivery via DoorDash. Their specialties include the Alehouse Brat, the Southern Kenchi Dog, the Homewrecker hot dog, and the Brisket Ramen Bowl.
- Wednesdays through Fridays, the Beloit Snappers offer a “Ballpark Drive-Thru” where you can get hotdogs, burgers, and brats. Diners call-in their orders and in 15-20 minutes can drive up to the ballpark and get their meals.
- The Clinton LumberKings sell meals for pickup each Thursday. Orders of $25 or more receive a free bobblehead. You can even order a t-shirt while you’re at it!
Minor league teams are offering other forms of entertainment as well. The Daytona Tortugas have started a Summer Movie Series at their stadium, Jackie Robinson Ballpark. Naturally, the first movie shown was “42.” On-field seating areas are at least 10’ by 10’ (for a family of four) with 10’ walkways in between. Several different packages are available to be reserved on their website and concessions will be available for purchase.