Ballpark Bites: Beer & Victory Gardens Highlight Improvements
The baseball season is upon us and various leagues from the affiliates to the independents are working to the last minute to enhance the stadium experience for its customers. In Durham, North Carolina, they have educated children about the value or growing food while in Gary, Indiana, an old space gets new life in right field.
Durham, North Carolina
Durham Bulls Athletic Park will showcase how easy it is to grow healthy in the city with the new the Bulls Victory Garden. The garden and many others in the seven-county area can teach children the importance of fruits and vegetables and help feed up to 60,000 adults and children per month. The harvest will be brought to local food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters in the Raleigh-Durham area.
“The more they understand where their food comes from than the more likely they are to eat it”, Cindy Sink, Interfaith Food Services said on WRAL.com. “This is going to have all the kinds of vegetables that you would expect to put on a salad or on a pizza”
The shared project with Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, Bland Landscaping, and the Durham Bulls will be sponsored by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC). The 1,600 square foot area along Jackie Robinson Dr. will serve home to the Bulls’ Victory Garden for education, inspiration and produce collection throughout the year.
R&R Sports Bar and Grill will debut at the home of the Gary Southshore RailCats this season. The 7,000 square foot space in right field of the stadium has been vacant for some time and will be open year-round to customers.
The restaurant will offer American-style cuisine, but also feature a few Caribbean favorites that were inspired by its owners who also owned R&R Caribbean Jerk Chicken in nearby East Chicago. That location offers an array of jerk chicken items that are served over nachos, in tacos, and on pizza. Oxtail stew, brown stew chicken, and jerk lobster and shrimp are also on the menu.
The interior walls will be designed to pay homage to the history of sports in Northwest Indiana and offer a place to watch games with friends and family. It’s scheduled to open for the Railcats home opener on May 18 against the St. Paul Saints.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
The Oklahoma City Dodgers and local craft brewery COOP Ale Works have unveiled a beer garden at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. Located on the first base/right field concourse near Section 118, the beer garden features a permanent bar with furniture, and table tops. Future expansion of the area will extend to the exterior of the ballpark that will include a display featuring the history of COOP Ale Works and key milestones during its growth over the past nine years.
The area will offer four high-point beers on tap and packaged beer. The draft beers include COOP’s F5 IPA, Horny Toad Blonde, Native Amber Red IPA, and Saturday Siren Dry-Hopped Pils. Lower-point beers from the brewery will be offered in other areas of the ballpark.
“The COOP Beer Garden is a great way to showcase Oklahoma City’s premier craft beer brand, and our partnership with the Dodgers gives us a great opportunity to reach more fans than ever before,” COOP Ale Works director of sales and marketing Sean Mossman said in a press release.
The Bellingham Bells will introduce a new scoreboard at Joe Martin Field this season. The new scoreboard has been made possible by financial support from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers – Local 191 & National Electrical Contractors Association – Cascade Chapter. It will replace the old scoreboard that was installed in 1990.
“The new scoreboard will have full video capabilities and allow us to show videos, run animated graphics and introduce players when they are up to bat in a graphical way, featuring their headshot and school logo”, Bellingham GM Stephanie Morrell said.
The scoreboard is a gift to the city and will be utilized annually, including high school and community athletic groups and feature a video board for the first time in its history. Joe Martin Field debuted in 1964 and was the home of minor league baseball from 1973-1996 before the Bells debuted in the West Coast League in 1999.