There’s a new game in town, or at least a new home team for Myrtle Beach to support. But Grand Strand baseball fans can expect the same quality teams, talent and family-friendly entertainment at the ol’ ballpark.
The Myrtle Beach Pelicans, the Advanced Class A minor-league baseball team, made the transition to a new parent club in 2015, becoming a member of the Chicago Cubs farm system. The addition of the Cubs, the top-ranked minor-league system in baseball, according to several recent polls and surveys, means more than great baseball. It also puts a new spin on the long-standing entertainment at TicketReturn.com Stadium.
Located adjacent to Broadway at the Beach, a straight shot up 21st Avenue North from The Strand, this 5,000-seat ballpark offers all the traditional favorites from “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” – peanuts, popcorn, hot dogs and Cracker Jack’s – along with some modern amenities to make a day or night at the ballpark even more enjoyable. Comfortable seats with arm rests and drink holders, roaming food and drink vendors and mascots, and wacky between-inning antics keep fans engaged in all the action on and off the diamond.
The switch to the Cubs affiliation has sparked some new additions to the ballpark, including the famous Windy City Wieners that are sold at historic Wrigley Field and an ivy-covered wall to replicate the outfield of the big-league park. The Cubs are also importing a talented team to Myrtle Beach this season, raising hopes for a Carolina League championship in 2015.
But you don’t have to be a baseball fan to have a great time at a Pelicans game. Known for their famous promotions, such as “Bark at the Park Night” where fans can bring their dogs to the game and “Cowboy Monkey Rodeo” featuring a chimp riding a dog and herding sheep around the outfield, there’s a lot more to the experience than watching future pros in action. Every half-inning, the Pelicans put on a production, like Deuce the Home Run Dog delivering a fresh bucket of baseballs to the umpire or the popular Hot Dog Cannon firing free wieners into the crowd. Fans are selected at random to compete in on-field games, such a Sumo wrestling, the Dizzy Bat Race or the Tricycle Race Around the Bases.
In addition to the nightly entertainment, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans also host weekly specials to bring folks to the ballpark. Giveaways, drawings and freebies greet early arriving fans at the gates almost every night, and promotions like Wiener Wednesday ($1 hot dogs) and Thirsty Thursday ($1 draft beers) make it more affordable for a family to enjoy a fun night out. Other promotions include Super Hero Night, when fans come dressed as their favorite action hero, and Ugly Hawaiian Shirt Night, when fans don their loudest floral attire, create a fun atmosphere for all ages.
The Pelicans cater to children, with a Kids Zone located along the third-base line offers games and activities, and a playground along the first-base line gives the little ones a place to burn off some energy. At the conclusion of each game, the Pelicans host Kids Run the Bases to allow children the chance to get on the field and into the action. Post-game fireworks are also on the schedule 19 times in the 2015 season. It’s the perfect cap to a wild and wacky night at the ballpark.
The Pelicans have 70 home games between April and August, welcoming teams from the Carolina League to town for three- and four-game home stands. Most games start at 7 p.m. (doubleheaders begin at 6 p.m.) and the game’s last an average of 2 ½ hours. For a full schedule and to purchase tickets, visit www.myrtlebeachpelicans.com.