Most people know the Grand Strand as the Carolina coastline's 60-mile stretch of sand. But we're also known for sports and our hometown baseball team the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, the Class A Advanced minor league franchise of the Chicago Cubs.
Opening their 18th season on the Strand on April 7, the Pelicans are a favorite among locals and tourists alike. Located at Broadway at the Beach, a straight shot down 29th Avenue North and only a mile away from the Caribbean Resort & Villas, the 5,500-seat Pelicans Ballpark is home to great baseball and quality entertainment in a fun, family-friendly environment.
The Pelicans are coming off a championship season after winning the 2015 Mills Cup of the Carolina League, which features the Pelicans and seven rivals from the East Coast — the Carolina Mudcats, Frederick Keys, Lynchburg Hillcats, Potomac Nationals, Salem Red Sox, Wilmington Blue Rocks and Winston-Salem Dash. The league is known for producing top talent for the major leagues, and the Cubs were recently ranked as the No. 1 minor league system for producing top talent. So there's always a chance you can see the next rising All-Star on his way to the big leagues, like former Pelicans Rafael Furcal, Jason Heyward and Adam Wainwright.
But even if you’re not a baseball fan, you can still have lots of fun at the ol' ballpark. The Pelicans staff is famous for its between-inning entertainment, such as inflatable sumo wrestling and dizzy bat races, and popular promotions, like Super Hero Night and Bark at the Park Night, when fans can bring their dogs to the game. Weekly promotions include Wiener Wednesday with two-for-one hot dogs and Thirsty Thursday, which offers $1 draft beers from 6 to 8 p.m. Family Sundays allow your crew to come early and toss the ball around on the field, and kids get to run the bases following every home game.
The Pelicans host a series of postgame fireworks programs throughout the season, which runs from April through Labor Day weekend. Ten minutes after the game ends on designated Fireworks Nights, the lights go down and the explosions go off, creating beautiful splashes of color in the night sky over Broadway. Many fans remain in their seats to see the pyrotechnics display while some with small, sleepy children may go to their cars and watch the fireworks from the parking lot so they can beat the traffic. Adjoining Broadway at the Beach also hosts weekly fireworks shows at 10 p.m., so you can stick around after the games on those nights to see a show.
The Pelicans offer a wide variety of seating options, from the general admission bleachers in the outfield to the box seats in the main grandstands and even air-conditioned boxes for large groups. A special on-field section known as The Beach gives fans a chance to watch the game at ground level while sitting in a comfy beach chair and digging their toes into the sand, and there is an alcohol-free family section. Fans can get autographs from players before and after the games, and during the games enjoy all the great ballpark food and drinks, like the traditional popcorn, peanuts and Cracker Jack as well as new, unique items like a crab roll and a New South Lager.
The Pelicans host home games on the following upcoming April and May dates: April 12-13, 21-24 and 29-30; and May 1, 10-12, 17-23 and 27-30. The team offers special discounts for kids, seniors and others with special status, and the facility is handicap friendly for fans with special needs. For more information about the Pelicans in 2016, call 843-918-6000 or visit www.MyrtleBeachPelicans.com — and make your visit to the ballpark even more fun with a post-game stay at the Caribbean Resort & Villas!