It was more than a year and a half between TinCaps baseball games, but Parkview Field opened back up to the team in May and is building crowds to capacity level while keeping everyone as safe and entertained as possible.
Fans are encouraged to come back as they feel ready, says Michael Limmer, TinCaps vice president for marketing and promotions.
“We’ll never wrap our heads around the past 15 months and we know some people are not comfortable in crowds yet,” he says. “It was a process getting used to all the safety measures, and it will be a process getting used to undoing them. But we’re here and we will provide the entertainment fans have known the TinCaps to be. We’re a customer service organization and our job is to provide fun for people.”
Sixty home games are planned for the 2021 season, at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 6:35 p.m. Saturdays and 1:05 Sundays, with the July 4th game beginning at 6:05 p.m.
All Saturday games in June plus July 4th feature post-game fireworks.
Tuesdays are the new weeknight for Family Feast Night, presented by U.S. Foods, with savings on select concession items and soft drinks. Wednesdays are Paws and Claws, when fans are welcome to bring their dogs and cats to the game, with special seating provided for pet owners. Thirsty Thursdays feature discounted domestic draft beers and other drink specials.
More promotions are planned and will be announced as the season progresses and ballpark capacity continues to expand, Limmer says.
The TinCaps also will be saluting local heroes throughout the season. This year, fans are encouraged to nominate first responders, healthcare workers, teachers, military personnel and others who have given their best during the trying times of the pandemic, Limmer says.
Selected nominees will be given the VIP treatment at Parkview Field, including family game tickets, a ballpark tour and recognition during the game.
If you have a friend or family member you believe is deserving of the honor, the TinCaps ask you to submit a short essay explaining why the community should know about your hero’s story. Send submissions to Morgan Olson, TinCaps assistant director of marketing and promotions, at email@example.com, or call (260) 407-2812.
May 4th saw the team’s first game against the West Michigan Whitecaps (a Detroit Tigers affiliate) and it was not only the TinCaps first game since Labor Day 2019, but also the franchise’s first game ever at the High-A level, as a San Diego Padres affiliate.
Parkview’s outfield concourse is open for walkers, runners, or guests visiting the ballpark, and contains the Robert E. Meyers Park, where splash pads are now in operation for kids to enjoy. The field’s administrative offices and the Orchard Team Store have returned to regular hours.
With versatile spaces both indoors and out, the field is once again hosting special events at full capacity, such as weddings, receptions, fundraiser dinners, charity walks and more. Learn more about the details at ParkviewField.com.
With updated guidance from both the Centers for Disease Control and Major League Baseball, the TinCaps have modified Parkview Field’s health and safety protocols and have begun increasing the ballpark’s seating capacity. Masks are no longer required in any open-air space within the field. The overall ballpark seating capacity increased to 40 percent and will increase to more than 70 percent by June 29.
At the height of the pandemic last spring, Parkview Field partnered with Community Harvest Food Bank to act as a distribution site, and then slowly got back into the business of hosting smaller events and getting into baseball mode by allowing local youth teams and individuals to rent indoor batting cages to prepare for the season.
The ballpark also is working with Parkview Health to get people vaccinated during games, Limmer says.
“It’s to our benefit to get people as healthy as they can be as soon as it can happen, so we can all get back to normal.”
For those not comfortable with in-person events, fans can follow the action on television, radio and online. All 60 home games will be broadcast live on Comcast network channel 81, and all 120 games can be heard on 1380 The Fan and 100.9 FM. Most every TinCaps game can also be streamed in HD on MiLB.TV. ❚