Going to a ballpark to enjoy a baseball game has stood the test of time. People cheering for their favorite teams, snacking on nachos, and singing along to “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” … It’s all even better if you go with friends and family.
One thing we can take for granted is the ballpark itself. If you get inside early, take some time to wander around and see what features have been added for fans. You’ll be glad you did. Here are some of our favorite unique ballpark additions.
Tropicana Field’s stingray tank
The Tampa Bay Rays boasts that this is the “first of its kind at a professional sports venue,” and we can’t help but think “… Duh.” This unique feature is free to fans and allows them to pet the collection of cownose stingrays in the tank.
In partnership with the Florida Aquarium, the 10,000-gallon tank and rays are cared for by staff as people touch them. It’s definitely a unique feature and a crowd-pleaser for both children and adults.
Chase Field has a pool in the stands
While you wouldn’t think to pack a swimsuit when you go to a baseball game, you don’t want to forget it at Chase Field. The Arizona Diamondbacks have an actual pool in the stands, where you can hang out while you cheer on the team. There’s a hot tub, too, so fans can relax … in the middle of a cheering crowd? Sure, we’ll go with it.
Milwaukee County Stadium had a beer slide
Whenever the Brewers hit a home run at Miller Park, fans watch as their mascot, Bernie Brewer, slides down his slide in “Bernie’s Dugout” and waves a Brewers flag at the bottom. Back in the day, however, when the Brewers’ home field was Milwaukee County Stadium, things were a little different.
Bernie still went down a slide after home runs, but he landed in a big mug of beer below a giant keg. While we can appreciate the nod to the team name, it was probably time that someone told the state of Wisconsin, “Hey, not everything has to be about beer.”
AT&T Park’s McCovey Cove
Baseball announcers have the tough job of needing to talk throughout an entire baseball game even though excitement only comes around every so often. Fortunately, the Giants announcers always have something to talk about: the body of water right next to AT&T Park, known as McCovey Cove.
Fans park their boats right next to the ballpark in the water and wait for their chance to catch a fly ball. What makes for a beautiful backdrop also makes for memorable games for fans watching from the water.
Ivy at Wrigley Field
Everyone’s seen it, whether in pictures or in person. The ivy lining the walls of Wrigley Field is almost as iconic as the sport itself. Since 1937, ivy has ascended the outfield walls. It provides such a lovely aesthetic for the baseball field that we sort of wonder why everyone hasn’t done it. The Cubs organization even has a rule that any ball that gets stuck in the ivy is a ground-rule double.