MYRTLE BEACH — Looking for a great sports experience on a budget?
Well, you don’t have to look very far.
The Myrtle Beach Pelicans’ TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark recently was ranked 19th on Stadium Journey Magazine’s 2nd annual list of the 101 best stadium experiences in sports. The list puts the Myrtle Beach ballpark among, and ahead of, some of the most famous venues in all of sports.
“It’s a tremendous honor,” Pelicans chairman and managing partner Chuck Greenberg said. “The publication considered all venues of different varieties of sports and to be ranked in the top 20 is an incredible honor and we’re happy to share that with the entire Grand Strand community.”
The publication utilizes its fanfare scale for ranking the stadiums. The scale takes into account the food and beverage at the stadium, overall atmosphere, the neighborhood in which it resides, the fans, access outside and inside the stadium, return on investment, and allows for room for “bonus points” for unique features.
Based on a score out of 5, the Pelicans earned a 4.6 for fanfare score and a crowd score of 4.4. TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark earned the highest marks in the food and beverage category, neighborhood, access and the extras categories.
“It’s great,” Greenberg said. “We’re so proud of the staff and the great job they do. Not just the full-time staff, but the game day staff. They are such dedicated people that help conduct a quality time at the ballpark and that conveys to the overall experience and being so highly considered.
“One of the other nice things about this ranking is, back in ’06 when we bough the team, we made a large investment in upgrading our food and beverage and to have it rank so highly is a great honor.”
TicketRetun.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark was ranked just above former Myrtle Beach High School football standout Everett Golson’s home field, Notre Dame Stadium, which was ranked No. 20 on Stadium Journey’s list.
The list’s top twenty includes notable venues such as Fenway Park (Boston Red Sox), Daytona International Speedway (Daytona 500) and the Staples Center (Los Angeles Lakers/Los Angeles Clippers/Los Angeles Kings). Meanwhile, Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis (home of the Colts) topped the list for the second year.
Ticket Return.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark outranked major sporting venues such as the Georgia Dome (Atlanta Falcons/Chick-fil-A Bowl), Busch Stadium (St. Louis Cardinals), Wrigley Field (Chicago Cubs), Cowboys Stadium (Dallas Cowboys) and Memorial Stadium (Clemson Tigers). The list ranks the Pelicans as the third-best stadium experience in Minor League Baseball, and the best in the state of South Carolina.
“It’s a great value,” Greenberg said. “It’s a fun, fresh entertainment experience every night. It’s a wholesome family environment, and an opportunity to see some great young players on their way up. It’s a great way to make some great memories with so many affordable amenities. This is a great thing to be a part of.”
Recently hired Pelicans Vice President and General Manager Andy Milovich is also excited to expand what TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark and the Myrtle Beach staff has to offer.
“I plan to continue our excellent customer service and helping improve an already incredible product,” Milovich said. “I think when you look at Myrtle Beach as a community, it’s a destination for people from a living, retirement and vacation standpoint they come to enjoy life. When you put some hard-working, energetic people working on that, it’s a combination that’s going to excel every time.
“Everything done in that ballpark was done for helping the fan experience. For everyone working, it’s about building a great family atmosphere and I’m excited to be a part of it.”
Milovich said that the overall experience was one of the things that drew him to Myrtle Beach.
“I had a chance to visit the ballpark a couple of years ago,” said Milovich, who was hired in December. “So I was aware of the what a great facility Myrtle Beach had. The leadership shown from Chuck Greenberg and Greenberg Sports Group and all the things they did here made a big impact on my decision to come here.”
The Pelicans kick off their 15th Anniversary Season on April 4 against the Wilmington Blue Rocks, and Greenberg said plans are already being developed to make it a memorable campaign.
“We’re very proud of where we are and for working closely with the entire community,” Greenberg said. “We’re always hungry to do more and offer more experiences for the community. We’re deep in the planning for the 2013 and season and we’re looking at the best yet.”
Contact MAX McKINNON at 444-1767.