This unique play on words is how the Myrtle Beach Pelicans are describing their 2014 campaign.
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“It was really a collaborative effort [to come up with the slogan],” said Kristin Call, senior director of marketing for the Pelicans. “People are kind of taking it different ways I guess, but it’s really just a made-up word that we created that meant to characterize what a great time and what a fantastic entertainment venue the Pelicans Ballpark is.”
Regardless of whether you’d call the team’s new slogan clever or crass — there’s been quite a bit of preseason debate among fans — there’s few who would argue that a night at TicketReturn.com Field is anything less than one of the best family-friendly things to do in Myrtle Beach.
With an Advanced-A minor league team full of top prospects for the Texas Rangers organization and an array of activities, events and promotions planned, the team’s draw looks to be as strong as ever heading into its 16th season in Myrtle Beach.
“It’s really electric, the atmosphere this time of year and at the ballpark in general. Everyone’s really excited for the season,” said Call.
Call, who is in her first year with the Pelicans after eight years with the West Virginia Power in Charleston, W.Va., says she’s excited to work in a tourist destination like Myrtle Beach.
“A large portion of people who come are on vacation, so they’re already really happy. And when you add in the promotional efforts, the customer service and everything we provide here it really just puts them over the top,” she said.
In the past, TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark has been named as one of the top stadium experiences in the country — ranked 19th on Stadium Journey Magazine’s top 101 stadiums in 2013 — and there’s no sign of that changing any time soon.
Visitors can get tickets for as low as $8 each (up to $13 for box seats) and with group rates and discount deals throughout the season, a night at the ballpark remains one of the most fun, affordable things to do in Myrtle Beach.
A little something for everyone
As far as what’s on tap for 2014, the Pelicans have a little bit of everything planned this season.
There’s returning favorites like fireworks, Thirsty Thursdays ($1 draft night) and Bark at the Park (dog night); new projects to raise cancer awareness and honor World War II veterans; and even some off-the-wall antics like Disco Demolition Night and Game Show Night.
“We try to make everything we do fun, but personally I really like the Redneck Night and Mountain Man appearance,” said Call, a West Virginia native. “We’re going to do all sorts of fun stuff for those. We’re even going to have a ‘best beard contest.’”
In addition to some of the more progressive ideas the staff has dreamed up — including a social media photo booth at every game — there’s also plenty of traditional family fun to be had while enjoying America’s pastime with the Pelicans.
“It’s all about coming out and having a great experience. I really don’t think there’s a better value in Myrtle Beach for families,” said Call.
Before every game, fans are invited to meet Pelicans players for an autograph session and after each game children ages 12 and younger are allowed to run the bases at TicketReturn.com Field.
“The access you can get to players here is much more than you’d get at a major league park and even more than most minor league clubs,” she said. “We make sure people get access to the field and the players for every single game and that’s a really great thing for fans.”
Fun for every day
Daily promotions running throughout the season include Backpack Buddy Mondays presented by HTC, where fans can receive half-priced admission by donating an item on the approved donation list.
Underscoring the fact that saving money is always a big draw at the ballpark, food and drink deals remain a staple of the Pelicans’ promotional schedule.
Every Tuesday will be $2sday Brewsday with $2 craft beers served until 8 p.m.; Wednesdays will be Wiener Wednesdays featuring $1 hot dogs; and the always-popular Thirsty Thursdays presented by Celebrations Nitelife returns, featuring $1 Bud and Bud Light draft beers until 8 p.m.
“We really strive to be a family-friendly destination and love to provide value wherever we can and these have really become expected, tried-and-true nights,” said Call. “We love them, the fans love them. It’s really a no-brainer to keep them going every year.”
Rounding out the week’s food offerings are Fiesta Fridays, featuring cuisine from Abuelo’s Mexican Embassy restaurant in Myrtle Beach.
Creative concessions choices
Those looking to get creative with their ballpark eats can do just that at the stadium’s The Ring of Fire Grill or the 3rd Base Grille by trying one of the new menu items being offered by Pelicans concessions staff this year.
Myrtle Beach visitors looking for a healthier option can now have a turkey hot dog for the first time — an alternative to the 73,000 Hebrew National beef franks served up last season — or snack on some nutritious hummus with a choice of pita chips or vegetables.
“We always like to keep things new, whether it’s new food options or adding a new inflatable to the amusement area,” said Call.
Fans looking for a taste of the south can also enjoy genuine Dickey’s Barbeque Pit chopped brisket or try the new chicken and waffle bites.
“I absolutely love the chicken and waffle bites,” said Call. “It’s chicken that’s actually battered in waffle batter and then you dip it in some maple syrup. … It’s amazing.”
To help wash down their ballpark favorites this season, fans can go to the Beer Garden and Hops Heaven to purchase wine from the Silver Coast Winery located in Southport, N.C.
And for truly hungry fans, the Pelicans are now offering All-You-Can-Eat Seats for the first time. These $25 tickets allow access to a special elevated seating area, just behind the right-field wall near the Pelicans bullpen, and an endless buffet of hamburgers, hot dogs, french fries, nachos, popcorn and soda.
The tickets, limited to 20 seats per game, are perfect for group events and can be booked in advance by calling 843-918-6000 or at the box office on game day.
Embracing a cause
For the first time this year, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans have partnered with Embrace Hospice for Embrace Veterans Saturdays, a project that plans to honor local World War II veterans throughout the season with the creation of videos highlighting the stories of local veterans who served in WWII.
“If you or someone you know served in World War II we encourage you to submit your story,” said Katelyn Guild, the Pelicans Corporate Sales Manager who is heading up the project. “Our goal is create a comprehensive collection of local World War II veteran stories. As such, we encourage every Grand Strand veteran to submit. Family and friends can also submit on behalf of their loved ones.”
The project will culminate at Pelicans Ballpark on June 6 — the 70th Anniversary of D-Day — with the team recognizing all veterans during Military Appreciation Night by showing the videos before the game and giving out baseball cards featuring local veterans.
Honoring veterans is just one of the things the Pelicans are focusing on this season, another being the team’s season-long fight against cancer awareness.
These “Strike Out Cancer” nights will be one night per month and will be devoted to raising awareness and funds for a specific type of the disease, including esophageal cancer, breast cancer, men’s health night (prostate cancer), skin cancer and colon cancer.
“Andy Milovich, our general manager, is really big on this and it’s nice to be able to get involved with a cause that’s really near and dear to many of the people here on our staff and hopefully do some good with that,” said Call.
But even these nights that may have a more serious tone will still be packed full of fun.
“No matter when you come out, it’s always going to be a good time,” Call said. “We really do everything we can to enhance the experience for our guests, whether they’re locals or Myrtle Beach visitors, we just want you to enjoy your time here.”
To see the full Myrtle Beach promotional schedule, click here or see more photos from the ballpark here. For more details on purchasing single-game tickets, call the Box Office at (843) 918-6002 or visit myrtlebeachpelicans.com