At the end of the 2017 inaugural spring training at the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches the Talk Nats – First Spring in Review took a look at ideas to help boost attendance. Now the ballpark is about to open for their second spring and with the announcement of their promotional schedule we can take a look to see if any of our suggestions have made the list. (See here for the Talk Nats ballpark area guide; here and here for comprehensive Talk Nats reviews of the ballpark from last spring.)
The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches Promotional Schedule
Starting with our suggestion to lower prices, the cheapest tickets are now $10 instead of $15, a significant reduction, bringing the BPPM in line with the lower prices right up the road at Roger Dean Stadium. Particularly with the new discounts for seniors, military appreciation, teachers, and little league players. The question asked last year was why would local fans pay nearly twice as much to see the Nats and Astros if they had no rooting interest. The answer was that they wouldn’t. With competitive pricing there will likely be more locals making regular visits.
Having a replica World Series trophy set up outside the park was not one of our suggestions, but still a good one. Just a word of caution, remove all Nats gear before taking any selfies with the trophy, the DC sports curse does not need any additional jinxes tacked on.
Signature Sundays is a welcome addition, although with all of those players available why not every game. Any kid making it out to a ball game should be able to be certain to go home with a signature, even if it is from a guy falling short of the top 100 ranked prospect list.
Another recommendation was to have some giveaways, and the Nats are offering up two nice ones. The free hats (March 16) seem like a no brainer, although I’m not sure why they are only giving away 750. Why not put a curly W cap on every local kid and old timer who will wear them around town? The big signature item is the “Daniel Murphy/Tanner Roark Bobblehead” being given away on March 8th. Based on the picture with Murph on the front should we assume that Tanner is on the back side?
Another good idea that we can’t take credit for is the all you can eat Picnic Patio for $30 that includes entry to the ballpark, serving standard ballpark fare from 30 minutes before first pitch until an hour into the game. It’s sponsored by Shock Top, however it does not appear that beer is included in the price. Considering that tickets one section over are $24 this is a very nice bargain.
There are a number of upgrades we are still waiting for. A kids zone is missing, the Astros old park in Kissimmee had a real nice one, it would be a welcome addition in Palm Beach. Dollar dog night (although they are doing food and other discounts for the last home game). And finally, they need a baseball themed hotel. The Astros are planning to build a hotel for players and fans, but it’s five miles from the ballpark. We’ll see if the Nats can come up with something close by.
Additional Reading to Plan Your Trip
For some additional reading before you head down, here are some various articles on the ballpark and the local Palm Beach area:
- Mark Zuckerman has been doing spring training guides for years, here is his write up on the new Ballpark of the Palm Beaches complex.
- Last spring Ballparks.com wrote up one of the best reviews of the new ballpark, still worth checking out.
- Here are some local guides on what to do in the Palm Beach area from Discover the Palm Beaches and the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County.
- The WNFF message board has an on-going discussion of the ballpark that is a good source of information if you have questions.
Power Boater’s Tips
- If you are going to three games, go to three different ballparks.
- Attending games where the Nats are the visitors often means you can get dream seats right behind their dugout for decent prices.
- If you aren’t buying premium seats there is rarely a need to buy tickets far ahead of time. Most games don’t sell out and prices drop on the resale market
- It can be easier to get autographs at other ballparks where the team has to walk by the stands to get to the dugouts.
- The BPPB sells 16 oz beers outside the front gate and there is no tailgating allowed, but you can leave a cooler in your car and bring a koozie to have a cheaper option while wandering the practice fields.