RICHMOND, Va. – It will be about 60 degrees Thursday night when Hall of Famer Jerome Bettis throws the ceremonial first pitch of the Flying Squirrels opening game. But the Squirrels seventh season is bound to heat up with all the new events planned for this year.
One thing about the Squirrels, they know how to appreciate fans.
“We never stop, we are always looking at ways we can make our fans have a better time at the Diamond,” said team vice president/COO, Todd “Parney” Parnell
So the masterminds picked up on how much Richmond loves its brunches.
That’s why this season, Sunday is Brunch and Baseball, with a 12:05 p.m. game start.
Gates open at 11 a.m. and there will be an unlimited buffet, in the Little Caesar’s Party Pavilion.
“You can have brunch in a batting helmet,” Parnell said.
The players will rep their yello, "waffle" jerseys for Sunday games; Flying Squirrels looks like it's spelled in syrup.
“Brunch is so huge in Richmond that we wanted to bring brunch to the ballpark,” Parnell said.
People also love dogs in Richmond, so every Monday people can bring their dogs to a home game.
This year there is a new party deck in right corner of the stadium, near the dugout and first base, and it connects to the party pavilion.
People can stand and watch the game, and have access to adult beverages.
The bullpen bar provides a look into to the Flying Squirrels dugout.
“It is a unique experience,” Parnell said.
There are new electronic boards in the concession, along with new merchandise for sale.
There is a brand new speed pitch machine in the Kid’s Zone, and a PLUNKO game for kids.
“This entire staff has worked tirelessly for this day – and all the days,” Parnell said, “but every single person has their own little touch and niche and that is what is so neat about this staff, everyone cares beyond their own compartmentalized job.”
A lot of the Giants team members will be in town to watch the games over opening weekend, Parnell said.
He pointed out that this year’s roster is a seasoned team of veterans, and some great prospects.
“Really excited about them,” Parnell said. “Shortstop Christian Royal is number one prospect in the whole organization.”
“They’re all so easy to work with,” Parnell said.
The Squirrels have a nice home stretch with a game each day through Wednesday, April 20. They battle the Altoona Curve and then the Reading Fightin Phils.
Tickets and info are available here.