TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark (map it)
1251 21st Ave N
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
Year Opened: 1999
There are no tickets available at this time.
To understand the history of baseball on South Carolina’s Grand Strand, you’ll need to take a trip an hour west along US Highways 501 and 76 to the city of Florence. The Blue Jays fielded a club in Florence from 1981 to 1986, playing at now-nearly extinct (except for American Legion and local small-college baseball) American Legion Stadium. Cecil Fielder, Fred McGriff and Jimmy Key were among those who took the field in Florence. Before the 1987 season, the Blue Jays moved their operation along the aforementioned route to Conway’s Coastal Carolina University, just outside Myrtle Beach. The Blue Jays (later named the Hurricanes) called Coastal Carolina’s Watson Stadium – a facility which will soon be extinct itself – home until 1992, with players such as Pat Hentgen, Derek Bell and Carlos Delgado playing for that club.
Your travels to discover Myrtle Beach’s baseball history do not end there. Get back on the highway and head considerably further north to Danville, Virginia and American Legion Field. The Danville 97s played in this southside Virginia town for the 1998 season, and would eventually become the Braves’ entry in the Carolina League – back in Myrtle Beach – for the 1999 season. Myrtle Beach ended their six seasons without affiliated baseball by welcoming the Pelicans to their then-new home, this time in Myrtle Beach instead of Conway.
The home of the Pelicans is TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark, and it is one of the better overall ballpark experiences offered in the Carolina League.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
The sheer volume of food and drink available seems unimaginable for a ballpark at this level. There are grill locations on the first and third-base sides, carts in other locations and a large food court-type series of concessions along the main concourse behind the plate. The grill locations are almost enough to satisfy by themselves, featuring crab cake sandwiches ($7.50 for the sandwich or $10 for a "basket" including fries), half-pound hamburgers and cheeseburgers ($6/$8.50), Philly cheesesteaks ($6/$8.50), grilled chicken sandwiches ($6/$8.50), plain or Buffalo-style chicken tender baskets ($8), grilled bologna sandwiches ($4 for the sandwich, $6.50 for a basket) and jumbo hot dogs ($3.75/$6.25). French fries, sweet potato fries and fried pickle chips can be purchased for $4, with corn dogs at $3. Funnel cakes ($4.50) are also available at the third-base grill location, and are quite good, despite mine being somewhat overcooked.
The first-base grill contains a few different items, with clam strip baskets ($8), fried shrimp baskets ($8) and grilled bologna sandwiches ($4 for the sandwich, $6.50 for the basket). Both stands offer boiled peanuts ($4), popcorn ($3.75), peanuts ($3.50), candy ($2.50) and Cracker Jacks ($2). Pepsi is the bottler for the majority of the ballpark (local favorite Cheerwine is also available at some points of sale), with 24-ounce sodas selling for $3.25, souvenir cups for $3.50 and 32-ounce sodas for $4. Bottled water is $3.50 and Gatorade is $3.75. 24-ounce cans of beer are $7 (Budweiser products, Miller products, Yuengling and Shock Top are among the choices), with draft beer for $6.50 and wine and Bacardi rum for $5 at some stands.
The center-concourse area contains an area focused on sandwiches, featuring Boar's Head deli meat. Wraps are available for $8.50, and choices include the Club, the EverRoast Chicken, the Italian and the Beef and Swiss. Pulled pork or beef brisket sandwiches can be purchased from this same point of sale, along with turkey legs. Veggie trays - normally not imagined as the go-to item at a game - are also available at this window. Many of the items available at other stands are available in this food court, including Papa John's pizza slices ($4.50), supreme nachos ($4.50) and Auntie Anne's pretzels ($4). Coffee and hot chocolate are $2, in the extremely unlikely event it becomes cool enough to require them along the coast.
The club also features the Ring of Fire Grille near the first-base picnic area. The menu is a bit more limited, but is also akin to a sports bar type of experience. The food choices include a premium steak sandwich ($9.75), half-pound angus burger ($9), Italian sausages ($8), brats ($8), veggie burgers ($6) and chicken bog balls ($6), which are apparently the must-try item. I was so full from other concessions that I did not get to them on the night I attended.
If you find yourself ending up not being as full as I was, numerous dessert options also await you. These options include novelty ice cream ($3), cotton candy ($3) and root beer floats ($3.50). Dippin' Dots are also available at multiple locations, with a cup for $4.50 or a helmet for $5.75. In case you require a bit of a "kick" to your dessert, an Alcohol Slush is $5 at one of the stand-alone carts on the concourse.
For those fans who love to get involved in the between-innings entertainment, the Pelicans have you covered. They offer no less than ten promotions during the breaks, including nods to the local area (the Pelicans Crab Race, for instance). Some of the things that take place are relatively unique, including Mint Condition, which features two fans trying to roll a mint down their face and catch it in their mouth. There is also the always-fun sumo promotion, featuring two fans battling each other in gigantic sumo suits. The Pelicans feature a mascot named Splash, a "rally shark" and Deuce, a dog who occasionally brings baseballs to the home plate umpire - when he can avoid dropping them on the way to the plate. He also takes a victory lap around the bases after every Pelicans win.
There are a few disappointing elements to the atmosphere, however. The club has a production team that helps with some of the sound in the park, as fans are told to tweet their musical requests to the account for this production team. There were not a lot of intrusive sounds during the first few innings on the night I attended, but the sound effect wackiness seemed to become more prevalent as the game continued. If you are a fan of the "everybody clap your hands!" sound effect, this is your place, as I heard it at least ten times. The club also utilized the video board while this played, which seemed a bit much.
Finally, for a park with the beach only a mile away, a lot of what would signify this proximity to the beach is downplayed. The club used to play beach music, which is a favorite of many along the Grand Strand, but this is no longer the case. The song "Myrtle Beach Days" was once played as fans exited the park, but the club now employs a more generic soundtrack. With the exception of the palm trees and the beautiful weather, this is becoming more and more of a park that could be easily placed in another city, which is upsetting. I would love to see the club focus more on their locale in future years.
I just mentioned that the beach is a mile away from the park, and for a beach bum like myself, this alone is enough to bump up the score. If you find yourself wanting to go out after the game, though, you will not have to venture any further than just across 21st Avenue North to Broadway at the Beach. This shopping and entertainment complex contains a number of outdoor shops, amusement park rides, a 16-screen movie theater, an aquarium, a concert theater, over 30 restaurants of every cuisine and nine nightclubs. Whether you want to visit a piano bar, dance the night away, see the unique pyramid design of the Hard Rock Café or watch sports at the Tilted Kilt, there is really no need to stray away from Broadway at the Beach.
Should you want to go back toward the beach, River City Café is also on 21st Avenue North just before Ocean Boulevard, and they feature a tremendous selection of burgers, sandwiches, appetizers, salads and seafood in a laid-back atmosphere. If you want a drink and a bite without the noise and crowds of the clubs, this is a great place to go. Ultimate California Pizza and Pizza Shak - among others - will deliver to your hotel room if the game is so intense that you just cannot take any more excitement.
Long story short - if you cannot find something to do, see or eat within a reasonable drive in Myrtle Beach, you are just not looking hard enough.
Myrtle Beach obviously draws a lot of baseball-loving tourists during the summer months, and one might imagine this would boost the attendance numbers. The Pelicans have a rather large local following, though, and these locals know the game and love their home nine. Even if the park does not sell out, those who do attend Pelicans games sound like a lot bigger crowd.
The one troubling thing among the fans in Myrtle Beach - and I realize this is a problem everywhere - is that many of them cannot seem to sit still. A lot of the fans in the first few rows (on the night I attended, anyway) seemed to spend most of their time getting up to get yet another beer, get more food or go to the restroom. Some of this may be rectified by vendors coming through the stands, as a beer vendor did come through a few times.
It really gets no easier than attending a Pelicans game in terms of access. The team has a gigantic parking lot on the south side of the stadium that will accommodate even the largest crowd the team may draw, and all of the parking within is free. Should there be any concern with parking, there is ample parking across the street at Broadway at the Beach. The lots are a short walk to the stadium, and ingress and egress is relatively easy, with Grissom Parkway available to take motorists to virtually any destination along the beach.
The concourse is wide and easy to navigate, even with concession carts set up along the way. The concourse does not fully ring the park, but very few areas are left unreachable. The restrooms are also easily accessible off the concourse, and if you need to heed nature's call, fear not - you can hear (and see) the game in the restrooms, as the club pipes in its closed-circuit TV and radio feeds.
The Pelicans hit the mark in return on investment, as most of the pricing inside the gates is on par with most of the other facilities in the circuit. One of the nice features offered by the club is the ability to purchase tickets via your smartphone, then use the ticket on your smartphone to gain entry to the stadium. This saves time and effort in printing tickets at the park or at home.
As this is a resort town, the ticket pricing varies by month, with general admission tickets at $8, box seats at $9 and field-level box seats at $11 in April and May, and the box seat prices increase $2 per game for the remainder of the season. The concession prices are a bit high, but the portions are appropriate for the price. No matter your price point, you can easily enjoy a Pelicans game according to your comfort level.
It should be noted that on the night I attended, my seat was broken. This was certainly an exception and you should have no trouble switching to a seat that is not broken should this happen to you.
The aforementioned ability to do smartphone ticketing is a nice perk, and relatively uncommon at this classification. The Pelicans' partnership with ticket broker TicketReturn.com makes this possible, and with so many of us on the go and using our phones to handle everything, this makes things easier for busy fans.
The Pelicans display a video greeting from Hall of Fame pitcher and Rangers executive Nolan Ryan before each game. This is a neat way to tie in the club's affiliation with the Rangers. The club also honors its affiliations - past and present - with a large board on the concourse commemorating all former Pelicans who have gone on to the big leagues. There are many big names who have worn the Pelicans uniform, including Brian McCann and Jason Heyward, who were Pelicans during their affiliation with the Atlanta Braves.
The team offers a free program to all fans upon entry to the stadium, which is similar to that offered by several other clubs in the league. The program contains player bios, rosters, a scorecard and other helpful information. I always enjoy seeing these as a giveaway item, and the Pelicans have a table full of programs available for everyone who enters the gates.
There is a kids area down the left-field line, offering miniature golf, speed pitch and numerous other fun things for the little ones. Though a lot of these items cost money to enjoy, it is nice to see the club producing offerings for kids.
Finally, a lot of us see ushers as an annoyance in many parks, but this is not the case at a Pelicans game. The ushers - many of whom are "transplants" from other areas of the country - often interact with fans, talking to them about the game and various other goings-on about town. I have been taken aback during my several visits by just how nice the ushers are, thanking fans for attending the games and treating those who attend like family.
I mentioned in recapping my visit to BB&T Ballpark in Winston-Salem that a former Carolina League broadcaster referred to Myrtle Beach as "the crown jewel of the Carolina League", and the Pelicans do very little to dispel that distinction. The club combines a great product on the field with a beautiful facility in a hard-to-beat location. Visiting the amazing South Carolina coast should not require a violent twist of the arm, but if you are enjoying the sun, surf and sand with your family, make the short trip to a Pelicans game. The salty air and the ocean breeze are truly the best complement to baseball.
What do the Atlantic Ocean, seats from the old Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, and Sports Illustrated Magazine have in common? Myrtle Beach, S.C. is the answer.
First, let me explain the place of the ocean regarding a ballpark. Located approximately one mile from the crashing surf of the Atlantic Ocean is BB&T Coastal Field, home of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. From 1999-2010 the Pelicans were the Class A Affiliate of the Atlanta Braves. 2011 is their first year as the Class A Affiliate of the Texas Rangers. From the ocean you can drive straight up 21st Avenue to the corner of Bob Grissom Parkway and 21st Avenue and you will run right into this beautiful stadium that has been the site of professional baseball since 1999. (For the record, the Toronto Blues Jays fielded a minor league team in the late " 80s - early'90s called the Myrtle Beach Hurricanes. The Hurricanes played on the campus of Coastal Carolina University). BB&T Field was recognized by Baseball America in 2009 as the best ballpark in the Carolina League.
Second, the seats in the seating bowl are from the old Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, which was the home of the Atlanta Braves from 1965-1996. Fulton County carried the moniker, "The Launching Pad," because of the copious amount of home runs it surrendered during the years. BB&T will never be accused of being a "hitter's park" because of the soft (and steady) ocean breezes which blow in towards home plate.
Third, Myrtle Beach (Pines Lakes Country Club to be exact) claims to be the birth- place of Sports Illustrated Magazine. There is a plaque acknowledging the fact as you walk into BB&T Field at the gates by the Will Call window.
1114 Celebrity Circle
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
1571 21st Ave N
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
Celebrity Circle, Broadway at the Beach
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
1317 Celebrity Circle
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577