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Official Review by Justin Sutton, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
Having opened play in the 2012 season, the Pensacola Blue Wahoos and Pensacola Bayfront Stadium have already started making a name for themselves after picking up awards in 2012 for Executive of the Year, Stadium of the Year, and Organization of the Year.
A gem sitting on the waters of the Gulf Coast, Pensacola Bayfront Stadium provides a setting that is hard to replicate at any level of any sport in the United States.
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".
A trip to Pensacola Bayfront Stadium gives fans of any taste palate something to enjoy. If eating traditional baseball food such as hot dogs and pretzels makes someone happy, these options are available. Also available in the range of $6-$8 are a variety of burger and chicken baskets.
The menu does not stop there. Fans can also choose from some gluten-free foods, pizza, shrimp po-boys and shrimp and grits. Several barbecue stands line the stadium, as well.
Fans can also visit the Off the Hook Brew House and Oyster Bar behind home plate, the first raw oyster bar in Minor League Baseball.
This might be a ballpark, but this is not the typical ballpark fare.
Everything about the stadium screams that you should have a good time at a Blue Wahoos game. The seats come with great sightlines, and there is plenty of room to move about the rows.
The team does a great job keeping fans entertained between innings with contests and recognitions. The crowd and staff at the ballpark give off friendly vibes, and there can be little doubt that the ability for workers to be recognized at a game for their performance helps encourage this.
Being able to see Pensacola Bay from just about any seat adds an element to Pensacola Bayfront Stadium that most ballparks do not possess.
Pensacola Beach has always been a bit underrated when compared to the nearby shores of Destin or Panama City. The beaches near Pensacola are some of the best on the Gulf Coast, and they are well worth a visit on any trip to see the Blue Wahoos.
If going to the beach is not on the agenda, there are plenty of places downtown to grab food and drink before or after a Blue Wahoos game. With the ballpark being downtown, fans have the opportunity to make going to a game a complete event.
The Pensacola Blue Wahoos have a dedicated fan base, which means sellouts are quite common. The fans who attend the game seem to be a knowledgeable bunch, and most interactions with any fan prove to be pleasant.
Not only do the tickets routinely sell out for games, fans actually use the tickets, which means the stadium rarely looks less than half-full.
The day of this review followed a game that ended in the morning hours of the night before, and still, many fans made it back to the ballpark for another game against the same visiting team.
Making the trip to Pensacola Bayfront Stadium is easy to do off of US 90, US 98, or Interstate 10.
Plenty of parking is available at the ballpark, as well as in the surrounding lots in the city. Even better is the fact that is parking is quite affordable.
The route to the ballpark is well-marked coming down I-110, so anyone coming to a game should not run into much difficulty looking for Pensacola Bayfront Stadium.
While getting to the stadium is easy, getting in is a bit more difficult. Fans who do not purchase tickets well in advance will find it tough to get reserved seats. Additionally, the Blue Wahoos (like other teams) do not allow a single seat to be left in a section as a result of a transaction. If you are taking your family of four, and there are five seats in a section, the only options are to bring a friend, buy an extra seat, or find another section.
The Pensacola Blue Wahoos provide a great experience and a price that any fan will enjoy.
Fans can purchase general admission seats for five dollars, or they can find chair back seats for as little as eight dollars. If sitting in a suite is what is needed for a game, those tickets can be had for $50.
The overall food prices come close to what one would pay at a restaurant, and the price of parking does not leave one feeling abused.
Overall, a family does not have to break the bank for a night out at a Blue Wahoos game.
Pensacola Bayfront Stadium gets one star for its amazing view of Pensacola Bay during the game and for the breezes it provides.
A second star goes to the design of the ballpark that provides shade for nearly every seat at the game and for concourse areas. Anyone who has attended an Atlanta Braves game knows the need for shade in a ballpark.
A third star gets awarded for the cleanliness of the ballpark.
A fourth star goes to the development of the team's history in Pensacola. While the team has only been in town for a short while, the club has already started marking the history of the team around the ballpark.
A final star goes to the design of the seats in the stadium. The stadium does not have seats located far from the field of play, and as a result, the stadium, with a capacity of over 5,000, feels like a much more intimate venue.
Member Review by Nathan on Jul 13, 2012
What is summer? It’s going to the beach and getting a nice tan, if you’re lucky enough to avoid a sunburn. It’s eating at interesting places you’ve never eaten before. It’s watching America’s favorite pastime, baseball. All of this can be found in beautiful Pensacola, Florida.
After a complex sequence of negotiations, Pensacola received a minor league baseball team in time for the 2012 season. The Pensacola Blue Wahoos are a young team, but they are slowly building into a contender.
The real story in Pensacola, though, isn’t the team, but rather where they play. Their home is a shiny new park that cost $18 million to build. The whole project (the stadium and the surrounding park) cost a whopping $54 million. If you ask anyone who’s visited Community Maritime Park, they’d tell you it’s money well spent.
Member Review by dwoody44 on Aug 22, 2012
Best outfield view in all of Minor League Baseball. Well run park and the staff is great....lots of energy. Only wish there was a way to walk all the way around the outfield.
Member Review by TheJourneyman on Apr 22, 2013
This is simply one of the most beautiful parks I've ever been to. It sits right on the water which gives it great views and a nice cool breeze that blows in.
It's a small place so there isn't a bad seat in the house. It's affordable and if you are really wanting to go cheap get a seat out on the grass hill in right field.
The night I was there the fans were great and the staff was even better. They made it an even more enjoyable time. I'll definitely be back when I'm in the area.
Member Review by BamaBob on Jul 31, 2013
I grew up in Pensacola and still have family there so maybe I'm jaded but this seems the perfect setting for a AA franchise - from the size of the town to the demographics and of course the setting on the water. I have to imagine it's a pretty nice gig for a ballplayer.
The setting is a mini version of AT&T Park in San Francisco. You often times find yourself drifting away from the game and just staring out at the water. Local owner has poured his heart & soul into the franchise and the community has rewarded it with fantastic attendance.
If you're in town and have a chance to attend a game, do it, you wont' be disappointed.
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