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Official Review by Paul Derrick, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
The Grand Prairie AirHogs began playing baseball in 2008, bringing Dallas County something Tarrant County had had for years- great baseball. The AirHogs bring the World War II era aviator heritage that Grand Prairie has to the forefront from their hangar-like stadium to the monuments of past aviators. QuikTrip park will provide a little bit of everything for everybody.
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Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
Nothing out of the ordinary here, just your basic hot dogs, hamburgers, peanuts and popcorn. There are some other different placements such as BBQ sandwiches and plates but they were nothing to write home about. What does give this ballpark variety though is what is placed out in left field and that is Whiskey Charlie's, a bar that's open year round. It has a full bar and restaurant inside as well as TVs for viewing entertainment, but they don't show the game. You can view the game from out on the patio, even though the majority of the people seemed to prefer the AC in the bar. One thing I did find interesting was an ice rail on the bar which I had never seen before. It is made to keep your drink cool on those hot Texas days. The bar did offer a vast array of items on the menu at quite reasonable prices.
Being an independent league baseball team can sometimes bring an effect of the game being more of a show and not a game, but not in Grand Prairie. There are a variety of between inning games to keep the fans involved but the AirHogs definitely make sure you know they are there to play. From the constant cheers and PA Announcer telling the fans to get on their feet there was definitely plenty of cheers to go around. There is also plenty to keep the kids intrigued with here as they have a pool in center field that can be rented out by the game. Grand Prairie also has the Wide World of Parks that includes a wiffle ball field, basketball court and jungle gym for the kids. The mascot Ace Bacon keeps fans energetic and also has to be one of the most interesting mascots I have ran into. There is definitely a great mixture of perks for both the young and old.
Right across the way from the ballpark is Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie which holds daily horse races, for anyone who may get the itch to gamble. Nokia Theatre is also located right next door to the ballpark for anyone looking to catch a live concert in the area. Beyond that you won't find a whole lot in the Grand Prairie area to peak most interest. You may drive just down the road though to Arlington or Dallas and catch any of the professional teams in those areas. Grand Prairie is definitely a growing city but still leaves a bit to be desired.
The few fans that were at QuikTrip Park were amazing. There was one keyword in that last sentence though and that was "few". On what the General Manager called a slow day there was probably only about 1000 to 1500 fans at the ballpark in what usually he said is a "packed house" on the weekend, maybe I caught a bad night. Well I will give the ballpark the benefit of the doubt in that out of the thousand or so fans that were there they were quite rowdy, and at six to ten dollars a ticket I see why the house is usually packed.
QuikTrip Park definitely goes by its name here as it's a quick trip right off I-30. Easily accessible from the highway and not hard to find, which makes the trip even easier. An added plus to this is that the AirHogs have free parking which you rarely see at any ballpark or venue nowadays.
I think you definitely get more than what you pay for when you come to watch the AirHogs. In their short existence in Independent baseball they have added a team spirit and have increased the love of the game for the entire Grand Prairie community. From the free parking, easy access, cheap ticket prices, and full bar in the outfield an adult has everything they want. As for the kids they have the pool, and variety of the Wide World of Parks to keep their interest through the entire game, and make them want to come back time and time again.
Have to give an added bonus for the pool set in the outfield. For only $25 each, you can get access to the pool as well as all you can eat and drink (excluding alcoholic beverages).
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1000 Lone Star Parkway
Grand Prairie, TX 75050
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