Durham Bulls - Hotdogs and Beer in Durham, North Carolina
Over the years I have learned a few things from the City of Durham, North Carolina. Kevin Costner loves making movies about baseball, don't hire Durham strippers for a private party at Duke University and it is true that minor league baseball is thriving in this bad economy. Many people are feeling the pinch these days but families still want a way they can have a good time with the family and not take out a 2nd mortgage in the process.
A great time on the cheap is exactly what people are getting at minor league parks around the country. For nine dollars we had great seats 5 rows back from 3rd base and there didn't seem to be a bad seat in the 10,000 seat park. There was wide array of things to eat at the concessions stand and at reasonable prices. I have never been able to stomach the boredom of watching a baseball game on T.V. but I have always loved a day at the ballpark. The smells, sounds and taste to me are literally intoxicating, the smell of peanuts, funnel cakes and pretzels. The sound of the beer man shouting his song of beer "GETCHA BEER HERE....ICE COLD BEER HERE" or the sound a wooden bat makes when making contact with a 90mph fast ball. The taste of a good hot dog and that ice cold beer I spoke of.
To sweeten the pot the said hot dogs were foot long and I was pleasantly surprised to see they had Yuengling on tap. The dog was pretty standard but it just seems to taste better while watching a baseball game. Having a beer at a baseball game is as American as dirty politics. Not wanting to be un-American I had a beer. And wanting to be a true patriot I made it a few more.
I am glad I finally had a chance to watch the famous Durham Bulls hit the field. It was an All-American experience and the classic old-style ballpark(with 35ft left field wall called the blue monster), snorting bull and fun atmosphere added to the experience. The hot dog was great and I only wish I had more of an appetite to try more food because everything they had to offer looked great. I am not sure why it has taken me so long to see the Bulls play but I plan to catch a game whenever I am in town during the baseball season. Till then I will just have to hit Blockbuster and rent "Bull Durham"
I recently worked one of the beer stands at the park. Part of the profits and all the tips went toward supporting our school athletics. Quite a few people complained that the beers were too pricey, to which I said "hey, it's the ballpark." But really it's not much more than you would pay in a bar. I had a great time and the people I saw there seemed to be having fun, even though the Bulls were not having a good night. I did learn that wow - alcohol brings in cash!
Yeah the only two negative things I can say is that the drinks don't come with lids and well beware of funnel cakes if it is windy or you are wearing black.. ;-)
Unfortunately, I can't remember the old ball park except that the seats in the grandstand were bleacher seats and that wasn't comfortable on my back...
Yes that and on thursdays regular dogs, popcorn and drinks are a dollar. Also unlike MLB the feeling isn't so much about the money and maybe that is due to the smaller atmosphere. If the play is going slow, you can sit and talk with your friends or grab another something to eat. You can get a regional specialty at most small ballparks around the nation... here it happens to be Goodberry's and some form of BBQ. For whatever reason, the dogs at a sporting event usually taste better than almost any place else (and certainly better than at home). While I like the dogs the chicken combo that is now $8 isn't too shabby for a filling meal either. It's these types of experiences that still have a touch of innocence to them and remind people of better/easier times.