Thursday, April 3, 2014

App of Awesomeness

We premier a new smart phone app today: MiLB Inside the Ballpark. This is the Swiss Army Knife of apps! 

It's your digital ballpark companion for stats, replays, venue maps, menus and social media - all in one place.

This news release provides a full explanation along with the download links. Don't leave home without it!


“MiLB Inside the Park” App and Frontier Communications-Powered Wi-Fi
to Enhance In-Stadium Experience at Newly Renovated Durham Bulls Athletic Park

DURHAM, NC – The International League Champion Durham Bulls today announce a brand new mobile app and improved Wi-Fi capability for the 2014 season. The “MiLB Inside the Park” application specifically focuses on enhancing fans’ experience within Durham Bulls Athletic Park, providing visitors with an ability to interact with game entertainment elements, team social media accounts, and stadium maps on game day. To better serve “Inside the Park” users and mobile activity throughout the DBAP, the Bulls have partnered with Frontier Communications on a comprehensive upgrade to the stadium’s Wi-Fi system.

Available in both the iOS App Store and on Google Play, the MiLB Inside the Park app provides fans with an inning-by-inning feed of all entertainment, game information, contests, and special offers. The app includes an interactive map of the newly renovated DBAP, which allows visitors to explore new concessions areas and view menus available at each location. Fans can earn points and climb a virtual leaderboard within the app by interacting with Bulls social media accounts and other fun activities, like voting for the winner of the Bull Durham race. Inside the Park also provides access to live replays of game highlights, the promotional events schedule, and ticket purchasing links. The new ballpark-focused app serves as a companion to the MiLB First Pitch app, which provides fans with in-depth team stats and the live Gameday pitch-by-pitch tracker. To download the app, simply search for “MiLB Inside the Park” and select Durham Bulls as your preferred team.

Frontier Communications, the official Wi-Fi provider at the DBAP, customized the stadium’s new wireless network to help support unique in-game features, particularly the ability to provide live, high quality replays on mobile devices. Frontier’s team of nearly 200 Durham-based employees will provide the equipment and backhaul capacity for the Wi-Fi network, as well as 24 hour support for end users.

“There’s nothing like a game at Durham Bulls Athletic Park,” said Bulls General Manager Mike Birling. “Our new app serves to enrich that experience, and with Wi-Fi connectivity that is unparalleled in Minor League Baseball, fans will be able to interact with us on game day like never before.”

The Durham Bulls open their Governors’ Cup title defense at the newly renovated Durham Bulls Athletic Park today, April 3, versus the Gwinnett Braves. Group tickets and picnic areas for the 2014 Triple-A All-Star Game and Home Run Derby can be purchased now by calling 919.956.BULL ext. 2.  Season Ticket and Mini Plan packages for the 2014 season, which include the ability to secure Triple-A All-Star Game and Home Run Derby tickets, can be purchased by calling 919.956.BULL or visiting Tickets for Opening Day, presented by 605 West, are on sale now.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Jackie's Landing

A new feature of the renovated DBAP - my favorite - is a 10,000 square foot concourse on the third level of the ball yard. It offers a spacious "overlook" of right field with Jackie Robinson Dr. as its southern boundary. Hence, we have named the new gathering place Jackie's Landing

You will find southern fare atop Jackie's Landing - a new barbecue joint and fish camp. And you can watch the game from an old fashioned section of bleachers. The 42 Bar is situated in the middle serving up craft beer and spirits.

To commemorate the Robinson tribute, we commissioned a painting by Raleigh artist Pete Sack. He creates colorful images in the style of vintage trading cards. Drawing baseball players as a kid sparked his interest in art. He went on to earn a BFA in painting at ECU, and his fascination with the National Pastime persists.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Durham: Smartest Place on the Planet

The Durham Chamber held it's annual meeting last Thursday, and it was a celebration of the community's intellectual capital. I was just glad to be in the Sheraton Imperial ballroom with the really smart people.

The Chamber has established a Bull City Hall of Fame with these three inaugural inductees: Mary-Dell Chilton, a plant biotechnology pioneer at Syngenta in RTP and recipient of the 2013 World Food Prize; Duke's Dr. Robert Lefkowitz, a 2012 recipient of the Nobel Prize in chemistry; and Blake Wilson, co-director of the Duke Hearing Center who received the 2013 Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award. He's a leader in cochlear implant research. International acclaim for world-class scientists!

As part of the Research Triangle - what I like to say is the “smartest place on the planet" - we compete regularly and successfully with the likes of Nashville, Boston, New York and the San Francisco Bay Area...for companies, jobs and talent. 
And that means we don’t have to defend Durham, or protect it from the slights of others. Rather, we need to promote it, to take pride in what we have, and be passionate about Durham as the great place to live, work, learn, and play. I know you join me in that.

Michael Schoenfeld
Outgoing Chair of the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce
Vice President for Public Affairs & Government Relations
Duke University

Friday, March 28, 2014

Men (& Women) at Work | Double Shifts & OT

I'm a desk jockey, a lifelong office worker. Heavy lifting is confined to my coffee mug and telephone handset. So, I've gained immense respect for the hundreds of tradespeople and construction workers transforming the DBAP during the off-season. The weather has been hard on them. Over 50 days of inclement climate has disrupted their work…but we're in the homestretch now, galloping to the finish line, Opening Day, April 3rd.

Under the direction of our General Contractor, Lend Lease, and VP Mike Higgins, THANK YOU to the…

electricians, carpenters, welders, painters, pipefitters, roofers, ceiling installers, masons, plumbers, ironworkers, heavy equipment operators, sheet metal workers, drywall installers, steelworkers, road pavers, concrete finishers, glass glazers, flooring installers, painters, landscapers and cleaners.

That's a long list, but I'm sure I overlooked a trade. My apologies. We appreciate your dedication to the DBAP makeover.

Our official construction photographer, Chris Adamczyk, shares these photos of men and women at work on the ball yard - our modest tribute to their labor:

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

"May the 4th be with you!"

I can't believe the attention our May 4th promotion has received…ESPN, SI, trade press all over the country and local media. Joe Ovies at 99.9 The Fan is really into it.

Our players will wear this custom Star Wars jersey during the game, and those 40 tops will be auctioned off for the Autism Society of NC. I've got a feeling this will be our best-ever jersey auction! 

I'm posting to impress upon the R2D2 cult that the only way to own one of these coveted keepsakes is to win it at auction. (I can't pull any strings for you…as I've been telling people for the past 24 hours.) Lucasfilm, to its credit, is really strict about this. We are only licensed to use Star Wars art for the fundraiser. 

If you are into Star Wars you will want to be in the ballpark on May 4th. Ticket info.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Opening Day - At the Museum

Our team is all about baseball - the game, the players, their quest for the Majors - but I have a new perspective on our ballpark. It’s all about people and place. The fans, our staff, the downtown Durham surroundings. That’s what hit me at the opening of Bull City Summer yesterday, the photography exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of Art.

A phalanx of photographers followed the Bulls last year, and their multiple, diverse perspectives are on display. Truth be told, they were fascinated with people, not baseball, from portraits of Mayor Bill Bell…to the concessions vendors…to the folks who enjoy the anonymity of their outfield seats. 

One wall is devoted to hundreds of tiny photos as the camera crew attempted to photograph everyone who attended our last regular season game in 2013. They didn’t actually accomplish their mission, but it feels like it as you stare at the wall and pick out all the people you know.

Yet another work of art: My wife and I had brunch Sunday at the museum café, Iris. Try the Oak City Benedict: poached egg and ham atop a fried green tomato slice resting upon a sweet potato biscuit.(I don't know much about art, but I know about eatin'!)

Thursday, February 13, 2014

DBAP Preview

I am having an anxiety attack…stuck at home…another snow day thwarting our contractor…so I thought it would be therapeutic to post something about the DBAP do-over. Focus on the outcome!

This Thursday morning shot comes from a security camera on the American Tobacco Campus. I've noted a few of the changes to the third level...

And here's a rendering of the new PNC Triangle Club. We've recruited our first chef for the DBAP to supervise Bull City Hospitality - our catering service at the ballpark.

New Eats! On our new right-field landing, you'll find a fish camp. We're working with the Saltbox Seafood Joint in downtown Durham to develop the menu.

In the left-field corner, we will feature a taqueria, Mexican beers and margaritas. Es muy bueno!

We purchased an old barn in Hurdle Mills last week for its weathered siding and tin roof…to use in the construction of these new stands. 

On the remodeled concourse, we're adding a stand for wings…along with brats and craft beer.

I used the word new five times, plus first, do-over, changes and remodeled. I can't help it. That's the plan - new & improved. Authentic a classic ballpark…for our National Pastime. Opening Day is April 3rd. Get your tickets!