The Akron RubberDucks (Class AA; Eastern League) unveiled major changes to Canal Park today, including details regarding the previously announced new year-round restaurant and information about new picnic and premium areas in left field and right field.
The additions cost around $3.5 million, making an investment total of $5.6 million since Ken Babby took ownership of the franchise in October 2012. This includes the $1.65 million for the HD video board installed in 2013, the largest in Double-A baseball.
“Canal Park is our home and the foundation of what we are building in our community,” Babby said. “More than 17 years ago, Mayor Plusquellic began the movement to revitalize downtown Akron with the building of Canal Park. These improvements will serve to substantiate the ballpark as Akron’s epicenter of affordable, family fun on game nights, and year-round.”
“The Game Grill + Bar” is scheduled to open in Sat., March 22 and will occupy the South Main St.-level space below the area formerly used by Wing Warehouse and Menches Brothers. This 4,000 square foot restaurant will be open year-round and will serve a full-scale breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu. It features a complex system of folding-glass walls, which will open to allow fans a view of the action. “The Game’s” website is thegameakron.com and can be found on Facebook at facebook.com/thegameakron and on Twitter with the handle @thegameakron.
The upper level above “The Game” is now an exclusive special event, meeting, and private-party area called “The Duck Club.” A sliding wall of windows will allow for a barrier-free, open-air viewing experience sure to thrill fans. Flexible ticket options allow for a seating range of up to 150 people.
Left field’s picnic area and stands will now be known as “Fowl Territory.” This area contains 50 eight-top picnic tables, which can be rented out by corporations for outings or can be used by families. There is an all-you-can-eat seating option available for the general public in this section based on availability and whether it is a weekend, holiday, or special date such as Opening Night. Tickets in “Fowl Territory” start at $20 for non-fireworks games and are $22 for games with fireworks.
Contained in the first two rows of “Fowl Territory” down by the field are the premium “Duck Row” seats. This area has 56 brand-new seats with 360 degree swivel capabilities and drink rail. Fans in this section also are provided with a wait staff and an upgraded menu is available. Tickets for a single-game here are $17, but they also can be purchased as part of a picnic package.
The right field area is going to be known as the “Tiki Terrace.” It has 191 premium picnic seats, including 27 four-seat high tops and 83 premium seats. Tickets in the “Tiki Terrace” are sold in sections at a rate of $20 for non-fireworks games and $22 for fireworks games. In the “Tiki Terrace” area is the new bamboo and thatch embellished “Tiki Bar,” which will seat 23 people on a first-come, first-served basis for a unique game-viewing experience.
The RubberDucks will continue to offer its standard $5 and $9 tickets prices and will keep affordable concessions, such as hot dogs which are available every game at $2.
All of the companies working on the construction of Canal Park are Akron-area companies. Overseeing construction is senior project manager Pete Popovic from G. Stephens, Inc., who is also the company serving as construction manager. Tober Building Co., is the general-trades contractor for the restaurant and the contractor for the right field area. The architect is Caruso Architecture, Inc. The interior design work is being performed by Louis + Partners. Bandwen Williams Kindbom Consulting Engineers are the MEP engineers and the structural engineer is Ebersole Structural Engineers, Ltd. The left field contractor is Kenmore Construction. R.T. Hampton Plumbing & Heating, Inc. is handling the restaurant’s mechanical and plumbing, and J.W. Didado Electric is the electrical contractor for the restaurant. Populous (formerly HOK Sport) was used as a consultant during the design phase of the project. HOK Sport was Canal Park’s original designers.
“First and foremost, we recognize we are a local community business. As a result, I believe it is our duty to look to first to local partners and suppliers when it comes time to do business,” said Babby.
RELATED STORIES: New for 2014: Akron RubberDucks
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