With big changes to McCormick Field and a gig hosting the South Atlantic League All-Star Game, the Asheville Tourists are planning for a big 100th-year anniversary season in 2015.
There was professional baseball in Asheville since 1897’s Asheville Moonshiners, followed by the Asheville Mountaineers, but 1915 saw the first Asheville Tourists squad, playing in the North Carolina State League. The name stuck, and since then the Tourists name has been used for teams playing at a variety of levels in Minor League Baseball.
The team is planning a series of events to celebrate the anniversary. “We are proud to celebrate the history and tradition of the Tourists name,” said Tourists President Brian DeWine. “None of which would have been possible without the decades of support by the Asheville community.”
Those events includes the South Atlantic League All-Star Game on June 23. And they’ll be played at a ballpark due for some serious expansion for the upcoming season. Most dramatic: seating at McCormick Field will be upgraded. Aluminum bleacher-style benches, which were first implemented at McCormick Field in 1992, are being replaced in favor of individual reserved theater-style seats.
“One of this year’s main off-season projects is enhancing the fan’s viewing experience,” DeWine said. “Remodeling the seating bowl adds a level of comfort and space without losing any of McCormick Field’s historic attributes.”
A new premium area, Bojangles’ Dugout Suites, places fans adjacent to both the first and third base dugouts in comfortable, oversized chairs with unlimited complimentary Bojangles’ Chicken Sandwiches and other ballpark food. Another premium, Press Row, is located in front of the Press Box with a view right behind home plate. The actual seats are oversized stadium seats with armrests and cup holders. Fully protected from rain by the overhang, fans can also take advantage of a personal Seat Server to purchase designated food and drink items from for every game.