2018 Harbor Park upgrades are on the way, as fans of the Norfolk Tides (Class AAA; International League) will enjoy a new four-tiered picnic area past the left-field fences and an upgraded ticket office.
This is the time of year when we see announcements of 2018 ballpark enhancements, and this is a good one. The new Harbor Park picnic area replaces an older berm area sporting some picnic tables and is a significant enhancement to the ballpark, geared toward groups but may be opened to the public when unused by groups. From the Virginian-Pilot:
Included in the picnic area will be an uncovered row of counter seating against the back of the left field wall, much like the seating atop Fenway Park’s Green Monster. The area, which will accommodate groups as large as 500, will have four flat, concrete levels, giving fans surer footing on wet nights.
The upgrades, said Tides director of group sales John Muszkewycz, haven’t had a direct impact on sales yet. But he believes that once word gets out, things will pick up.
A frequent scenario for picnicking in had group leaders calling Harbor Park on a rainy afternoon to ask if their event was still on. Starting this season, they can book with confidence.
“We’ve been able to kind of start new (sales) conversations that we’ve never had before, just because of this new addition” Muszkewycz said, adding that the team is considering opening the area to individual fans when it’s not booked by a group. “The bookings are starting to come in.”
The new structure is expected to be completed by March 26, when parent Baltimore Orioles hit Harbor Park for an exhibition game.
The other big change: an expansion to the main ticket office. There are now six windows for ticket sales, as well as a dedicated Will Call ticket window.