Let me tell you, hands down one of the best parks we have been to so far. Nestled in the western corner of Wintson-Salem you will find BB&T Ballpark, home of the Dash. If you are brave enough to endure the traffic, then you are in for a treat. Parking was pretty easy. The kids gave it an 8 on the Family Friendly Scale (FFS). They had plenty of staff and for $5 we parked within short walking distance to the field. I would recommend parking in the lot directly east of the field. It is easy in and out and provides a great view of the ballpark as you walk down to it. As we looked around on the "voyage" to the park, we did not notice an out of the park environment. It almost looked like the town turned it's back on the park. It's a great view of it's backside, but it needs to turn around and make an experience out of going to the park! We gave the Out of Park Experience a 5 FFS.
Take a few minutes so the kids can roll down the huge hill as you walk to the main gates. It is better if you arrive about 45 minutes early to enjoy the entire experience. If you did not bring your climbing equipment, then make your way down the sidewalk to the left field entrance. We decided to go for the $15 field box tickets sitting on the 3rd base side of the field. (Tickets are $1 off if you buy them in advance) The ticket prices scored a 6 on the Family Friendly Scale. I had all the boys with me so we needed some room to run if the 6 year old got a little antsy. According to my youngest, "Section 119 rocks!" It gives you a perfect view of the field and it is right next to what I call the "Hill of Madness!" Imagine 100 kids jammed onto a small green hill each with their own agenda...one of those being not watching the game. The good thing about this spot is it is directly behind the visiting team's bullpen. My 6 year old just hung out at the wall and tried to look as cute as possible. He was working those little puppy eyes in the hopes of a quick ball tossed to him...it worked. Below is a picture of BB&T Ballpark. If you click on the link it will take you directly to the site map on MiLB. The boys easily gave the seating an FFS of an 8.
The Dash logo is really cool and goes well with the purple, white, and gray uniforms. The kids gave them a score of 9 on the FFS.
If your kids are like mine the first question asked immediately after you sit down and start to relax is, "What's for dinner?" Don't worry about saving your seat, you probably won't have to fight someone over it when you get back. I am not saying that the ballpark was not crowded, but the Dash suffer the same epidemic that many minor league ballparks suffer from...lack of community support. Make your way to the concession stands directly behind the field box seats. There are a lot of choices, but the one that got the biggest WOW was the combo that came inside of a large Dash batting helmet. I must admit that I was pretty taken back by this one. I had not seen this before at a park. Inside the hat came a burger, fries, and a drink for $12 (I think that price is correct). Either way, that's a pretty good value. The food was decent in a cafeteria kind of rating system, but the hat fit my 6 year old perfect. On the dessert side I would consider myself an ice-cream traditionalist. I have never been a big fan of dippin dots, but to my kids put it in a logo helmet and it becomes caviar. The kids gave the food experience an 8 on the FFS.
Every park has a hype man. It is his or her job to get the crowd into the action, keep things interesting, and provide some good comic entertainment for those people that are not so into the game. This guy was good. He kept us entertained and was corny in a way that didn't make him sound like a goober. On the FFS we gave him an 8.
The bathroom facilities were good, but nothing that made us say it was a must see. It is a get in get out scenario. They scored a 7 on the FFS.
Now to the game! The Dash are a Class A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. As a long time Cubs fan, liking this ballpark and team made it pretty difficult for me. I was able to get over my South Side bias long enough to let the experience sink in. My oldest summed it up best when he said, "This is a great baseball team watching park." What he means is there is just enough to do out here and still be able to focus on America's favorite pastime. You are not distracted by all the smoke and mirrors that parks do in order to attract a fan base. The Dash were playing the Carolina Mudcats, another Class A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves that play close to where we live in Raleigh. It was a great game. In the end, the Mudcats were victorious with a score of 7 to 1.
|Family Friendly Score|
|Out of Park EXP||5|