A minor league baseball team has come up with a creative use of its empty ballpark amid the novel coronavirus pandemic that continues to put the majority of sports in the United States on hold.
The Class AA Pensacola (Florida) Blue Wahoos, with an assist from Mallory Studer, the daughter of team owner Quint Studer, is making its ballpark available for rent via Airbnb at a cost of $1,500 per night for up to 10 people.
“We were talking about how to use the stadium differently,” Mallory Studer told the Pensacola News Journal, which reported that she came up with the idea with her parents at a family gathering. “And knowing how the company is always looking for unique experiences to share, I thought of this one.”
An overnight stay at the home of the Minnesota Twins affiliate includes use of the fully furnished clubhouse, batting cage and field. A full batting practice setup is provided, according to the listing, which as of Saturday evening had 14 dates booked in June.
A bedroom is connected to the clubhouse, sleeps 10 and features two flat screen televisions as well as a kitchenette with a refrigerator, freezer, coffee maker and microwave.
A member of the Blue Wahoos’ staff will be on the property throughout the stay to answer questions and provide security for what the organization is calling “the most intimate, behind-the-scenes ballpark experience in history.”
The listing, according to the Blue Wahoos, is believed to be the first for a baseball stadium on Airbnb, the San Francisco-based online marketplace for lodging and other places to stay from local hosts promoting the tourism and hospitality industry.
In addition to being permitted to play Wiffle ball games on the field, guests, at an additional cost, may request other perks, including a meal prepared by the team’s executive chef, a movie on the scoreboard video screen and an in-stadium bartender.
Last season, eight members of the Blue Wahoos advanced to the majors, most notably infielder Luis Arraez, who led the Twins in batting average (.334) and finished sixth in American League rookie of the year voting in helping Minnesota capture the AL Central.
“Growing up in Chicago as a kid, there is always magic about being in a stadium,” Quint Studer said (via the Pensacola News Journal). “I never got to touch the grass, but I would have loved to. I think what we want to do is just create these experiences that people will remember for a long time.”
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