By now you’ve probably read our posts about Pigs + Rain. You know they’re going to open the doors, in 99% of cases, regardless. You know they’re going to give away all the promotional items and they won’t have any left. You know about why: they need to get the suite holders and group-ticketed areas their buffet because it is near-impossible to reschedule. What are YOU going to do about it, though?
Here are a couple things to make your potential rain-date game more enjoyable:
- Don’t Go. OK, I’m kidding a little here. But if you’re a Coca-Cola Park veteran, and you go to a ton of games, perhaps it’s just not worth the trouble. Go do something else for the evening, or maybe just monitor the radar and the social media from home for signs of if the game will or will not likely be played.
- Read the Signs. As I mentioned, social media (Twitter and Facebook) is an excellent way to get up-to-the second info about the game status. The beat reporters have to be there, so follow them, and the IronPigs will send through official updates as well. The new PorkCenter will send updates and answer questions, too. Remember, they will say the game is on, right up until it’s not. So keep that in mind and watch for other stuff: (A) Tarps: When you hear that the tarps are coming off the field, you’ll have 25-35 minutes while they prep the field and the game will likely be played, but (B) Lines: If the tarps are off, but they’re NOT bothering to put the lines on, that’s a BAD sign. The game likely won’t be played. Also, (C) Lights: In some cases, they won’t bother to turn the stadium lights on. They use a ton of electricity. This is a bad sign for baseball and the game won’t likely be played. RADAR: of course, take a peek at the radar if your have access via your smartphone or computer or TV. DON’T call anyone. By now you know that anyone you can get on the phone won’t have any more information than you do, probably.
- Wait it Out. If the game opens in a delay, or goes into a delay during play, you might have to wait it out. For club-level patrons, this means grabbing a seat in the club or at the bar if you can. Sometimes, it may even be a good strategy to get there EARLY on a potential rain-delay day in order to claim your spot. Otherwise, you’ll have to do with standing or sitting on the floor. But that’s still better than field level, usually. If you haven’t purchased tickets yet, try for the last few rows of the main sections at field level, as they are under cover. Or, you can certainly stand around in the concourse, but that gets crazy crowded sometimes. Also, trying to camp out in the store can be difficult for the claustrophobic. The walkway between the concourse and the club entrance sometimes provides some extra breathing room. The Trough and the Tiki provide limited shelter, too, but can also get crowded. The wait can often be difficult, so another thing I’ve done in the past is to go to a nearby restaurant for some dinner, dessert, or drinks and wait it out there. There are a couple places nearby on Airport Road and on Union Boulevard. Several times, my group and I have stopped on the way over–a little farther away but closer to home–to monitor conditions and move on to the stadium once we hear that the game is going to get underway. We monitor via smartphone or transistor radio (1320/1230AM). If the game is not to be played, the wait is usually an hour. For a 7:05PM first pitch game you’ll usually hear something around 8:00-8:10 if the game is a wash. And, don’t order TOO MUCH food or beverage, regardless of where you’re camping out, because you might have to move quickly if the game resumes or starts. One last strategy–if the conditions are right–not too cold or too much wind–is to bring a canopy and tailgate your way through the delay. It might be a little less plush, but you’ll have room to breathe and you can monitor the game status via your car radio. Plus it’s cheaper.
- Prepare for the Elements. Wear your rain gear and bring an umbrella. Or, two. Small umbrellas are preferable as you can maneuver them in the seats better without blocking anyone’s view or putting an eye out. The ushers often have towels or rags to wipe the seats off, but they may be too busy to help, in which case it’s handy to have a small towel with you. Remember those rally towels they gave out? Yup. It’s a good use for one. Keep a few in your car for just these occasions.
- Plan Your Return Visit. As you know, you’ll get to trade in your rained game for another game should they cancel (read: postpone). If your options are limited, you’ll want to plan to stand in line (perhaps in the rain) to visit the ticket window to make your choice. If not, visit another time when the ticket windows are open to avoid the wait and the elements the night of the delay. You will have to visit, though, because they won’t make the trade over the phone or via email. But you knew that already. Two important things to remember about the trade: it can be ANY game regardless of week night or weekend, unlike vouchers and unused season-ticket credits. And finally, REMEMBER to ask for parking. While they used to do it automatically, now you have to ask for parking credit. Don’t let them give you a hard time. If you paid for parking the day of the rain game, they should give you a voucher for parking on the replacement game–this unless they’ve changed the policy again suddenly.
Nobody likes worrying about the rain on a day when you planned to relax and enjoy a ballgame. Hopefully these strategies will help you make the best of your day.
See you at the park,