Saturday before last, thanks to DiPro’s aggressive ticket-buying strategies, we had the opportunity to take in a game from the new Pig Pen seating area in left field. These two rows of seating were added this off-season, altering the dimensions of Coca Cola Park’s playing field for the first time.
The first row of seats are standard green resin stadium seats as you’ll find in the regular seating bowl. However, just in front of you, you’ll have a nice wide “feeding” rail where you can set your drink, your program, your camera or phone, or your “slop bucket” (we’ll get to that in a minute). The second row has a raised rail, and bar-height green metal chairs as you’ll find elsewhere in the park. There’s plenty of space in that second row, and nobody but the opposing pitchers behind you, so many of the folks in that row were standing or moving about socializing. They also get a nice view of the pitchers warming up: you can even hear the spin of the curve balls!
While I think I prefer the seating in the first row, I like the freedom and space available in the second row, as well. If you’re in the front, keep your hands and feet off the fence!
One of the perks of this area is the “in-seat” wait service for food and drinks. There will be a menu at your seat when you arrive:
If you read the top menu carefully, you’ll see that all items are served in a plastic “feed” or “slop” bucket, with “pigtail” fries and cole slaw–making each sandwich a sort of platter. I suppose that justifies the price somewhat. On the night we were there, I think they were a bit surprised by the number of tickets sold, as the wait service in the trough was severely lacking. It took several innings for our food to come, and by then my pork sandwich was soggy and Junior’s cheeseburger was cold. Also, his cheeseburger came without cheese. It also took a very long time for our check to come, so we were delayed in leaving while we waited that out.
Here’s a “Pig Pen FAQ” if you’re curious about this new seating section:
Q: How much to Pig Pen tickets cost?
Pig Pen seats cost $18.00 when purchased in advance, or $20.00 on the day of the game.
Q: Do Pig Pen tickets include any kind of “loaded value?”
They do not. However, if purchased as part of a group of 20 or more, they may include $2.
Q: How do you get there?
After entering the park through the ATT Plaza, follow the outfield walk way past the Bud Light Trough, behind the batter’s eye, and towards the Tiki Bar in left field. Just before you get to the Red Robin Oasis, you’ll see this sign:
Walk down the steps. At the bottom, an usher will help you find your seat within the different Pig Pen sections.
Q: Do you think your experience with the poor food service and quality will be an ongoing issue?
I do not. Similar service during my time in the “Hot Corner” seating area has gone much more smoothly. I think it was just getting the kinks worked out in this new area. I would advise, however, that you place your food order early in your visit and request your check as soon as you know that you’re finished ordering food and beverages. If all you need is a quick beverage, there are many choices at the Tiki Bar just at the top of the stairs and to the left.
Q: What did you find the most surprising and unique about sitting in the Pig Pen?
What struck me was the sound. The sound of the crowd in the seating bowl, coming straight at me was very different than the sounds you hear in the club level.
Q: Do you think you’ll ever sit in the Pig Pen again?
Probably not. But if I’m bringing a small group of 9 or 12 people and the Hot Corner is booked, I’d consider it. I really like being involved in the game, and to me that means being close enough to home plate to call the balls and strikes myself. It’s a more casual experience out there–but much closer to the field and the players than sitting on the lawn.
Q: Who should consider purchasing Pig Pen seats?
- Folks who want a truly unique view of the field.
- People who like watching baseball from the outfield
- Folks who want to go to the game in a small group: Groups of 5-19 people are difficult to accommodate in the regular seating bowl, but can more easily get seats together–sometimes over two rows–in the Pig Pen and Hot Corner seating areas.
- Fans who want to get close to the pitchers (of the other team) and possibly get up close and personal with the left fielder (for better or worse.)
- Fans who want the best chance to catch a home run ball.
Q: Who should avoid the Pig Pen?
- Fans who want to be involved in every pitch of the game will be happier closer to home plate.
- Folks who want more comfortable seats (choose the hot corner).
- People who have difficulty with stairs–it’s quite a walk down for folks with mobility issues.
- People who want less expensive baseball tickets.
I think the Pig Pen is an outstanding addition to Coca Cola Park. One of the things the “Stadium Reviews” and such have criticized the park for in the past is the lack of unique seating areas. However, with the Red Robin Oasis, the Bacon Strip, the Hot Corner, and now the Pig Pen–Coca Cola Park has a wealth of unique areas to sit and take in a game. As I mentioned above, snafu’s with the in-seat service were expected this early in the season with one of their first sell-out crowds. Once colleges are out and the stadium staff returns to full support, I don’t think it will be an ongoing issue out there. If you’re thinking of going–or taking a small group–make sure you purchase your tickets in advance to save the extra $2 per seat.
Please feel free to ask questions or make your own observations in the comment section below.
See you at the park,