Charlotte, North Carolina
Based near the eclectic hub of downtown Charlotte, BB&T Ballpark provides an unusual and energetic setting for meeting groups.
“Our ballpark offers the excitement of a professional sports facility as well as the luxury of an uptown event venue,” said Tommy Viola, director of public relations and marketing.
On the top level of the ballpark, the Diamond’s Direct Luxury Lounge offers a wonderful panoramic view of the field and uptown Charlotte skyline and accommodates anywhere from 20 to 300 guests. This flexible space is ideal for hosting events such as corporate gatherings, cocktail parties and wedding receptions.
Groups can take advantage of the customizable in-house catering provided by Professional Sports Catering that offers everything from traditional ballpark fare like hot dogs and Cracker Jacks to more upscale options.
“Barbecue buffets, build-you-own mac-and-cheese stations and liquid-nitrogen ice cream bars are just a few of the catering options that we have clients coming back for,” said Viola.
For a competitive team-building activity, attendees can step into the indoor batting cage where the players practice, or they can play right on the field. Both activities are available year-round depending on game schedules.
Located in one of the most historic cities in California, Raley Field is home to the Sacramento River Cats.
Meeting groups can enjoy a sweeping view of the field and downtown Sacramento in the Legacy Club, the ballpark’s premier meeting and events venue. Accommodating up to 300 guests, the club offers state-of-the-art audiovisual services, LED screens and a full-service bar, with several breakout rooms down the hall. Many planners use this space during the day for their meetings and group activities and then reconvene in a suite in the evening to enjoy the game.
River City Concessions acts as the in-house catering service, offering tacos and pulled-pork barbecue among other diverse menu options. Planners can also use the playing field for postmeeting activities, such as on-field batting practice and kickball games.
“We can get creative with clients if they have something in mind,” said Brittney Broberg, manager of events and entertainment at the park.
Raley Field offers a private on-field tailgating experience where groups can watch the players, coaches and media up close as they prepare for the game. This VIP package includes an all-you-can-eat barbecue buffet from Sactown Smokehouse; all-you-can-drink wine, beer and soda; Governors Club seats; and Tito’s Solon Club access.
From the ballpark, attendees can easily reach hotels, restaurants and other attractions in the surrounding area, such as the Golden 1 Center, home of the Sacramento Kings professional basketball team.
Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville
Opened in 2003, the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville is one of the finest minor league ballparks in North America, with 12 luxury suites, four sky decks, a playground and a Tiki Terrace in left field.
The suites provide a fine venue for smaller meeting groups, accommodating between 15 and 20 guests. Each suite contains a fully furnished, climate-controlled area with audiovisual capabilities as well as balcony seating. Suite rentals include 20 game tickets, four parking passes and personal wait staff service. Groups can order from the menu in advance so that food is ready upon arrival.
The Jumbo Shrimp Party Suite provides twice the capacity of the regular suites in addition to 50 game tickets and 10 parking passes. Located near the brand-new Tiki Terrace, the Safe Harbor Seafood Palm Pavilion provides a semiprivate outdoor meeting space for up to 24 guests.
According to Noel Blaha, the ballpark’s assistant general manager, many groups opt for a morning meeting at the park followed by a light lunch of sandwiches, salad and coffee; the evening tends to draw more formal gatherings.