FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The sixth TinCaps season is also bringing new technology to Parkview Field. The ballpark is one of seven minor league programs chosen to pilot Stadium1.
“Our main goal with everything is to make the fan experience the best it can be. We had an opportunity to partner with Stadium1 to provide this additional stadium experience and we’re taking advantage of it,” Michael Limmer, Vice President of Marketing and Promotions for the TinCaps, said.
The “point of sale” system will be in the TinCaps store and at all the concession locations. The new technology is easier for the employees to use and there is also a screen on the customer side so fans can see their orders. Friday, an assembly line of employees worked to put together the 90 new units.
“As much as this is a fan experience, the initiative will allow us to manage better, which will help keep costs down,” Limmer said.
For example, the Food and Beverage Director can pull up the system on his phone and easily see which concession areas are running low on certain items or which areas might have more than needed. That can help prevent food waste by moving inventory during a game.
Stadium1 is also capable of many other functions, like loyalty and rewards cards and “loaded tickets,” which is a ticket that also works as a pre-paid gift card. Limmer said more fan features will be rolled out this year and next.
A partnership with Hewlett Packard and Baseball Advanced Media helped underwrite the cost of the new system so the ballpark could join the pilot program.
“We’ll be able to provide an experience and craft it to the needs of Parkview Field and fans in Fort Wayne. As more and more teams come on board, we’ll be able to lead the way by giving feedback to Stadium1 as to what fans want,” Limmer said.
The ball club still has its old system for now. Limmer said it’s possible they could sell it to another team.
“The system we have, for other teams, is fantastic. The fact that we’re upgrading to something else doesn’t mean the other system won’t be useful to someone else. It’s still functioning. It was just a matter of we had an opportunity to do something better,” Limmer said.
The first game of the season is April 3 at 7:05 p.m. With 13 days to go until the opening pitch, crews are working hard to get the ballpark ready. The harsh winter put them a little behind schedule.
“Normally we’d have a lot of access to the concourse and into the seating bowl to be cleaning at this point instead of moving ice and snow,” Limmer said.
Friday, the grounds crew was breaking up and hauling out ice from the stands.
“As the snow would melt, it would freeze again. Underneath all that snow was accumulating layers of ice. Now there’s two to three inches of ice,” Limmer said.
The grass won’t be as green as usual for the season-opener, but Limmer said there won’t be any delays.
“We just have to do things faster. It will still be quality and still be done to how we expect things for TinCaps baseball, we just have less time to do it,” he said. “But, we’ll get it done. We’ll be ready to go.”
The public can get an early ballpark experience at an open house on March 29. There will also be a meet-the-team event on April 2.
Tickets are still available for opening night on April 3 against the Great Lakes Loons. It’s a Thirsty Thursday night with $1 beer specials. There are also fireworks after the game.