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Bulls try to keep games affordable

Posted March 6, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

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— The Durham Bulls celebrated the nation's pastime Friday while noting the economic difficulties the nation faces.

The baseball team held its annual FanFest to kick off single-game ticket sales and announced a "9-Inning Vacations" promotion for people cutting back on entertainment spending during the recession.

Durham Bulls helmet Bulls offer deals in recession

The "vacations" combine a ticket to a Bulls game with items like a cap or a bag of peanuts for a total of $9.

"With people keeping back their money a little bit and not taking the longer vacations, what we are planning on is that they are going to come out here," Bulls General Manager Mike Birling said.

The team held the line on ticket prices this season, too. The most-expensive seats at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park are $9, while the cheapest seats cost $7.

Season-ticket sales haven't dropped much from a year ago, Birling said.

"(We) just try to keep it affordable because that's what people in the Triangle need," he said. "They've supported us for all these years, and now it's our turn to give back and keep things as inexpensive as possible."

At FanFest, anyone who bought a ticket received a free lunch of ballpark fare like hotdogs, fries and soda. They also were allowed onto the field to take a few swings in the batter's box or play catch in the outfield.

"The excitement is definitely in the air, just seeing the ballpark, seeing the field greening up," Birling said.

About 2,300 people attended FanFest, up from 1,300 a year ago, Bulls spokesman Matt DeMargel said. Tickets sales were up 22 percent from a year ago, and merchandise sales increased 20 percent, he said.

The team opens its season April 9 against the Norfolk Tides.

The Bulls are owned by Capitol Broadcasting Co., which also owns WRAL.

15 Comments

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  • Tax Man Mar 6, 2009

    Love to watch the game, but it is crazy to charge so much for admission and food. I used to go to Padre and Dodger games in California and it was a bit pricey, but you could get a ticket, beer and a hot dog for well under $10 - and that was the real deal - the Pros, not the minors. Last time I went to the Bulls (this season), even with a discount coupon for a ticket - admission, a beer and a hot dog were over $25! That is nuts. Why don't they sell beers for $2.50 (like the local bars) and hot dogs for $1.25 (they are not anything special)? Have a general admission ticket for $3.50 (without reserved seating). Then I would likely go to several games. Every game I have been to had only about 25% of the stands filled - more would come if the prices were reasonable. Still, love to see the games, just hate the cost.

  • foetine Mar 6, 2009

    It has been 12 years since the new ballpark opened. Prices go up, grandpa.

  • foetine Mar 6, 2009

    The Bulls games are a fun night out. The park is nice. The parking deck is much cheaper than parking in the mud pit at RBC. They do have cheap food nights. Beer's cheaper there than at Walnut Creek. We paid $6 to sit front row in 2007 and ended up talking with three guys that finished the season winning the World Series for the Redsox.

    There are enough bars around the area to get your buzz on before the game.

  • whatelseisnew Mar 6, 2009

    I went to the new location once and I did not like it; plus the hefty increases in everything was a big turnoff.

  • methinkthis Mar 6, 2009

    No deal until prices for beer, softdrinks, etc get to the same level as a fast food restaurant.

  • 8675309-9 Mar 6, 2009

    the Dbap is a lot safer than its old location! Not to mention a lot nicer.

    Cant wait! Go Bulls.

  • Nobody but Carolina Mar 6, 2009

    Hmm, might have to do one of the Mud Hens games being a MASH fan.

  • watch out here i come Mar 6, 2009

    Nobody but Carolina: the Main Instate Rival is the Charlotte Knights(the Chicago White Sox Triple A Affliate). Other good Games are the Toldedo Mud Hens(think they are Detroit not sure) and Norfolk Tides are fun to watch. Used to live in Durham and would go from time to time to see the Games.

  • tbest1 Mar 6, 2009

    Lower the beer prices to 1987 levels ($1) and that will be a real vacation!

  • showed up late Mar 6, 2009

    TarheelsDontLikeEdwards - Dude, remember having to park two blocks away from the old ballpark and walking to your car after a night game. Yikes! The new ballpark is WAY safer than the old one. Though a ballgame at either was and is still a great night out!

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