Black Bears preparing to open season

Several different promotionals set for ballpark

Granville — With Opening Day at the Monongalia County Ballpark only three weeks away, the West Virginia Black Bears have announced “What’s New at the Ballpark” — a sneak peak at some of the exciting new attractions fans will experience at the ballpark when the Black Bears open their season on June 14.

“Opening the season at home in just three weeks gives us a great opportunity to showcase to all our fans the great new additions we have for West Virginia Black Bears baseball,” said general manager Matt Drayer. “From ballpark improvements to new promotional nights to Double-Stuff Dave’s chase for just one win, the 2019 season will be a memorable one for our fans.”

Season tickets, ticket packs and individual game tickets may be purchased by calling the ticket office at (304) 293-7653 or by visiting www.westvirginiablackbears.com.

One of the most intriguing changes this season is the retirement of beloved mascot, Double-Stuffed Dave, from the Julia’s Pepperoni Roll Race. Reactions to his retirement announcement, released on Friday, May 17, were filled with encouragement and sadness.

Although Dave plans to retire following the 2019 season, he will still be a prominent presence within the organization. Dave’s quest to earn just one win before hanging up his running shoes begins on June 14 when the Black Bears host the Mahoning Valley Scrappers.

New promotional nights like PAW Patrol Night sponsored by WVU Medicine and Fortnite Night will provide excitement for the entire family.

Young fans can experience their favorite characters from the popular Nick Jr. show as the Black Bears take on the Auburn Doubledays on Aug. 13.

Fortnite Night on July 31 promises to be a popular addition to the packed promotional schedule, as two lucky fans in attendance will walk away with a Fortnite XBOX One bundle courtesy of Generators Plus.

Two bobblehead nights round out the promotional schedule of giveaways with the Jeff Hostetler bobblehead giveaway set for July 11, and the Kevin Kramer bobblehead giveaway set for Aug. 8.

Each bobblehead will be available to the first 1,000 fans with season ticket holders guaranteed early entry for these and all giveaway nights.

To view the full promotional schedule and purchase tickets for special promotional nights, visit www.westvirginiablackbears.com.

Facility Additions around the Ballpark

In the outfield, the new batter’s eye towers over the ballpark from centerfield. Finished during the off season, the batter’s eye made its official debut during WVU baseball’s season.

The sheer blue facing-transported from historic Hawley Field near the West Virginia University Coliseum-allows for better tracking of the ball from the batter’s perspective and acts as a backdrop for the batter to see the oncoming pitch. Other changes to the facility include the addition of an awning over the Homerun Porch, located on the concourse beyond the right field wall.

The awning will add a protective layer from the elements for patrons renting the Homerun Porch.

Different Times, Same Great Ballpark Experience

Earlier this year, the Black Bears announced new times for their weekday games.

Monday through Thursday games will now begin at 6:35 p.m.

Games on Sundays will begin at 1:05 p.m. or 4:05 p.m., with one 7:05 p.m. start on July 7 for the Independence Day fireworks celebration.

Additionally, there will be one 10:05 a.m. game on Thursday, Aug. 29, for School Day, while Friday and Saturday games retain a 7:05 p.m. start time.

For more information on big changes coming this season, call (304) 293-7910 or visit www.westvirginiablackbears.com.

The season begins June 14 when the Black Bears host the Mahoning Valley Scrappers.