Spring has sprung. The air is filled with the smell of fresh-cut grass, popcorn, peanuts, hot dogs and the sounds of a cheering crowd after the crack of a bat. To South Sound sports fans, spring can only mean one thing: baseball is back. The 2017 season is just around the corner, and the Tacoma Rainiers are ready for action. Coming off last season’s playoff appearance, their first since 2010, the Rainiers are looking to extend their run of postseason play. Even Rhubarb, the Tacoma Rainiers iconic reindeer mascot, cannot contain his excitement.
“I don’t even keep a calendar anymore,” wrote Rhubarb in a statement. “I just instinctively know Opening Day is around the corner when the air starts smelling like verdant lawns and succulent ballpark snacks at the concession stands. But seriously, baseball is back and there’s not a bone in this reindeer’s body that isn’t trembling with untethered anticipation.”
It is perhaps fitting that the Rainiers begin their first homestand with a four-game series against the El Paso Chihuahuas on Tuesday, April 11. The Rainiers postseason hopes beyond the first round last year were dashed when the Chihuahuas took the 2016 Pacific Division Championship Series 3-1. Because of this, expect the Rainiers to play as though they have something to prove during this first season matchup. If that wasn’t enough, Opening Night’s game ends with the first fireworks show of the season set to a moving soundtrack.
Wednesday, April 12, will begin Cheney Stadium’s NW Brew Wednesday promotion. Starting with Black Raven Brewing Co., NW Brew Wednesdays will offer $5 craft beer from a different brewery each Wednesday home game. These specialty beer deals are available at the home plate portable, as well as the first base concessions stands.
The third game of the season kicks off Thirsty Thursdays, where the top terrace of the left field party deck is the place to be. Visitors can expect amazing beer deals every Thursday on the terrace, including $2 Coors Light 12-ounce cans. After every Friday home game, Friday Night Fireworks await you to end the work week with a bang.
Saturday, April 15, welcomes the Albuquerque Isotopes to the ballpark, and begins two classic Cheney Stadium packages for fans looking for a great deal. The first is Silver Bullet Saturday where $20 gets you a ticket to the game in the R Yard, early entry to watch batting practice, a limited-edition T-shirt (with new designs each month), and your first 12-ounce Coors Light.
The second package is the monthly Little Caesars Family Meal Deal. Just like in years past, the $44 package price includes four reserved seat tickets, four exclusive All-Star Game hats, four Group Express meals (hot dog, chips, water), two Hot-N-Ready pizzas, two orders of Crazy Bread, two free youth admissions to the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium or Northwest Wildlife Park, and two free youth passes to the Museum of Glass.
If you haven’t gotten around to heading to Cheney Stadium in the past few years, you might find that a few things have changed. The entire stadium underwent a massive renovation prior to the 2011 season, guaranteeing there’s not a single bad seat in the house. Also in June of 2014, the R Yard was introduced, adding the first-ever outfield viewing experience to Cheney Stadium since 1960.
“We are excited to be kicking off another season of Rainiers baseball at Cheney Stadium,” Team President Aaron Artman said. “This season should be especially memorable as we host the 2017 Triple-A All-Star Game and Home Run Derby in July. Our fan support has continued to grow every year as the city of Tacoma has returned to embrace this franchise, and we’re especially eager to continue building on that.”
The Tacoma Rainiers are no strangers to talent. MLB Hall of Famers Juan Marichal and Gaylord Perry both played for Tacoma. In recent years, Seattle Mariners stars Kyle Seager and Felix Hernandez wore the Rainiers jersey. It’s only a matter of time before the next superstar steps up to the batters box or the pitchers mound, so be sure to reserve your seat to watch baseball history. The 2017 season is bound to be full of exciting baseball and incredible memories. No matter the occasion, tickets to a Rainiers game is a fun, kid-friendly, and surprisingly affordable way to spend the day with friends and family.
For more information about game schedules or to buy tickets, visit the Rainiers website. Cheney Stadium, where the Rainiers play, is located in Tacoma at 2502 S Tyler Street.