Blue Wahoos’ Home Field is an All-Purpose Venue with a View
The crack of the bat, the roar of the crowd – it’s almost time for baseball season again at Blue Wahoo Stadium. And a spectacular fresh chopped arugula salad, ooey, gooey funnel cake fries, a margarita and a side of sushi.
Yes, round here, we do baseball and the ballpark experience right. Blue Wahoos Stadium (actually Pensacola Bayfront Stadium, for the fact-checkers out there) welcomes back the Blue Wahoos for their sixth season as a Double-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds.
The Blue Wahoos play their home games here at the 5,000-plus seat multi-use venue overlooking beautiful Pensacola Bay and the downtown harbor. The season kicks off at home on April 11 for a four-day home stand welcoming Chattanooga.
Blue Wahoos’ fans can reserve traditional modern stadium seats or enjoy games from covered and open-air party decks. Or bring a beach blanket and lounge in the grass behind outfield fences.
Wondering about the food? While you can still find the staples of a burger and a dog along with a cold brew at the Starboard Side and Port Side Grills, this award-winning stadium has cuisine worthy of the view.
So Chopped, a gourmet salad bar based downtown Pensacola, opened last year to serve up some organic goodness at Wahoo games. The concept frightened me, so I found caloric comfort at the Philling Station, home of Philly cheesesteaks galore and “The Walkoff,” a meaty merger of a Philly and Italian sausage.
And of course, (Whole 30 people, turn away), we have the funnel cake fries, cloaked in powdered sugar goodness.
McGuire’s Wake Zone is home to specialty cocktails, and the stadium even has its own brew, Blue Wahoo Blonde, brewed by an area brewery.
While baseball season runs from April to September, the stadium, part of the Vince J. Whibbs Sr. Community Maritime Park, is a spectacular venue for numerous events year round. Pensacola helped usher in 2018 with the New Year’s Eve Pelican Drop celebration at the stadium.
On some Wahoo away days, the stadium hosts an outdoor movie night for the entire family.
From March 16-18 the 9th annual Smokin' in the Square BBQ cook-off takes over the park. The cook-off draws about 50 pro teams and 25 backyard teams to vie for the title. The event runs Friday through Sunday.
Also in late March, the 25th annual Aggie Classic, one of the nation’s premier high school baseball pre-season tournaments, draws top high school teams from throughout the nation. This tourney is held in baseball parks around the Pensacola Bay Area, but last year the opening ceremony and the championship game were held under the lights at our bayfront field of dreams. Imagine the experience for the players and ball fans alike.
But even when the stadium is not in use, the park is still quite the venue. The wide promenade rings the park, with ample room for runners, dog-walkers and anglers alike. There’s plenty of lush grass to rest your backside and soak in the sunshine and salty breeze.
The amphitheater next to the ballpark holds blues concerts on the bay, and last year, the Pensacola Orchestra played for the Fourth of July firework celebration.
Or, you can just keep it simple. Come out for sunrise and watch the pelicans and the shrimp boats. No matter when you go, you won’t be disappointed.