Jacksonville uses Frozen II to lure fans back to baseball stadium
121 Financial Ballpark in downtown Jacksonville. Image via Drew Dixon.

The Jumbo Shrimp baseball club hopes reacclimate fans.

There haven’t been any events at Jacksonville’s municipal baseball stadium since the coronavirus outbreak, but the Jumbo Shrimp franchise will attempt to get some fans into the stadium this weekend with a film screening.

The Double A Minor League team isn’t planning on playing any games until at least June 15. But the franchise hopes to draw 1,000 people to 121 Financial Ballpark Saturday for a Frozen II showing on the stadium’s high definition video board.

“Family Movie Night” for the Jumbo Shrimp will only have 1,000 tickets available for a stadium that has a capacity of about 10,000. The seating will include social distancing for ticket holders.

The seating will be divided into areas for 600 on the actual baseball field in social distance “squares” for a family of four, six or eight guests. No chairs are permitted on the field but fans can bring blankets. Another 400 seats will be in the stands with distancing between each seating area and family.

Jumbo Shrimp owner Ken Babby said the family movie night is an attempt to get fans comfortable with returning to the stadium under strict guidelines.

“We truly feel a responsibility to play our part in the safe re-opening of Jacksonville,” Babby said. “This event, which will be scaled down from previous events and includes new protocols and standards, allows us to build on the trust we have earned with the community while at the same time providing an affordable and fun outlet for families to gather at an outdoor event while safely socially distanced.”

Prices run from $24 for a family of four, $36 for six guests to $48 for eight. Tickets can be purchased at the team’s website. The gates open at 5 p.m. Saturday and the movie begins at 6:05 p.m. Stadium concessions will be available. Parking is free.

It’s the first time any event has been held inside the Jacksonville stadium since COVID-19 restrictions began in March.

Drew Dixon

Drew Dixon is a journalist of 40 years who has reported in print and broadcast throughout Florida, starting in Ohio in the 1980s. He is also an adjunct professor of philosophy and ethics at three colleges, Jacksonville University, University of North Florida and Florida State College at Jacksonville. You can reach him at [email protected]


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