Pelican Park
Pensacola, Florida
Year Opened
1981

Current Team
None

Affiliate
N/A

League
N/A

Capacity
3,000

Location Map

My Grades
Stadium C Atmosphere B- Concessions B+

Photos taken in 2008
Pelican Park is a college ballpark that was never meant to host professional baseball, but the Pensacola Pelicans have done a great job at dressing up what would otherwise be a rather bland place to see a game. It will never be the most comfortable ballpark, but it is colorful and the atmosphere is lively. Pelican Park is located on the campus of the University of West Florida, which is in a secluded area north of the actual city. Parking is free in nearby lots on along the street, though you may need to walk a short distance. The seating is comprised mostly of metal bleachers, most of which do not have backs. There are three rows of box seats at the field level, but these are the only comfortable seats in the whole ballpark. Almost all the seats are sold as general admission, which generally isn't a problem unless there are big crowds. There was fireworks the night I attended, so the crowd was rather large, making for a rather uncomfortable experience. There are three “luxury” boxes, but interestingly they are located down the right field line, past the last set of bleachers. They actually resemble little huts and are very colorfully decorated. Picnic areas are located behind the left field fence and behind each of the dugouts. The concourse area is quite interesting here as well. It is lined with large trees and there are a maze of sidewalks that lead to the concession stands, souvenir store, and restrooms. It is unlike any other concourse that I've ever seen. The Pelicans offer a decent variety of concessions, but unfortunately they only have one stand with food. On nights with large crowds, the staff seems a bit overwhelmed and service can be slow. Frito pies, burgers, chicken salad wraps, cheese fries, and chili dogs are some of the unique items offered. The prices are about average, but the quality was quite good. The chicken fingers which I sampled were quite tasty. It is always hard to judge the atmosphere based on a fireworks night as it was when I went, but I found it to be a bit over-the-top and most fans did not seem to care about the game. As is usual now, the Pelicans have an on field host to run the between inning contests. And there was plenty of those : race the mascot, dizzy bat race, and the hot dog race just to name a few. One annoying aspect was that clappers were handed out to fans so they could make even more noise. Also, the ushers acted as cheerleaders which was a bit odd. The team also has a mascot, Scoops, but he really wasn't too active. Fortunately there was not many sound effects played. On a normal night (one without fireworks), I may have enjoyed the atmosphere more. The Pelicans have been trying to get a new ballpark built for the last few years. While plans have been drawn up for a new facility on the waterfront, the financing has yet to be finalized, so an opening date is still unclear. In the meantime, Pelican Park will continue to provide a suitable yet unspectacular home for the Pensacola team. In late 2010 it was finally announced that a new ballpark would be opening in 2012. But not for the Pelicans, but for a relocated Southern League team. Because of this, the Pelicans went dark in 2011.
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