After a year of not being able to go anywhere, the D9and10sports crew thought it would be fun to put together some vacation ideas for the great folks in D9/10, and what better way to do that than to explore the ideas ourselves. So come along for the ride. It should be fun.
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The South Bend Cubs get it.
From owner Andrew Berlin to team president Joe Hart, a Cameron County graduate (much more about Joe in a future article next week), to Mary Lou Pallo, the merchandise manager, to Don and his wife, who run the Tiki Hut in left field, and the guys in the press box, this franchise gets it.
What do we mean by that?.
Everyone you talk to, whether they work in the front office, concessions and every job in between loves coming to the ballpark every day. They love working with one another and especially the fans, to make their experience as enjoyable as possible, whether it’s their first game or 100th. And they understand that everyone comes to the ballpark for different reasons.
For some, it is about the game. For others, it’s about hanging out with friends and family. For others, it’s a social event. And Four Winds Field has you covered for all of it.
Under the leadership of Berlin and Hart, they transformed a mediocre at best ballpark into one of the premier parks in all of minor league baseball.
From Wrigley Field-type rooftop seats to group ticket locations tucked into the layout of the ballpark, to outdoor luxury suites, to your typical close to the action minor league seating and the always popular with the kids’ lawn, this is a can’t miss place for any baseball fan, or anyone living or passing through the South Bend area.
If it’s the game you’re about, the Cubs still offer reasonably priced seats close to the action. If it’s a group or corporate outing, there are plenty of options, including the aforementioned luxury suites, as well as the Pepsi Stadium Club. Either option is tremendous and offers a comfortable view to watch the game, as well as a friendly staff ready to assist with whatever you may need.
Making it out to left field, the Tiki Hut is a must-visit (you must be 21 or over to enter). Don and his wife are quick with a smile and a joke, as well as serving you with your beverage of choice. It’s that personality that helps make your visit to Four Winds Field truly special.
For the Under 21 crowd, specifically the youngsters, there’s plenty to do as well. In right field there is a playground, as well as the splash pad for kids to run through on a hot day. This wasn’t one of those days, but there are certainly plenty of them during the summer in South Bend. Making your way over to left field, there are the bouncy houses, another kid favorite.
In between, right by the center field walkway, both kids and adults can test their pitching prowess with the radar gun clocking their throws. Oh yeah, that walkway connecting left field and right field is another feature that makes this park truly stand out.
If it’s food you’re looking for (and who isn’t) there are a wide variety of great options available. Ben’s soft pretzels out in right field are delicious (yes, we sampled), and the Philly cheesesteak nachos are on a very short list of best ballpark foods we have ever had. Seriously, you’ll definitely want to try some. And there’s always you’re classic, a good old-fashioned hot dog, lauded by Hart as the best in baseball.
For all your souvenirs and merchandise, be sure to stop by the Cubs Den, where Pallo and staff are waiting with a smile. It’s perhaps the most unique team shop in all of baseball, a former Jewish Synagogue that has been completely transformed.
And when you just want to sit down and take a break, the park offers a wide variety of picnic seating, including couches in centerfield and fire pits.
On this night, the home team gave fans plenty to cheer about in a 4-0 win over the Beliot Snappers and a good time was had by all.
The park also features the 1st Source Bank Performance Center, which sits beyond right field. A state-of-the-art complex used by the Cubs, opponents and amateur athletes alike.
Quite simply, Four Winds Field is a must-visit for a game when you come to South Bend during baseball season. We promise you’ll be impressed.
Editor’s note: Chris Rossetti contributed to this story