THE BIG LEAGUE TOURS BLOG

Trip to Marlins Ballpark

Posted by Glenn Dunlap on Tue, Sep 03, 2013 @ 09:22 AM

The new Marlins Ballpark was opened in 2012. It was the first new Major League ballpark since the Twins' new facility, Target Field, opened in April 2012 in Minneapolis. If you had ever gone to a Marlins game at Dolphin Stadium, you knew it would be great if the team had a facility that was dedicated to baseball. 

Marlins Ballpark exterior

Unlike Dolphin Stadium, which is right off the interstate and very easy to get in and out of, Marlins Ballpark is tucked into a neighborhood that makes it harder to get in and out of the game. For this visit, we were headed to the ballpark not as a group tour, but just as a family tour. We paid for stadium parking in advance, which at least eliminated our concern about where to park. It didn't help us get out any faster, though. 

The outside of the ballpark is very space-age looking. The columns in this picture support the roof when they open up the stadium. There was a threat of thunderstorms when we were there so they kept the roof closed. 

View of Marlins Ballpark

Inside, the park carries the sites and sounds of Miami throughout - Latin-influenced and very colorful. Even the smells in the stadium were different than others because of the wide range of food offerings. 

My overall impression? It's a much needed improvement over Dolphin Stadium to see a baseball game. My opinion is undoubtedly tainted in that I don't like watching baseball games under a roof. I understand the reason for it, but I think it kills the atmosphere of a game that's supposed to be played out doors. (My opinion is the same of all dome or retractable roof stadiums in the Majors...)

What could have helped? If the roof would have been open, I'm sure it would have influenced my opinion. If the ballpark had been built in a neighborhood that either grew up with it (think Fenway Park or Wrigley Field) or had developed around it (think Coors Field or Camden Yards), then it could have been a better experience. (Once you go in doors, though, it doesn't really matter.) The locals will tell you that fielding a better team would make all the difference in the world. I can't blame them...

Without any new ballparks under construction anywhere in the Majors, Marlins Ballpark will remain the newest park for the next several years. If you're planning to make a trek to Miami for a game, my suggestion would be to go at night (hoping the roof will be open), choose an opponent with a large road following (so there will at least be somebody's fans in attendance), and give yourself plenty of time to get in and out of the ballpark. 

Tags: baseball vacations, Marlins, Marlins Ballpark, Miami, baseball road trips, family tours

Behind the Scenes at Fenway Park

Posted by Doug Lawson on Tue, Sep 03, 2013 @ 09:06 AM

Big League Tours has built its business by offering fans a chance to get closer to the game. We do that by guaranteeing lower level seats, planning meet and greets with former players, taking stadium tours, and in general, doing everything we can to make sure our guests areGroup tour on the field at Fenway Park thrilled with their tour experience. The Red Sox made us aware of a new opportunity at Fenway and we jumped at the chance to offer it to our August Hall of Fame Tour group. It was the VIP Batting Practice Experience at Fenway. So, before the Red Sox and Yankees squared off in the ESPN Sunday night game, we made our way to the ballpark. 

Our tour host Sarah met the BLT group at the VIP entrance and personally escorted us into ballpark. This was my first time at Fenway Park. The “quaint” feel of the park struck me as we snaked through the small passageways finally entering the seating area right behind home plate. Sarah walked with us down the steps to the wall right beside the Red Sox dugout. She opened a door and led us onto the field. Our guests, and the BLT staff, were in awe as we walked onto on field area right behind home plate. We watched as the teams took batting/fielding practice. First the Red Sox, then the Yankees. Seeing those elite athletes bomb ball after ball into the stands was amazing. This on field VIP batting practice tour is a first for BLT, but it will definitely not be the last.

On the Green Monster at Fenway as part of our private ballpark tour.After 45 minutes or so on the field, Sarah suggested that we head up to the Green Monster to see if we could snag some home run balls. Sarah walked us up the steps and over to the Green Monster entrance where we went down to the seating area. A few balls were hit near us, but none of our guests were able grab one. But, the view from the Monster was fantastic.

We ended our tour by walking through the luxury suite area (yes, even old Fenway has luxury suites) and checking out the Red Sox Hall of Fame. All throughout the tour, Sarah gave us historical background on the stadium areas and the team. It was probably the best stadium tour on which we have ever been at Big League Tours.

We will make sure to include this VIP package on our 2014 luxury baseball tours to Boston. Keep an eye on our website for the 2014 tours announcement.  

Tags: Boston, baseball tours, baseball travel, baseball tour, Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium, Green Monster

The Boston Destination Tour at Fenway Park

Posted by Doug Lawson on Tue, Aug 27, 2013 @ 10:32 AM

This season, based on requests from our guests, we began offering Destination Tours.Fenway scoreboard Instead of visiting multiple stadiums and cities, these tours give our guests the opportunity to explore one city and ballpark(s) usually over a long weekend. Guests enjoyed 2013 Destination Tours to Chicago and New York, and last week, Boston.

Our host hotel was the Boston Sheraton.  The Sheraton is the largest hotel in Boston and is connected to the Prudential Center.  The Prudential Center houses a wide variety of shops and restaurants and is "the place" to shop in Boston.  Our guests enjoyed the chance to check out the shopping and eateries during the free time they had on the tour.  

The first game at Fenway Park featured the Yankees against the Red Sox.  The group, with BLT host Mike Gorton, took the short 10 minute walk to Fenway Park to check out the sites and sounds around the ballpark before the game.  As always, our guests were seated in the lower level.  Unfortunately, the one thing we can't guarantee at Big League Tours is a close game.  Our guests watched the Yankees destroy the Red Sox 10-3.  

On Saturday, the group had all day in Boston to explore the city.  As part of the Destination Tour package, they received a Duck Tour of the city.  The Duck Tour is a land/water tour that takes folks through the historic city.  Our guests were thrilled with the added attraction provided by Big League Tours and said they would recommend it toBoston Sheraton anyone visiting Boston.

Sunday was the last day of the Boston Destination Tour.  After a full day in the city, we gathered in the lobby to head over to Fenway for a VIP Batting Practice Experience before the nationally televised ESPN game.  Our Red Sox tour guide, Sarah, met us at the VIP entrance then escorted to the field where we were able to watch batting practice from behind the screen.  Our guests were thrilled with the opportunity to be that close to all the players from both teams, and watched as the hitters bombed ball after ball into the seats.  Sarah took us up to the Green Monster in left field to see if we could catch a batting practice homer.  None of our guests were able to snag a ball, but the view and the IPA Green Monster beer made up for that.Fenway VIP Tour

After settling into their lower level seats, the group was treated to some excitement.  This was the game in which Ryan Dempster plugged A-Rod in the bottom of the second inning.  The benches cleared, Joe Girardi was tossed, and then the game continued without incident.  This game had a lot of action with 26 hits and 15 runs between the two teams.  The Yankees were victorious as they defeated the Red Sox, 9-6.

Our Destination Tours have been a big hit in 2013. You can expect to see more offerings in 2014 for Chicago, Boston, and New York.  We will also be adding more cities like LA and San Francisco to the Destination Tour list.  So, make sure to visit our website and sign up to receive the updates and tour schedules when they become available.

Tags: Red Sox, Boston, baseball travel, baseball vacation, baseball road trip, baseball tour, Fenway Park, big league tours, Green Monster, Baseball

2013 Summer Baseball Tours

Posted by Glenn Dunlap on Thu, Aug 22, 2013 @ 11:00 AM

Where has the time gone? We've been putting the finishing touches on our baseball vacationMidwest Tour guests at Wrigley Field packages and hosting the tours. We're now looking up and realizing that we're in the midst of our final tour for the 2013 season. Yikes!

We'll catch up with our blogging activity to share with you some of the details and great fun that we had on the road this summer - starting with our Midwest to our West Coast to the East Coast and several variations in between.

While we're doing that, you can also check out our Facebook page with pictures and some highlights of our tours: https://www.facebook.com/BigLeagueTours.  

Tags: west coast baseball tour, east coast baseball tour, baseball vacation package, Midwest baseball tour, 2013 baseball trips

Chicago is Our Kind of Town (for a luxury baseball tour)

Posted by Doug Lawson on Mon, May 27, 2013 @ 01:49 PM

Fam_at_Wrigley

Have you been to Wrigley Field or US Cellular Field? How about the Museum of Natural History, Millennium Park, Willis (Sears) Tower, or Navy Pier?  If not, how about checking out our Windy City and Chicago Destination Tours in August?  Your Big League Tours luxury vacation package includes games at both stadiums, luxury hotel accommodations, tranportation to the ballparks, and all the BLT Extras.  Plus you'll have plenty of time to visit all the attractions, restaurants, and shopping in Chicago.  Your on-site Big League Tours Host will help with the planning to make sure your trip to Chicago is the perfect summer vacation.  

Here are the links to both tours.  

Windy City Tour- Aug. 3-7

Chicago Destination Tour- Aug. 3-6 

Please let us know if you have any questions.

 


Tags: White Sox, baseball vacation package, baseball vacation, baseball tour, Wrigley Field, big league tours, Chicago, Cubs

Special offer and Info on our Chi/Mil Baseball Tour

Posted by Doug Lawson on Tue, Apr 23, 2013 @ 11:02 AM

BLT at Wrigley FieldOur Chicago/Milwaukee Tour is a great way to enjoy the Big League Tours luxury baseball tour experience over a long weekend.

We will start this tour on Friday with a visit to US Cellular Field for a special, behind the scenes tour with former White Sox slugger Ron Kittle.  Then, you'll have lower level seats for the A's vs. White Sox at 7:10PM.

On Saturday, we will travel to Miller Park for the Phillies @ Brewers at 6:15PM.  You will have time before the game to check out all the tailgaters and the great food available inside the ballpark.

Our last day in Chicago will take us to historic Wrigley Field for Pirates @ Cubs 1:20PM.  We will get to Wrigley early so you can explore Wrigleyville and the pre-game action around the stadium.  As always, you will sit close to the field in the hard-to-get, lower level seats.

We have selected one of the finest hotels for our guests. Our tour hotel is the historic Palmer House Hilton in downtown Chicago.  You will love this beautiful, luxury hotel and its proximity to many of the attractions.

BOOK THIS TOUR BEFORE MAY 5 AND GET $125 OFF PER PERSON!!

Click the link for all the info- CHICAGO MILWAUKEE TOUR INFO


Tags: Miller Park, baseball road trips, baseball travel, baseball vacation package, baseball vacation, baseball road trip, ballpark tours, Wrigley Field, big league tours, Chicago, U.S. Cellular Field, Baseball, Cubs

Changes to our Big Apple 2 and NYC Destination 4 Baseball Tours

Posted by Doug Lawson on Wed, Apr 17, 2013 @ 02:34 PM

Big League Tours in New York

We've made some changes to our Big Apple Tour 2 and New York Destination Tour 4 in August. It was necessary for us to move the start date of both tours to Aug. 20 based on the game times for the Yankees and Mets. Other game details, schedules, and pricing have also changed. If you are interested in these tours, please click on the links below to get all the new info.

Big Apple Tour 2 NEW INFO

New York Destination Tour 4 NEW INFO

If you would like an updated brochure for either of these tours, just click the brochure button on the webpages.

Please call or email with any questions.


Tags: baseball vacations, baseball road trips, New York, baseball trips, baseball games, baseball tours, baseball stadiums, baseball travel, baseball vacation package, baseball hall of fame, baseball vacation, baseball road trip, baseball tour, ballpark tours, Yankees, Yankee Stadium, New York City

Ray Knight to join our Baseball Tours of EC and Beltway

Posted by Doug Lawson on Mon, Apr 15, 2013 @ 03:57 PM

Ray Knight 1986 WS MVPWe are thrilled to announce that 1986 World Series MVP Ray Knight will be joining us on our East Coast and Atlantic Beltway Tours as the Big League Tours Player Experience.  Ray played in 13 MLB seasons including 3 with the NY Mets where he won the World Series.  (Who could forget Ray's famous romp home when Bill Buckner made the error at first that allowed him to score in Game 6?)   Ray was an NL All Star in 1980 and 1982, and served as the Reds manager over the 1996-97 seasons.  This year is Ray’s sixth season as co-host of Nats Xtra on the Washington Nationals TV network.  Ray will join us before the Nationals game on June 25.  We can’t wait to meet him and hear about his playing days, as well as, his insights on the game today. 

Limited space is available on the East Coast and Atlantic Beltway Tours.  Please let us know right away if you are interested in purchasing one of these tours.  Here are the links to the tour webpages:

EAST COAST TOUR

ATLANTIC BELTWAY TOUR

Please call or email with any questions.

 

 

 


Tags: baseball road trips, baseball trips, baseball games, baseball tours, baseball stadiums, baseball travel, baseball vacation package, baseball hall of fame, baseball vacation, baseball tour

Meet White Sox Legend Ron Kittle on our Midwest Tour

Posted by Doug Lawson on Wed, Apr 03, 2013 @ 12:15 PM

Ron Kittle with BLT guests

We are pleased to announce that '83 AL Rookie of the Year, and White Sox Legend, Ron Kittle will be joining our group in Chicago on our Midwest Tour 1.  Ron will be giving a behind the scenes tour of US Cellular Field as part of our Big League Player Experience.  Ron tells great stories about his years in the Majors (ask him about the guy in the stands at Yankee Stadium), and he will spend time signing autographs and taking pictures with our guests as well.  The Big League Player Experience, as well as, lower level seats, sensible itineraries, and luxury accommodations all add up to a baseball vacation that is unrivaled.  If you would like to join us, just click the link below to go the the Midwest Tour 1 web page and then click Purchase This Tour.

Midwest Tour 1

 

Tags: baseball vacations, Luxury baseball, White Sox, baseball trips, baseball tours, baseball travel, baseball vacation package, baseball vacation, baseball tour, big league tours, Chicago, 2013 baseball trips

What do we do on our West Coast Baseball Tour?

Posted by Doug Lawson on Thu, Feb 21, 2013 @ 09:07 AM

We've had some fans ask us to give them an idea of the itineraries on our luxury baseballBLT West Coast Baseball Tour tours. Some want to know how much free time they will have, others are interested in the game times, travel times, etc. Since we are offering a special $200 off the  West Coast Tour right now, I thought I would give a quick "thumbnail" version of our itinerary for the West Coast Tour.

June 11- Guests check into the San Diego Hilton Gaslamp Quarter. Meet with the BLT Tour Host around 4:30PM. The group will travel to Petco Park for the 7:10PM Braves/Padres game.

June 12- Short drive to check into the Anaheim Marriott. The bulk of the day free before going to Dodger Stadium for the D'backs/Dodgers, 7:10PM

June 13- Free day in So.Cal. We can help with Knott's Berry or Disneyland tickets, etc.

June 14- Possible stadium tour before the Yankees/Angels game, 7:05PM.

June 15- Fly to San Fran in the AM. Check into the San Fran Hilton. Rest of the day free to explore.  We can help with attraction tickets like Alcatraz, etc.

June 16- Early game with Mariners/A's at 1:05PM. Evening free in San Fran.

June 17- Possible stadium tour of AT&T Park before Padres/Giants, 7:15PM

There will be a Big League Tours Player Experience on the one of the days as well. Player and time TBA.  This is going to be a great tour.  I hope you will join us.

If you would like to book your West Coast TourCLICK HERE.

Please let me know if you have any questions.


Tags: west coast baseball tour, baseball road trips, baseball travel, baseball vacation package, baseball vacation, baseball tour, big league tours, AT&T Park, Angel Stadium, Dodger Stadium, PETCO Park