April 11, 2010 - One of our greatest joys is to visit baseball stadiums in their inaugural seasons. We've been able to do this for the new Busch Stadium, Nationals Park, Citi Field and Yankee Stadium. This year, we're heading up to Target Field in the Twin Cities on one of our early MLB tours to see the Twins in their brand new ballpark. Columnist Rick Shefchik writes today on TwinCities.com about the increase in demand to visit Minnesota on group travel tours this year.
Here are a few excerpts:
Frank Miles of Jacksonville, Ala., is a stadium counter. A 76-year-old baseball fanatic, Miles has been in every major league ballpark — except Target Field.
Like hundreds of other baseball stadium tourists around the country, Miles will check Target Field, the brand-new Twins ballpark, off his list this summer. He loves the old classics like Fenway Park and Wrigley Field, but he likes the new ones, too, including recently opened PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Busch Stadium in St. Louis and Citi Field in New York.
"I've seen 'em all, every major league ballpark — all the new ones, except this one," Miles said. "I've not heard much about it, but I'll be there this year on a tour."
Glenn Dunlap, owner of Big League Tours in Indianapolis, said he'll be bringing a group into Minneapolis this summer for the first time in his company's five years of operation.
"The Metrodome was not much of an attraction," said Dunlap of the Twins' former home. "We didn't have a lot of demand from baseball fans to come up to the Metrodome."
Increased tourism to Minneapolis for Twins games is bound to have a positive effect on surrounding businesses. As Dunlap points out, baseball is only part of the lure for ballpark tourists. They like to come early, stay late and thoroughly explore what the ballpark and the city have to offer.
"People are interested in the walleye-on-a-stick and the s'mores they're offering there (at Target Field)," Dunlap said. "State Fair food — that's great. It's part of what people enjoy about visiting different stadiums — the influences on local food and what's in and around the park.
"Target could be a great park. The part that makes a ballpark interesting is what the city does around it. Look at a Coors Field, right in the heart of Denver. That was in a district they've since built up around it, and it has become a great destination spot for the city."
Conversely, Dunlap said, Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., is in an area that needs to be developed.
"They've got a long way to go before people will go hang out there," Dunlap said. "It's what's around Target Field, what's welcoming to baseball fans, not just Twins fans.
Want to visit the new Target Field on one of our baseball vacation packages? Click here for details about this tour and all of our sports travel packages. You'll be glad you did!
Pre-season pricing on all our tours ends today! So if you haven't already signed up for the package tour of your dreams, don't miss your chance to get the special pricing! Here's a preview of what the prices will be tomorrow morning:
Atlanta: Today = $550/person, Tomorrow = $700/person Midwest 1: Today = $1,600/person, Tomorrow = $1,800/person Midwest 2: Today = $1,600/person, Tomorrow = $1,800/person East Coast 1: Today = $2,600/person, Tomorrow = $2,800/person East Coast 2: Today = $1,050/person, Tomorrow = $1,250/person West Coast 1: Today = $825/person, Tomorrow = $1,000/person West Coast 2: Today = $1,100/person, Tomorrow = $1,300/person Big Apple: Today = $1,350/person, Tomorrow = $1,550/person Texas: Today = $1,425/person, Tomorrow = $1,600/person Midwest 3: Today = $900/person, Tomorrow = $1,000/person ** All prices are per person based on double occupancy
So what do you have to do to secure those prices? Just submit your application for a trip and make your deposit by April 5th and you'll be locked in at the special pricing. Have questions about our tours? Give us a call or drop us an email. But don't wait too long or you'll miss out on these great prices!!
January 28, 2010 - The new baseball stadium that will be on the itinerary for one of our group travel tours is Target Field, the new home of the Minnesota Twins, that's set to open in April. We're always excited to visit new ballparks and this is no exception. Our tour is heading up there over Memorial Day weekend so we're hoping to catch some warmer air! The views of this baseball stadium tour look great. I'm really excited to head up to the Twin Cities to see the ballpark.
One thing I noticed in the footage are the signs over some of the concession stands. I know that Minnesota is known for its State Fair and fair food. Looks like it made its way into the ballpark. Walleye on a Stick? Haven't seen that anywhere else on our MLB Tours!
Enjoy the video. If you'd like to join us on one of our tour vacations, this would be a great one!
January 26, 2010 - I was talking today to one of our customers who commented about some references that I made to food in a previous blog. She professed to be, like all of us at our house, a Food Network junkie. Admittedly, the dark side of the channel is that it's hard to watch your weight when you are watching great chefs prepare awesome meals that end up making you crave something from the kitchen. For me, it's always Guy Fieri's fault because it seems like Diners Drive In's and Dives is the show that makes me the hungriest.
But one of the best parts about the network is that it exposes us to restaurants, bakeries, and hangouts all over the U.S. that we would likely not know about any other way. It's become a passion of ours while on our package tours to seek out these establishments that usually are only known by the locals.
Take, for instance, The Stand. Here's a burger joint on 12th Street just a few minutes away from our hotel, that a typically traveler would never know about. It was featured on Food Network for one of their milkshakes, a toasted marshmallow milkshake (pictured to the right). They were incredible. It was like a creamy campfire. In addition, their burgers were out of this world. And in a city that can easily be an expensive place to visit, this was one of the most reasonable meals we've had on any of our MLB Tours and one of the best!
So if you enjoy food the way that we do, I would suggest catching up on some programming from Food Network and laying out your plans to visit some great establishments - whether you are traveling on your own family tours or taking group travel tours. The other option is to join us on our baseball vacation packages and we'll lead the way!
January 2, 2009 - A favorite one of our MLB Tours each year is our Big Apple Tour. This premier sports travel package includes two games at Yankee Stadium and one game at Citi Field. We'll stay in the heart of midtown Manhattan where you'll be close to Times Square, Fifth Avenue, and Central Park and so many restaurants, shops and sites.
This tour will provide you with two great chances to enjoy games at Yankee Stadium as the Yankees host the Blue Jays in an AL East division rivalry. The times for the games haven't been posted yet but we're sure that we'll either be entertained with fireworks for the 4th of July at Yankee Stadium or we'll be able to enjoy the festivities in the world's greatest city.
The next day we'll take a stadium tour and explore the city before we head out to Citi Field to see the Reds take on the Mets in their new home. If you haven't been to Citi Field yet, you should make the trip. It's a fantastic improvement over the old Shea Stadium. The design did a great job to incorporate old stadium features with up-to-date comforts.
To see more about this and other tour vacations being offered by Big League Tours, visit our website now to get all the details.
January 1, 2010 Here's a great sports trip that everyone will love. Our group will be based in the heart of San Francisco, within walking distance of shopping and restaurants and just a short trolley ride away from the Wharf and Pier 39. The first day of this baseball stadium road trip, we'll take in a game at McAfee Stadium where the A's will host the Cincinnati Reds - a throw back to the 1990 World Series.
The second day, our travelers will be able to explore the sites of the city on their own. Visit the Golden Gate bridge, take a wine tasting tour of Napa Valley, our shop till you drop in San Fran's fashion district. The third day of the tour will feature a game between the Red Sox and Giants at AT&T park. Schedules permitting, we'll take a private baseball stadium tour of the park that sits right on the bay.
This is one of our baseball travel tours that also offers an interesting optional add-on. Come in a day early to catch the Cubs take on the Mariners at Safeco Park in Seattle. We'll add on game tickets, a hotel stay, and airfare to get you to San Francisco in time for the game at McAfee.
This is not only one of our sports travel packages that would make great baseball gifts for men, but it's tour that will make a great tour for couples! To see more about this and other MLB Tours being offered by Big League Tours, visit our website now to get all the details.
December 17, 2009 - We'll begin one of our most popular tour vacations at our hotel in Midtown Manhattan. We'll head out to tour Yankee Stadium early afternoon and then head back that evening to see the Yankees play the Astros. Saturday we'll trek up to Cooperstown for the day at the National Baseball Hall of Fame. We'll grab dinner in Cooperstown and then head to Boston. Sunday, we'll take in the Phillies and Red Sox and, if the schedule allows, we'll take a stadium tour of Fenway Park.
The hotel is provided Sunday night after the Red Sox game as part of the package. You also have the option of coming into New York City early or staying later in Boston so let us customize your sports travel packages for you.
This baseball vacation package promises to be a great time. For more details on this baseball tour and our other MLB Tours, visit BigLeagueTours.com.
December 17, 2009 - East Coast 1 is the granddaddy of our baseball vacation packages. The tour package includes 6 games in 6 different baseball stadiums, a free day to explore New York City, a day at the National Baseball Hall of Fame, a player appearance, and baseball stadium tours at some of baseball's most hallowed halls.
We'll begin in Baltimore, making the hotel there our home base for a few days. We'll have a kickoff reception at the hotel on Saturday night. On Sunday morning, we'll head to Nationals Park for an afternoon game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Nationals. Monday, we'll drive up to Philadelphia to see the Padres and Phillies. Tuesday, we'll take a stadium tour of Orioles Park and see the Yankees and Orioles play.
On Wednesday, we'll board the motor coach and head up to New York City, our home base for the next three nights. We'll go to Citi Field to see the Mets host the Padres. Thursday, you'll have the day on your own to shop 5th Avenue, take escorted tours of the city's sites, or to stroll through Central Park.
Friday we'll tour Yankee Stadium and see the Yankees play the Astros. Saturday we'll trek up to Cooperstown for the day at the National Baseball Hall of Fame. We'll grab dinner in Cooperstown and then head to Boston. Sunday, we'll take in the Phillies and Red Sox and, if the schedule allows, we'll take a stadium tour of Fenway Park.
The hotel is provided Sunday night after the Red Sox game as part of the package. You also have the option of coming into Baltimore early or staying later in Boston so let us customize your sports vacations for you.
This premier sports travel package promises to be a great time. For more details on this baseball tour and our other MLB Tours, visit BigLeagueTours.com.
December 16, 2009 - As interesting as it is to visit the historic ballparks throughout the big leagues, it's always exciting to check out a new baseball stadium. 2009 offered us two new parks in New York City with Citi Field and Yankee Stadium. 2010 will bring us an open air ballpark in a town that's grown accustomed to a dome.
We'll begin our tour in Minneapolis for a game at the new Target Field. From Minneapolis, we'll head to Milwaukee for a game at Miller Park and some tailgating with the great Brewers fans who really know how to party. After we've had our fill of sausages, we'll head to Chicago for some Windy City baseball.
Once there, we'll head to Wrigley Field to see the classic rivalry of the Cardinals and Cubs. You'll then have a free day to explore the city - take in a museum, shop till you drop, or hang out at your favorite places to eat (cheeburger cheeburger, anyone?). We'll wrap up this trip by visiting US Cellular to see Josh Hamilton and his Rangers take on the White Sox.
To see more about this and other MLB Tours being offered by Big League Tours, visit our website now to get all the details.
December 15, 2009 - We're going to open up the first baseball tour of our 2010 season in Atlanta, Georgia. We'll head down south in the middle of May before things get too hot. The Atlanta Braves will be taking on the Cincinnati Reds for a two game series and we'll be there for all the action.
We'll be staying in the heart of downtown Atlanta and traveling to the games via first class motor coach. The times haven't been announced for this series but we expect that the first game on Wednesday will be in the evening and that the game on Thursday will be an afternoon start. That should give us a different experience for both games at Turner Field.
As the team finalizes the schedule, we'll be able to finalize some other elements of our itinerary. If possible, we'll be including a stadium tour of The Ted. And, as on all of our MLB Tours, we'll also be adding a Big League Experience by bringing in a baseball player, media personality, or front office personnel to give us an inside view of the game.
Head to our site to check out the details on this tour and all the 2010 Tour Vacations that we have to offer.