Pass It On: Sports Stadiums Asking Fans For Their "Vaccine Passports"

Posted by Bronte Eaker on Thu, May 06, 2021 @ 02:30 PM

With the MLB season in full swing, there's been information released about requirements for attending some of the stadiums. It's almost certain these requirements will change over the next few months, but this is a great place to start. Check out the full article from CBS News here. 

"Oracle Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, and Citi Field, home of the New York Mets, are among a longer list of sports spaces that now require digital vaccine verifications. The arenas are doing so because of health safety protocols from their respective states. Those teams and others have been using an app called Health Pass from technology company Clear for COVID-19 screening. In some cases, showing your status on Health Pass could be the difference between watching a game in person or at home. 

"'Guests holding valid game tickets who cannot present proof of either a negative COVID-19 test within the required timeframes or proof of a COVID-19 full vaccination will not be allowed inside Yankee Stadium,' the New York Yankees said in a statement posted on the team website Friday. 'Guests may utilize Health Pass by Clear to confirm your COVID-19 test results for the event.'"

Patrons looking to enter an arena can show a recently taken negative COVID-19 test or proof that they've taken the vaccine."

We'll keep you updated on any new information and regulations as we hear them. We've heard from so many of you that you're fully vaccinated and ready to go. (So are we!!) We're looking forward to the season and see you out on the road! 

Pass It On: Forbes Article on MLB Attendance

Posted by Bronte Eaker on Thu, Mar 11, 2021 @ 02:38 PM

Forbes released an article with some information about MLB attendance plans. You can read the full article here. Be sure to take a look at the table with the breakdown of each team's current plans for attendance. Here are some of the highlights:

"We know Major League Baseball will play a full 162-game regular season, but will fans be allowed to attend games during the pandemic? As the number of vaccinations rises and Covid-19 case numbers drop, the vast majority of the 30 clubs in Major League Baseball will see some level of fan attendance on opening day in 2021."

"So as the league heads into the 2021 season, as of publication, 25 clubs are set to have fan attendance in one form or another, ranging from a low of 3% of capacity (Detroit Tigers) to a high of 100% (Texas Rangers). Some clubs have been given conditional green lights to allow fans to attend but have not received final capped attendance criteria. For example, Governor Gavin Newsom of California has said that outdoor sporting events will be allowed to have fans but that the final figures will be forthcoming. That uncertainty affects the Angels, the A’s, the Dodgers, the Giants and the Padres, all of whom are hoping to attain at least 20% of capacity."

We can all acknowledge this is all a moving target and plans will continue to change, but we're excited to see fans being included. We're also glad to have pushed the tours later in the summer. We fully expect that many teams will continue to ease restrictions as the season progresses and COVID cases continue to drop. We're looking forward to being in the stands with you all soon!

Guests at Angel Stadium 2

If This Is The "New Normal", Bring It On.

Posted by Bronte Eaker on Tue, Mar 09, 2021 @ 07:00 AM

We’re cooped up here in Indy and wanted to get out for a little while, so we took a road trip to New Orleans this past weekend. We rented a car, drove down to NOLA, stayed in an Airbnb, ate lots of beignets, and enjoyed every moment. If this is the “new normal” for travel, we’re 100% on board.

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Besides everyone wearing masks and standing a little further apart, nothing felt too different than pre-COVID travel. Everyone was social distanced while in line for coffee, visiting museums and sights, and watching street performers. Wearing masks into establishments and in crowded areas was strictly enforced. Hand sanitizer stations were never out of sight, and almost all restaurants/sights enforced some level of contact tracing.

Restaurants were extra diligent in cleaning tables/chairs before seating new guests. (Which wouldn’t be a bad idea even without COVID!) All restaurants provided either disposable menus or QR menus on your smart phone. Some restaurants even provided a bottle of hand sanitizer on the tables for guests.

We visited The National World War II Museum and never felt at risk of COVID spread. They did a great job of crowd control through the museum and gave each guest a disposable stylus to use for any interactive touch screen exhibits. The same was true for St. Louis Cathedral. All guests were respectful of social distancing guidelines and we never felt at risk.

We finished our trip feeling hopeful and excited to plan another trip. I’d missed walking on unfamiliar streets, people watching while drinking coffee, and breaking the monotony of everyday life. Whether it's vaccinations, PPE, social distancing, driving instead of flying, or another precaution that makes you comfortable traveling, I would encourage you to do the things that make you comfortable, pack your bag, and get out there again.

 There is absolutely light at the end of the COVID tunnel. We’ll get back to doing the activities we love. We’ll be exploring new cities or visiting familiar favorites before too long. The new normal isn’t half bad, and it feels great to be optimistic about the future.

Thoughts from Travel Enthusiast, John Golicz

Posted by Bronte Eaker on Wed, Feb 24, 2021 @ 12:45 PM

An interesting piece was released by the CEO of Travel & Adventure Show Series, John Golicz. He shared his frustration with the “politics and misinformation” around COVID-19. He also shares his enthusiasm for getting back to traveling. You can read the full piece here.

Here are a few excerpts we found particularly worth noting.


“No, I’m not a denier or conspiracy theorist. I’m a numbers guy, a businessperson and a Travel Enthusiast. But it’s time already. It’s time to start telling the American Traveler it’s OK. It’s OK to plan and it’s OK to book.”

“COVID-19 Cases are down nearly 77% since its peak 6 weeks ago. The CDC estimates over 30%, and possibly up to 55%, of the general population has some immunity to COVID-19 by either having it or previous exposure."

 

"Now, add in the amount of people getting vaccinated. As of this week, 15% of Americans have received the vaccine, and that figure is rising fast. Former Food and Drug Commissioner, Scott Gottlieb, estimates 250 million doses will have been delivered to some 150 million people by the end of March."

 

"Be sure to read this: We’ll Have Herd Immunity by April , Wall Street Journal, February 18th - by Dr. Marty Makary, Professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Health. His prediction: ‘… COVID-19 will be mostly gone by April is based on laboratory data, mathematical data, published literature and conversations with experts.’”

 Golicz also shared some thoughts on his recent traveling experience:

Never once did we feel remotely uncomfortable. Airport, airline and passengers all doing their part. The rental car had a seal on door saying ‘SANITIZED,’ the Westin Hotel ‘NAILED IT,’ and the restaurants did it right.”

“According to the Journal of the American Medical Association’s Risk of Covid-19 During Air Travel, the risk of contracting COVID-19 during air travel is lower than from an office building, classroom, supermarket, or commuter train!"

After the trip, Golicz and his wife plan to take another trip in April and again in May.

We thought you would enjoy John's perspective, as we know so many of you are ready to travel - and the numbers are starting to support travel becoming a reality. We’re glad to have pushed our 2021 tours out to July and August as the response has been extremely positive. We hope that you’ll join us for a Big League Tour this year!

Pass It On: Reports: MLB to begin 2021 on time, allow limited number of fans

Posted by Bronte Eaker on Wed, Feb 17, 2021 @ 11:00 AM

NBC Sports posted an article surrounding the speculation of the start of the MLB season.

"Major League Baseball reportedly informed teams Monday that they should expect to start spring training on time and prepare for a full 162-game campaign. The league also outlined guidelines for letting fans into games, not requiring vaccination checks or negative test results but enforcing social-distancing guidelines and other spread-prevention measures."

"Fans will be allowed to attend games this season with teams required to spread them out using 'pod' seating where groups are separated from one another by at least six feet, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reported Monday night. Fans will have to wear a mask everywhere but their seats, hand-washing stations must be widely accessible and lines to get into the ballpark will abide by social distancing." Continue reading...

While nothing is definite and there are no guarantees, we're optimistic about the start of the season and the direction the league seems to be heading. 

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Topics: travel, Baseball, ballparks, 2021 baseball

BLT Guest Highlight: Marie T.

Posted by Bronte Eaker on Fri, Jan 31, 2020 @ 02:18 PM

As you can imagine, after hosting baseball tours for 15 seasons, we get to meet some great folks. Marie T. is certainly one of them and has been a faithful traveler with us for quite a few years. Marie, from Upstate New York, first traveled with us in 2007 on a West Coast Tour. Since then, she has been on 4 tours with us and has plans to travel again with us in 2020!

Marie shared one of her favorite things about traveling with Big League Tours. "I like the fact that I am in the company of other baseball fanatics! Despite our different team loyalties, we share a love of the sport which makes for camaraderie and in some cases, lasting friendships." 

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Marie told us about her favorite memory from a Mideast Tour. "In Toronto, Buck Martinez gave a memorable behind the scenes experience of the workings of the broadcast booth and it gave a lasting appreciation of the difficulties and challenges involved in televising the games. We probably take the broadcasting of games for granted and I doubt we would if we had any knowledge at all of what was required! I know I no longer do!" Marie is pictured next to Buck at Rodgers Centre in Toronto. 

Marie had a few things to say about the experiences Big League Tours provides. "I would recommend Big League Tours because of the extraordinary customer service. We stay at first class hotels, we always have excellent seats at the game. The guides are always friendly and concerned about ensuring that our experience is a positive one."

She went on to say, "I highly recommend Big League Tours for anyone whose 'Bucket List' includes visiting all the Major League ballparks. It facilitates attainment of the goal by removing all the nightmares of how to get from place to place - getting hotels - getting tickets etc. It is a first class way of attaining your goal!"

We are thankful for Marie and having the privilege of hosting her for so many tours. (We love them as much as you do, Marie!) If you're wanting to check the MLB ballparks off your bucket list too, join us for a tour in 2020! 

 

Topics: travel, Baseball, ballparks, 2020 baseball trips

What Transportation Can We Expect on a Big League Tour?

Posted by Bronte Eaker on Tue, Jan 21, 2020 @ 07:39 AM

luxury motorcoach

We get a lot of questions about what transportation you can expect on a Big League Tour. Most often we're asked, "How do we get to the first city?" and, "How will we travel between cities?" and, "How will we get to the stadiums?"

"How do we get to the first city?"

Guests on a tour are responsible for getting to the starting city and home from the final city. As you will see, Big League Tours guests come from all over the world, so it's impossible to build the costs of getting to/from the tour in for every option. 

Every trip starts at a specific rendezvous point in the first city of the tour, which will most likely be the lobby of the first hotel on the tour. Guests will be emailed a tour packet that includes the hotel information and a detailed itinerary about a month before the tour. Any time you have questions about getting to/from one of our tours, our team is happy to help. 

"How will we travel between cities?"

All transportation between the cities is included in your Big League Tour. Most of the time, we will travel via motor coach. For further distances, we will fly from city to city. For instance, some flights are included on our West Coast, Southwest, and Southeast tours. (Remember, all transportation costs while on the tour are included.) 

"How will we get to the stadiums?"

We choose the transportation to/from the stadiums based on what's best for that city and tour. In some cases, we'll be staying close enough to the stadiums that guests will walk. Sometimes we'll hop on the motor coach and take it to/from the game. And in other cases, the best way to the game might be the subway. 

When booking a Big League Tour, you can rest assured knowing that we've been hosting tours for 15 Seasons and will take care of all the arrangements that will make your tour an Ultimate Baseball Roadtrip! 

You can visit our FAQ page for more information about transportation on tours. 

Topics: baseball vacations, baseball vacation package, family tours, MLB road trips

How Good Are the Tickets for the Games?

Posted by Bronte Eaker on Fri, Dec 27, 2019 @ 01:16 PM

How Good Are the Tickets for the Games?

We get a lot of questions about the kind of tickets we purchase for our guests. That's an important question! "If you're going to go to Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park, or Wrigley Field for your first time, and maybe your only time, you want to have the best possible experience that you can, which typically includes great seats," says Big League Tours President & Founder, Glenn Dunlap.

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"When I saw that other tour groups put you in group seats in the upper deck clear out by the four poles, I knew there had to be a better way to do it. So we always include great seats for our guests."

We’ll secure premium tickets for all the games on your tour, making the visits to the ballparks as enjoyable as possible. Tickets include lower level infield seats or club seats. Certain tours may feature reserved suites or party rooms. Traveling companions and families will be seated together, but not necessarily with the rest of the tour group. 

One of our frequent travelers, John R. shared, "The seats you get on a tour from Big League Tours are really top notch. They are between first and third base, and always in the lower bowl."

We love to see the games from great seats, and we want our guests to have great seats as well! Join us for an Ultimate Baseball Road Trip where you'll be seated close to the action!

Topics: baseball tours, MLB tours, 2020 baseball trips

What hotels will we stay in?

Posted by Bronte Eaker on Thu, Dec 19, 2019 @ 05:35 PM

We received a question from someone interested in our tours asking, "What hotels will we stay in on this tour?" We started trading emails and they shared the following:

"I was on another tour from another company and most of the hotels were in the middle of nowhere. You couldn’t get anything to eat or drink after getting to the hotel afterwards. I was really disappointed in the location and quality of some of the hotels is why I was inquiring."

Park Plaza Lobby

We get it! Staying in a low quality hotel can quickly ruin a trip. That's why on a Big League Tour, guests stay in first class hotels (Hyatt-, Marriott-, Hilton- and Westin- brand hotels). Hotels have been chosen based on their quality, location to the stadium, and proximity to other points of interest. Tour hotels will be in the city center or near the ballpark.

After purchasing a tour, guests will be sent a full itinerary, including full hotel information. We are happy to answer any questions you have about travel plans and provisions. To see more information, visit our FAQ page. 

One of our frequent guests, Dennis D., was asked what makes Big League Tours different than other travel experiences. He responded, "Outstanding owner, outstanding accommodations, outstanding tour guides, overall 100% geared towards guests." 

BLT Guest Highlight: John R.

Posted by Bronte Eaker on Mon, Dec 16, 2019 @ 03:27 PM

At Big League Tours we have the privilege of getting to know some great folks while out on the road and there are many guests who have travelled for many years with us. John R. from California, is one of those guests. John first traveled with us in 2014 and has taken four tours with us since then. (And already has two booked for 2020!)

John shared a little about his first experience. "I certainly remember the trip.  It was the East Coast tour that included a trip to the Baseball Hall of Fame. I took the tour with three of my golfing buddies, all of whom love baseball as much as I do, having both played and enjoyed it as a spectator.  We all loved the Hall of Fame experience, and being from Northern California (Sacramento), I’ll never forget the Barry Bonds record setting baseball; the one with the inked in asterisk." 

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Some of John's favorite memories include: 

  • Getting free time in Niagara Falls with his wife, Marian, on a Mideast Tour
  • A 17 inning White Sox game on a Midwest Tour
  • Meeting and talking to Dante Bichette on a Southeast Tour

As a faithful guest for 6 years, John had a lot to say about the experience Big League Tours provides. "Big League Tours is a baseball tour that is certainly set apart from other travel experiences. On a BLT, it is a mix of you being taken care of, and also you make your own travel arrangements, which I liked, because I could take advantage of discounts on some of the major airlines."

John went on to say, "In the big league cities you visit, you always stay in a top notch hotel not far from downtown or the stadium. There is free time for experiencing the cities, and I really like that. In New York City, our hotel was within walking distance of both Times Square and the United Nations headquarters.  We had a day on our own in New York. Also, the seats you get on a tour from BLT’s are really top notch. They are between first and third base, and always in the lower bowl. When I first researched baseball vacations, the website for BLT was way above in quality those of other companies. I could tell from the beginning that I’d be in good hands and have a great fan and tourist experience."

When asked why he would recommend Big League Tours to someone, John shared, "This business is really a class act.  If you want a great baseball experience, BLT’s is for you. You might be able to find cheaper tours, but if you really want to get 'inside baseball,' pay a little extra and let these people give you a great experience!"

We are thankful for our guests like John who have enjoyed these last 15 seasons as much as we have. Now’s the time to join us for the ultimate baseball tour and have the experience for yourself!

Topics: travel, Baseball, ballparks, 2020 baseball trips