JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The inaugural Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp home opener played to a sellout crowd of 10,477 – the largest Opening Day crowd at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville since the stadium’s record-setting opening in 2003.
Wednesday’s crowd was also the largest crowd at a Southern League game at the ballpark since July 3, 2012. The stadium record of 12,943 was set at the venue’s first-ever game on April 11, 2003.
PHOTOS: Jumbo Shrimp home opener
“We are so grateful to the people of Northeast Florida for the tremendous response to the Jumbo Shrimp identity, and they have opened a new chapter in Jacksonville baseball in outstanding fashion,” said Jumbo Shrimp owner Ken Babby. “We look forward to welcoming the community to Jumbo Shrimp games the next four nights and the rest of the season.”
The Jumbo Shrimp era in Jacksonville started off right with the club getting a 7-1 win over the Chattanooga Lookouts.
“It is exciting to finally see Jumbo Shrimp fans at the ballpark for a game, and Opening Night is one we have eagerly anticipated,” said General Manager Harold Craw. “We cannot wait to continue the energy and excitement of Opening Night with affordable family fun at every Jumbo Shrimp game.”
One of the highlights of the home opener was the announcement that the team named the new Shrimp mascot Scampi.
“We thought it was kind of a funny name at first, but we’re getting behind it,” Kelly Clark said.
Many of the fans were also excited to pick up some new Jumbo Shrimp gear, even forming a long line just to get into the souvenir shop.
“We’re out here. We’re on that Jumbo Shrimp kick,” fan Benjamin said.