Even without baseball, Jumbo Shrimp finding ways to bring fans back to ballpark

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jumbo Shrimp aren’t sure if they will be able to host baseball games this season, but they still plan to provide Jacksonville with something, even if it has nothing to do with the sport.

First up: a ‘Frozen 2’ movie night at 121 Financial Ballpark on Saturday night at 6:05 p.m.

As Major League Baseball continues to debate on how to bring the sport back, minor league teams are still hard at work. There’s no clarity right now if minor league teams will have a season. But Jumbo Shrimp general manager Harold Craw said on Wednesday that the show, even if it’s not baseball, will go on.

Attendance on Saturday night is being capped at 1,000. Guests can purchase square spaces on the field with catchy names, a Family Four Square, Family Six Square, Group of Eight Square. Prices begin at $24 for a group of four.

“Our idea was to program the facility 365 [days a year] because we know we are in a climate to program events year ‘round,” Craw said. “And so our focus has been on the safety of the event.”

The Jumbo Shrimp aren’t the only team trying to come up with an idea to bring people to their stadium. The Pensacola Blue Wahoos, who play in the Southern League with the Jumbo Shrimp, recently put their stadium on Airbnb and it is now booked through the end of June.

While the Jumbo Shrimp say that was a good idea don’t expect to see 121 Financial Ballpark on Airbnb anytime soon.

“Nothing crazy like that, I mean I know we have something planned,” Craw said. “We have scheduled baseball games on Father's Day weekend. But even if there isn’t baseball, we will have something up our sleeve.”

Craw says he was excited to see college sports coming back because that could bring some good news for the Jumbo Shrimp. Colleges have largely targeted June 8 as a date where athletes can return to campus and begin conditioning.

“I like to see the SEC schools bringing athletes back on the 8th because that means Florida-Georgia could potentially happen,” Craw said. “We know that is a big weekend for our city and it is a huge weekend for the Jumbo Shrimp as well.”

Craw is still hopeful that there will be minor baseball this season, but one way or another there will be events at 121 Financial Ballpark this year.

About the Author:

Jamal St. Cyr is an award-winning sports anchor who joined the News4Jax sports team in 2019.