JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Bobbleheads are back. Fireworks and fans are, too.
And after a year off due to the pandemic, minor league baseball is almost ready to roll in town once again.
The minor league baseball season is weeks away and the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp announced a slew of updates to their 2021 slate on Monday afternoon. The team unveiled a new sponsor (FIS), popular promotions, attendance caps, and, yes, the return of the always popular bobbleheads.
The Jumbo Shrimp, now the Triple-A affiliate of the Miami Marlins, open their season with a six-game homestand against Norfolk from May 4-9. Fans are permitted, with a 45% capacity at 121 Financial Ballpark.
“We are so ecstatic to safely host fans through our scrupulous protocols and standards for Jumbo Shrimp baseball at 121 Financial Ballpark throughout the 2021 season presented by FIS,” Jumbo Shrimp executive vice president/general manager Harold Craw said.
“Whether our guests are supporting the Jumbo Shrimp for the first time or have been coming to 121 Financial Ballpark for years, we look forward to safely providing Affordable Family Fun that will create memories to last a lifetime.”
Nights of fireworks are back, 19 of them. The Jumbo Shrimp will have fireworks following Friday and Saturday games in May, June and most of July, and on various Fridays and Saturdays the remainder of the regular season. Thirsty Thursdays are back. Vice Night returns (June 12 and August 14). So, too, does Military Appreciation night.
Some of the more visible promotions include the Vice Night (remember the “Miami Vice” TV series) and Dog Day (June 9, June 27, July 20, Aug. 4, Sept. 8), where owners can bring their canine, provided they purchase a ticket. The human purchase the ticket, that is.
Sports memorabilia collectors are also in luck. There’s a Stone Garrett bobblehead night (May 8 against Norfolk) and a George Costanza bobblehead night (July 10 against Charlotte) on the schedule. The full promotional schedule can be seen here.
The Jumbo Shrimp also unveiled specialty Florida license plates, which will benefit the St. Johns Riverkeeper. For that plate to go into production and become a reality, the team said it needs 3,000 sold at a cost of $36.75. The team also announced that it will broadcast games on the radio at 690 AM.
Jacksonville-based FIS and the Jumbo Shrimp agreed to a five-year sponsorship deal. As part of that package, “the Jumbo Shrimp, on behalf of FIS, will take a penny from every transaction each year and donate up to $10,000 to a local charity or organization,” the team said in a release.
“We are thrilled to have FIS presenting the excitement and outstanding Affordable Family Fun entertainment that Jumbo Shrimp fans have come to expect from our organization,” said Jumbo Shrimp owner/CEO Ken Babby. “The Jumbo Shrimp and FIS share a commitment to delivering excellent customer service to guests and fans and the promise to make a positive impact in the Northeast Florida community. We look forward to growing what was already a positive partnership and the opportunity to better our local community on the First Coast.”