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Sports

Changes coming to Canal Park

1/30/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Maria Lindsay

In the upper level of the Game Grill + Bar, an exclusive special event, meeting place and private party area called The Duck Club will open, as shown in the rendering above.
The right field area is going to be known as the “Tiki Terrace,” which will have 191 premium picnic seats, including 27 four-seat high tops and 83 premium seats, as shown in the rendering above.
Shown is a rendering of the new Game Grill + Bar that will be a new restaurant occupying the first level space below an area formerly used by Wing Warehouse and Menches Brothers at Canal Park.
Left field’s picnic area and stands now will be known as “Fowl Territory,” as shown above, and this area will contain 50 eight-seat picnic tables, which can be rented out.
Renderings courtesy of the Akron RubberDucks
DOWNTOWN AKRON — Akron RubberDucks officials are hoping to hit a home run with residents in planned changes to Canal Park.

“It will be a whole new ball game for Akronites,” said RubberDucks’ CEO and owner Ken Babby. “We are offering a family-friendly place with affordable fun.”

At a Jan. 28 press conference, Babby and General Manager and Chief Operating Officer Jim Pfander explained details of the $3.5 million in planned improvements for the stadium, which is used by the Akron RubberDucks, the Double-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians.

“We have made a $5.6 million [total] commitment to the city of Akron and Canal Park,” said Babby. “I am excited about what we are doing not just for the baseball season, but for year-round affordable family fun.”

According to RubberDucks officials, in addition to the $1.65 million already invested for the largest high-definition video board in Double-A baseball installed at the stadium in 2013, the other major improvements coming to Canal Park include:

  • The Game Grill + Bar will be a new restaurant occupying the first level space below an area formerly used by Wing Warehouse and Menches Brothers. This 4,000-square-foot, year-round restaurant will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as brunch on the weekend. It will be accessible on the street level, and it will have a seating capacity of about 150, along with a complex system of folding glass walls that can be opened for games. The restaurant is set to open mid-March. Its website is www.thegameakron.com.
    Babby said the executive sous chef for the restaurant will be Steve Smith, formerly of One Red Door in Hudson, and Cory O’Connor will be the general manager. No information on the menu was available at the press conference.
    “Visitors will be able to ‘duck’ into the restaurant before and after a game,” said Pfander.
    In the upper level of the restaurant, an exclusive special event, meeting place and private party area called The Duck Club will open, also with a sliding wall of windows and a video board.
  • “Fowl Territory” will be in left field, where 1,400 seats were removed to set up 50 eight-seat picnic tables that may be rented out by families, businesses or organizations wanting to enjoy a meal together while watching a game. There will be an all-you-can-eat seating option available for the general public in this section based on availability and whether it is a weekend, holiday or special date, such as opening night. Tickets in “Fowl Territory” start at $20 for nonfireworks games and $22 for games with fireworks.
    Contained in the first two rows of this area down by the field will be 56 new premium “Duck Row” seats that swivel 360 degrees and have a drink rail. Wait service will be available, as well as an upgraded menu. Tickets are $17 for this area, and can be purchased as part of the picnic package.
  • “Tiki Terrace” will be located in right field where bleacher seats were removed and offer 191 premium picnic seats, including 27 four-seat high tops and 83 premium seats, as well as a new bamboo and thatch embellished Tiki Bar, which will seat 23 people on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets in the “Tiki Terrace” are sold in sections at a rate of $20 for nonfireworks games and $22 for fireworks games.


The RubberDucks will continue to offer its standard $5 and $9 ticket prices and keep affordable concessions, such as its $2 hotdogs, according to the organization’s officials.

Babby said all the work for the planned improvements to Canal Park is being done using local businesses and labor.

“First and foremost, we recognize we are a local community business,” he said. “As a result, I believe it is our duty first to look to local partners and suppliers when it comes time to do business.”

All the improvements are slated to be finished for the Akron RubberDucks’ home opener set for April 10 at 6:35 p.m. against the Bowie Baysox, according to Pfander.

For more information about the changes, visit www.AkronRubberDucks.com.

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