Asheville Tourists prepare to celebrate 100 years of baseball


By Marty Nicholson

The Asheville Tourists will celebrate their 100th season (the 1915 season was when the Tourists name was first used) with new seating options, plenty of promotions and by hosting the South Atlantic League’s All-Star game on June 23.

Let’s begin with the biggest changes you will see when entering the ballpark…the seating bowl configuration.

For those of you familiar with historic McCormick Field, say goodbye to the old metal bleacher-style seats and the concrete benches of yesteryear. They’ve been replaced with new stadium-style seats with armrests and cup holders. And there are new names for all the seats, just to make things “simple”…bear with me on this.

Let’s start with the most expensive seats in the park and work our way down. A link to all the pricing options is at the end of this section to make it easy for you to check everything out.

The Bojangles’ Dugout Suites are the closest to the field, adjacent to the dugouts. In fact, they are closer to home plate than the pitcher’s mound! And they provide you with a great close-up look at the teams during the games. Outfitted with comfortable, oversized chairs, these seats come standard with complimentary Bojangles’ Chicken Sandwiches, Burgers, Hot Dogs, Coca-Cola products and ballpark snacks. A full-season ticket plan costs $1,799.00 and a half-season plan is $980.00.

Press Row Seats are located directly in front of the press box in the upper seating bowl. These are oversized stadium seats with armrests and cup holders; fully protected from the elements and come with a personal seat server who will bring you selected food and drink items (you pay for those) so you don’t miss any of the action. A full-season ticket plan costs $700.00 and a half-season plan is $399.00.

Premium Box Seats are located between first and third bases (Sections C – O) in the lower seating bowl. Again, these are stadium seats with armrests and cup holders, and come with a personal seat server. A full-season ticket plan costs $499.00 and a half-season plan is $299.00.

Box Seats are located in Sections A-B and P-S in the lower level of the seating bowl – just beyond the base paths. A full-season ticket plan costs $499.00 and a half-season plan is $299.00.

Now for the new seating plans in the upper level:

The Reserves section includes seats in Sections CC – JJ (between first and third bases). NEW FOR 2015: Every seat is a stadium-style seat with armrests and a cup holder. A full-season ticket plans cost $399.00 and a half-season plan is $249.00.

The WNC Nature Center Family Section is Section KK, adjacent to the Reserves on the third base side, but is still considered part of the Reserves seating chart. This is an alcohol-free section and it is enforced.

General Admission seating used to be on bleachers or concrete benches. NEW FOR 2015: All General Admission seating will be in stadium-style seats with armrests and cup holders. These seats are in Sections AA-BB and LL-NN. General Admission seats are only reserved for the June 23 All-Star Game and for the July 3 Fireworks Extravaganza. All other games – sit anywhere you like in these four sections! A full-season ticket plan is $325.00.

As in the past, all seats have advanced pricing (which saves you $1.00 per ticket) as well as adult pricing and, saving you a dollar, children, military and senior pricing. Click here to see the prices for individual games as well as the new seating chart.


Let’s begin with the most popular ones from the past (coming up this month):

* Thirsty Thursday: $1.00 for regular beers and Coke products and $2.00 for Craft beers. Please drink responsibly. And, yes, Opening Night is THURSDAY, April 16!

* Dollar Hot Dog Night (Friday’s): As video board operator Seth Stewart says, “Dollar, dollar hot dog night!” Grab a handful!

* Fireworks Nights: The first one is Friday, April 17…stick around after the game as the Tourists light up the sky!

* Kids Eat Free (Monday’s): Courtesy of Acropolis Pizza, kids 12-and-under receive a free slice and soft drink!


* The Tourists will be wearing several different hats this season, as in the past, but this year, hats will include one of three patches: Home Cap: 2015 SAL All-Star Game, Alternate Cap: 100th Anniversary and Road Cap: 2014 SAL Champions.

* The South Atlantic League All-Star Game will be hosted by the Tourists. It will be played on June 23, and fans will be able to watch the Home Run Derby and enjoy entertainment prior to the game. Also, worth the price of admission – the Zooperstars and BirdZerk – two of the best acts in all of minor league baseball will be entertaining fans, players and coaches during the game. Seriously, I have seen the Zooperstars many times and have NEVER been disappointed.

* Warren Schaeffer. Who? He’s the Tourists (just-turned) 30-year-old manager. That’s right…he is the youngest manager in the South Atlantic League and one of the youngest in all of professional baseball. It will be fun to see how Warren develops this season. His coaching staff includes veteran Mike (Devo) Deveraux and returning pitching coach Mark Brewer.

* The First Home Stand featuring Opening Night: Thursday, April 16, with a 7:05 first pitch vs. the Greenville Drive (as PA announcer Rick Rice MIGHT say, “Oh…we HATE them!”). The first of four games against the Drive, followed by three games against the Hickory Crawdads.


jay April 10, 2015 - 12:44 am

How are they going to cram everyone that shows up for Thirsty Thursday in only the small general seating areas? Or, are they going to say they sold out the general admission and force you to pay extra just to get in when those tickets sell out? It is going from approximately 1/3 of the stadium being reserved seats to 80% being reserved seating. I’m really not interested in being stuck in the crappy seats on the base lines, which is the only areas that are not reserve seating. Seems like just a move to force people into buying reserve seats for what used to be general admission. I think they will discourage the casual fans from even attending.

Chris April 6, 2015 - 10:07 am

If the Tourists are about to celebrate 100 years of being the Tourists, I hope they get rid of that damn moon and stick with Teddy.

MagsMom April 5, 2015 - 11:40 pm

Why is the beer free & kid section more? That’s rediculas. I don’t drink. I don’t have kids. Really, an extra $1 to not have beer poured on me in favor of a snow cone being spilled on my head. I wish they would consider making another section beer free and not filled w kids & summer camps.

Harry April 6, 2015 - 8:56 pm

Yeah. Keep the kids out of the ballpark! Take them to a topless rally instead.

Nate April 5, 2015 - 8:34 pm

Glad to see seats rather than bleachers, but didn’t the entire “Reserves” section used to be all general admission rather than assigned seating? I’m a little surprised they’re not raising prices even more to pay for all these improvements, so I’m not *really* complaining, but if you go to a game with a big group you’re either going to have to sit out on the margins or buy your tickets well in advance to get them all together.

Ian C. April 5, 2015 - 10:09 am

Great job, Marty! Excited to see you cover the T’s this season. I’m looking forward to sitting in some of those new seats too.

Marty Nicholson April 5, 2015 - 2:15 pm

Thanks, Ian. We’ll have to catch a game sometime!

Lauren April 5, 2015 - 9:38 am

At the risk of taking on negative responses to this post, less fireworks would really be nice for my dog. I actually dread the baseball season because of this. Between the Tourist baseball and Biltmore House, the fireworks are truly overdone in this community of dog lovers. Just my opinion, which I realize isn’t worth much. Let the negative comments begin!

Harry April 6, 2015 - 8:54 pm

Ok. I’ll be first. MOVE!

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