Those looking to get out and enjoy the fun this summer should look no further than 19th Street here in Tacoma. Just off of state route 16 and just east of Fircrest is Cheney Stadium, home of the Tacoma Rainiers.
The Rainiers are a AAA baseball team, which is a minor league division. Don’t let the “minor” fool you, however, as this team directly feeds the Seattle Mariners with fresh new talent any time they are looking to fill roster spots. The Rainiers, who have stuck with that name since 1995, breed constant talent and put on an amazing show for their fans.
The most frustrating part about attending any sporting event is the price. Parking is costly, tickets are outrageous, and food is bank-breaking. A family can easily spend over $150 going to a baseball game, and that’s just to get in the door. After four hot dogs, a couple drinks, and a baseball cap, the hole in the wallet may leave some never wanting to attend another game.
Luckily, sports fans get the best of both worlds when going to a Rainiers game. Not only is the venue close, the tickets are also much cheaper than major league venues. Tickets to a game against the Omaha Storm Chasers this Saturday night are $11.50 a ticket… almost anywhere in the stadium. Think that is too much? Cheney Stadium has a lawn where tickets are $7.50 per person. All you need is a blanket to sit on.
“It’s laid back and comfortable, but it’s an easy way to root for your home team,” says Luke Alger, a UW Tacoma student who has been going to Rainiers games his whole life.
Many students here at UW Tacoma may want to go to a game, but are not sure which game to attend. Luckily, the Rainiers recognize that supporting their local community is important, which is why their Paint the Park Purple night is the perfect opportunity for college students to come out and not only support the Tacoma Rainiers, but also support their university.
Paint the Park Purple is on July 29th, and supports UW Tacoma by donating proceeds from auctioning off game-worn jerseys (which are UW themed) to the University of Washington Tacoma Scholarship Fund. Additionally, the Rainiers sell two separate ticket packages that night. A $15 ticket gets a reserved seat and a meal, and a $20 ticket gets the seat, the meal, and a Paint the Park T-shirt.
Another great benefit to the Rainiers games are the promotions. Every game provides guests with free memorabilia, promotional packages, or discounted food and drink. On throwback weekend, the first 1,000 fans get a free throwback hat. Little Caesars and Chick-Fil-A sponsor family nights where discounted tickets get families free food at the stadium and at local chains. The Rainiers also do what they can to bolster local businesses. Wednesday nights are North West Brew Night, where the Rainiers feature a local brewery and sell their beer for only five dollars.
Alger also suggests hanging out in the beer garden on Thursday nights when the Rainiers host their Thirsty Thursday games.
Those looking to make it to a game have a couple options. First, they can buy tickets straight from the ticket counter the day of the game. This has its benefits, as this prevents buying a ticket in advance and then getting rained out. All anyone has to do is just look up what day and time the Rainiers are playing on the Rainiers website at milb.com. If buying tickets in advance sounds like a good idea, however, fans can always get on the Rainiers website, search for individual game tickets, and then purchase them online.
Although there are many options for games through the season, UW Tacoma students should definitely consider attending the Paint the Park Purple event. Between the deal for the ticket and the support for the UW Tacoma scholarship, it’s a win-win for all students.
“It’s awesome that they’re supporting the school while building a better sense of camaraderie in the community,” says Alger.