Revs reinventing group experiences at the ballpark

Redesigned event spaces and the addition of a full-service bar highlight a busy offseason for the York Revolution.

Story paid for by: York Revolution

The gentleman wearing the ball cap and khaki shorts hustled along the upper rows of the stadium. Sporting a spray bottle and towel, he wiped the seats and rails minutes before the start of the team’s annual Fan Fest.

Casual fans might have passed him by as another member of the York Revolution staff.

Indeed, he does work for the club. He’s the team’s President, Eric Menzer, and his last-minute contributions to spruce up the ballpark are just one example of his dedication to the customer experience.

Menzer and his team were busy this offseason finding ways to improve hospitality services at PeoplesBank Park, specifically for groups. The result: two new event spaces – the Home Run Patio and the Bullpen Balcony.

“When the stadium was built, there was a large picnic area created, and there was a novelty to it,” Menzer says. “But as time goes on, novelty is no longer enough. You have to constantly look at ways to reinvent what you’re doing.”

So, the Revs brought in Erin Casey, partner at the York-based consulting firm Design Quake, to help.

“Their goal was to deliver an amazing experience,” Casey says, “and they were really trying to understand what their customer wanted.”

Improving group events in York

Design Quake and the York Revolution went to work, asking numerous decision makers at local companies – some of whom had already held events at the downtown York stadium – what they thought made an ideal event space.

“People really wanted to have an exclusive area for their group,” Casey says. “It wasn’t that they minded other groups in the space, but they wanted to know who was in their group and have everybody together.”

For Jeff Hines at York Water Company, having an employee event is an opportunity for him as President and CEO to welcome everyone and to meet new employees’ spouses and families. When groups were intermingled, that was not possible.

You’re at a baseball game, but baseball is kind of the backdrop. There’s so many other things going on – mascots, the playground, entertainment. It’s just fun for everybody.

Nate Tile Vice President of Business Development

For Tessa Grove at York Traditions Bank, events are a key way for employees to get to know each other, and a lack of exclusivity meant the company couldn’t always meet that objective.

Others mentioned that events should offer entertainment independent of the baseball game, and the outdoor spaces needed a fresh look.

“Those insights were key,” Casey says. “We designed an improved experience that completely focused on meeting these customer needs.”

New parts of the ballpark

York Revolution staff came up with different scenarios and created prototypes that responded to the feedback they got in interviews. They later brought the clients back to see the ideas and give feedback, which helped the Revs create something specific to their customers’ needs.

Here are some of the biggest changes to the ballpark:

• Closer’s Bar, which sits at the entrance to Bullpen Balcony, offers beer, wine, cocktails, and frozen adult beverages to any guest in the ballpark. A recent change in the state liquor laws allowed the team to offer full bar service, starting this season. The location of the Closer’s Bar makes it especially convenient for groups using the event spaces.

• Bullpen Balcony holds groups of 50 to 125 people, where parties enjoy private food service and separate access to Closer’s Bar. Guests get exclusive entry to a new tiered seating section with a drink rail that overlooks the field.

• Home Run Patio holds groups of 20 to 200 people. Guests in this section get dedicated food service and experience the best views of the ballpark with a covered dining area.

• New games: The organization added shuffleboard, air hockey, oversized Connect Four and brick-sized Jenga to its offerings of games in the Bullpen Balcony and Home Run Patio areas.

• Flexibility: The team installed movable walls that allow for designated event space that give events a more intimate feel. The walls can also be rearranged to allow for larger groups. In fact, the rolling partitions could even be moved to combine the two areas, giving groups dramatically larger seating capacity.

More than just baseball

While the baseball game might be the obvious difference that makes these new spaces a great place to hold an event, Vice President of Business Development Nate Tile says there’s more that makes it special.

“You’re at a baseball game, but baseball is kind of the backdrop,” he says. “There’s so many other things going on – mascots, the playground, entertainment. It’s just fun for everybody.”

And by “everybody,” he even means the event hosts.

“We do a really good job of offering a turnkey solution. Tell us what you want to achieve, and let us drive,” Tile says. “You don’t really have to do anything.”

Menzer and the team are excited that the new spaces resonate with their customers’ desires.

“We were really able to respond to the No. 1 thing we heard: that people wanted dedicated spaces to keep their group together,” he says. “We’ve created spaces that are more intimate, livelier, and allow groups to interact in a different way.”

Story paid for by York Revolution
5 Brooks Robinson Way, York, PA 17401

Get good news in your inbox: Subscribe and we’ll send you the latest features as well as behind-the-scenes looks of our stories and why each story we publish matters to us and the community.