Published on April 25th, 2014 | by Kelsey Arnold0
The Dog Days of Summer: Jackie Robinson Ballpark
I know it seems like I’m getting a little ahead of myself by writing about summer in April, but I have every reason to be excited. Dog lovers all over Volusia County will rejoice with me at the return of Dog Days this May at Jackie Robinson Ballpark. These are some of my, and my fur babies’, favorite times of the year.
Each year, the Daytona Cubs host three Dog Days, where pet owners can enjoy America’s favorite game with their favorite pup.
If you’re anything like me, the thought of a stadium full of furry, four-legged friends excitedly watching balls fly across a grassy field will melt your heart.
This ensures that you’re not anywhere near me and my adorable yellow lab, Kelso.
I began noticing, after my first few Dog Days, that the labrador owners tend to congregate together in the stands. I’m guessing it is to protect the rest of the spectators and pooches from the clumsy goofiness that is a lab.
In addition to your general admission of $7 per person, your dog can get into the park on these select nights for just $2. All of the proceeds from the dog tickets go directly to the Greyhound Pets of America, a non-profit adoption organization that places greyhounds in permanent homes and educates the public on the breed.
Dishes of water are set up throughout the entrances to the stands, but it is always best to bring along either a disposable or foldable dish to keep your canine hydrated. The park asks that you keep your pets leashed to avoid potential chaos.
Never bring an aggressive canine to a game.
Just because your dog is a perfect angel at home with you, doesn’t necessarily mean he won’t be aggressive towards other dogs, people or kids. I have four dogs, but I know I can never bring Charlie. He resembles a small black bear, which can be intimidating. Although he is a sweetheart, he is incredibly protective of me and will growl at anyone that comes near me.
Likewise, my girl Zoya is a snuggle monster at home, but her idea of a friendly greeting is a growl and “smiling” or baring her teeth.
As long as you can follow these rules to keep your pet and others safe, you can have a blast at these games. Announcers of the game always have a little fun with the dogs and repeatedly ring a doorbell throughout the game or play clips of barking dogs. I’m sure you can imagine the reaction.
I have always questioned the decision to hold a competition on these nights in which you can toss tennis balls into hula-hoops on the field to win prizes. I’m not going to lie. I am guilty of paying the dollar just to get Kelso his own tennis ball to prevent him from leaping the fence during the ball toss.
Some dogs don’t quite understand what Cubby is and stare at him terrified as though he is a giant dog that learned to walk on two legs.
My not-so-little guy always makes a beeline for him though, and isn’t stingy with the kisses on Cubby’s snout.
The ballpark offers different promotions at almost every home game that are always entertaining including fireworks before or after games; Belly Buster Mondays when admission is $11 with all you can eat hot dogs, hamburgers, popcorn and pizza; and Thirsty Thursdays when 12 oz. domestic draft beers are just $1.
A children’s club called Cubby’s Crew is offered for a $6 membership per child. Kids receive free admission to Friday night home games, a Cubby’s Crew T-shirt, newsletter and discounts on Baseball Camp.
Every year I look forward to these nights, three of which are held each summer. Each time I see old friends, and Kelso recognizes his buddies in the stands as well. After experiencing just one Dog Day, I’m sure you and your hot dog will want to make it a tradition, too.
This year’s Dog Days will be held on Friday, May 2 at 7:05 p.m. against the Clearwater Threshers, Friday, June 20 at 7:05 p.m. against Brevard County Manatees and Friday, Aug. 29 at 7:05 p.m. against Tampa Bay Yankees. Click here to add the first Dog Days to your calendar.
Daytona Cubs @ Jackie Robinson Ballpark
$7 general admission, $2 per dog
(Admission varies for other events)
Find this year’s schedule below, click to enlarge: