With a 15th season of baseball just around the corner, here are some of the new things you'll see from the Altoona Curve in 2013:
Saturday Night Game Times: All Saturday night home games will begin at 6 p.m. this season, a change from games beginning at 7 p.m. in previous years once the calendar flipped to June.
McCartney's BizBall Suite: An ideal place to hold a business meeting, the McCartney's BizBall Suite comes equipped with everything you need to hold a professional meeting or conference. Room for 20 people, the suite now exists where Suites 401 and 402 used to be and can be set up as one giant conference room table or a classroom-style setting. It comes equipped with a 42" flat-screen television for cable use plus another 42" flat-screen television for presentation use that can be controlled from anywhere in the room via your computer, iPad, iPhone or mobile devices. The suite is available for meetings and also available for game-night rentals. All the conference-room material in the room has been provided by McCartney's Office Supplies in Altoona.
Speed Pitch: Think you can throw as fast as the guys on the field? Test out your arm strength with our new Speed Pitch Machine, located on the walkway leading to the Party Deck in left field. For adults and children alike, test your strength and find out who's got the fastest pitch at each home game this season.
Sandy Candy Land: The area just outside the Galliker's Kids' Zone at the ballpark is now known as Sandy Candy Land, a place where kids can create their own edible, sugar-free sand art!
Chipotle Burrito Scream: A new mid-inning promotion for the 2013 season will be the Chipotle Burrito Scream, which will take place at every Curve home game in 2013. During each scream, four selected fans will be given a coupon for a free Chipotle burrito.
Curve Party Pack Series: This is a series of four giveaways geared for the Curve fan ages 21 and up. Fans that collect all four giveaways and bring them back to the game on August 31 will be entered into a drawing to win the grand prize Curve Party Pack Series Tailgating Package Giveaway.
The four giveaway dates in the Curve Party Pack Series are:
June 20: Playing Cards to the first 500 fans 21+ thanks to Third Shift Lager
July 18: Beverage Coaster Set to the first 500 fans 21+ thanks to Yuengling Lager
August 1: Koozies to the first 500 fans 21+ thanks to Redd's Apple Ale
August 15: Bottle Opener to the first 500 fans 21+ thanks to Bud Light
Youth Baseball Clinic Giveaways: Kids who attend the final two Youth Baseball Clinics this season will be treated to some special giveaway items thanks to UPMC Health Plan. Those who attend the clinic on April 28 will receive a set of Batting Gloves while those who attend on May 12 will receive a Bat Bag. Youth Baseball Clinics are free with the purchase of a ticket to the game and are taught by current Altoona Curve players and coaches.
Human Cannonball/Fur Circus/Utility Man: The Curve have revamped their entertainers schedule for the 2013 season by bringing in three completely new acts that have yet to make an appearance in Curve, Pa.
The first of the new acts to appear will be the Fur Circus, stopping by on June 15 thanks to WTAJ-TV. Led by their ringmaster Rizzo, the circus trio of Buddy, Splash and Myles are some of the most en-fur-taining, fur-loving and totally fur-joyabe group you will ever lay your eyes on!
The second of the new trio to appear will be The Utility Man, who makes his way to Curve, Pa. on July 6. A do-it-all sports entertainer, The Utility Man can do it all: jumping stilts, singing, improv comedy, puppeteering, competitive eating, juggling, dancing, magic, cheerleading, goat-milk selling at more!
Appearing on July 17 will be the Human Cannonball, which is a man who will shoot himself out of a cannon from beyond second-base. David "The Bullet" Smith, Jr. is the man who will catapult himself through the air here at Peoples Natural Gas Field. It's not a new act to Smith, who's been doing it at circuses and other venues across the country for over 11 years.
Curve/Celebrity Softball Game: To help ring in a 15th season of baseball in Altoona, the Curve felt it would be fitting to bring back some of its alumni to take on local media and celebrities in a softball game prior to the regularly-scheduled game on August 10 vs. Harrisburg. The alumni participating will be announced at a later date.
25 Fireworks Shows: Fans will get more bang for their buck, literally, in 2013 with 25 different fireworks dates at the ballpark. The 25 fireworks dates are the most since the team had 25 dates back in 2006.
What If Night - Coasters: With the success of last year's What if We Were the Lake Monsters Night, the Curve will continue the promotion in 2013 with What if We Were the Coasters Night. Coasters was another finalist for a possible team name before Curve was selected back in 1998. The team will wear special Coasters jerseys for the game on June 6 with Reading and a limited amount of Coasters merchandise will be sold in the team store.
Day of the Arts: The Curve will combine art and baseball with Arts & Baseball Night at the ballpark, scheduled for August 11. The night will feature an arts-themed jersey that will be worn by the team and auctioned off throughout the game to benefit the Altoona Symphony Orchestra. A pregame, on-field performance by the symphony will be cap off an afternoon's worth of arts activities at Peoples Natural Gas Field and lead into the 6 p.m. game between the Curve and Harrisburg.
Curve Community Relations Efforts presented by UPMC Health Plan: The Curve and UPMC Health Plan have partnered up for the 2013 season in an effort to further strengthen their community efforts in and around Blair County and its surrounding areas. As in seasons past, Curve players and mascots will be out in our community in full force throughout the 2013 season.
Lung Disease Foundation of Central Pennsylvania Giant Jersey: The Curve have teamed up with the Lung Disease Foundation of Central Pennsylvania in 2013 to place a new giant jersey near the Galliker's Kids' Zone in 2013. All players on the 2013 Curve roster will sign the roster, as will celebrities and high-profile athletes that visit the park throughout the season. Raffle tickets will be sold by the Lung Disease Foundation throughout the season and one lucky raffle winner at the end of the season will take home the giant jersey.
Habanero Curve Burger: No we're not getting rid of the original but improving on it with this rendition. Imagine a Curve Burger topped with Habanero cheese. Sounds good, right?
Additional Craft Beers: The Curve will have a total of 28 beers offered at the ballpark throughout the 2013 season with 15 of those being craft beers.
Airbrush Temporary Tattoo Machine: New for the kids is an airbrush temporary tattoo machine where kids can get temporary tattoos of their favorite Curve mascots or other unique designs. Tattoos typically last up to seven days.
Merchandise Buggy: In addition to The Stockyard and The Caboose, fans can now purchase merchandise off of the all-new Curve Merch Buggy, which will be making its way around Peoples Natural Gas Field during Curve games.
Engineer-Inspired Cap: Kids can now look like Tenacious with their very own engineer-styled cap that is an exact replica of the one that Tenacious dons at each and every home game. The cap is available today in both the Stockyard and the Caboose.
More Free Kids' Club Games: The Curve have upped the number of free games in the Galliker's Curve Kids' Club in 2013 to 10, up from eight a year ago. In this year's club, there are also a number of game day and non-game day events that are exclusive to club members only. Some of those events include Picture Day with the Curve (June 8), a Kids' Club Press Conference with a Curve Player (June 24), Pregame Parade on the Field (July 17) and non-game day events like a ballpark tour (May 29) and an Ice Cream Birthday Party for the mascots (July 11).
Cool 101 FM & TuneIn Join Radio Network: Altoona is proud to welcome two additions to its radio network in 2013 that will help fans stay in touch with their team. Cool 101.7 FM, WCCL is a real oldies format station that covers most of Cambria, Somerset and Bedford counties as well as good portions of Blair, Indiana and Westmoreland counties. The station can also be heard in parts of Western Maryland. WCCL and the Curve will also partner up for a promotion at Peoples Natural Gas Field during the 2013 campaign as part of the affiliation as well.
If you are a fan that likes to listen to games online or via your mobile device, you can listen in 2013 courtesy of TuneIn Radio. The Curve Radio Network stream will be provided on AltoonaCurve.com thanks to TuneIn while fans that want to listen on their phone can download the TuneIn Radio App. The TuneIn App is available on both iOS and Android platforms.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.