Dr Pepper Ballpark, home of the Frisco RoughRiders, has something that no other Minor League stadium can lay claim to: a lazy river.
This aquatic attraction -- officially known as the Choctaw Lazy River -- accrued accolades from the moment it was announced. It officially opened last June, serving most nights as a group area but available as a standalone ticket for Thirsty Thursday pool parties. Just before the 2017 season began, the RoughRiders announced it would be heated and, thus, open during those relatively cool April Texas nights.
The primary reason that Frisco's lazy river became a story is because it is large, and not just by Minor League Baseball standards. It comprises 3,000 square feet -- with a full lap in an inner tube resulting in a leisurely 400 feet of travel -- and is filled with 68,023 gallons of water. As the RoughRiders somewhat gratuitously pointed out in their initial press release, that 68,023 gallons of water could theoretically be replaced by 1,267,973 baseballs or 1,088,368 cups of nacho cheese.
RoughRiders owner Chuck Greenberg, lazy river mastermind, told me in March of 2016 that he "wanted to come up with something that not only signified the visual element, but that you could never get numb to." Once his lazy vision became lazy reality, he remarked that "this may be the one where I just drop the mic and walk away."
Last month, I got the chance to ride the lazy river myself, as part of a Dr Pepper Ballpark visit that also included loaded baked potatoes, a visit with the RoughRiders' "Ambassador of Fun," conversations with Mexican League executives and a special guest appearance by Didi "Frenchy" Conn of Grease fame.
My debut ride is chronicled in the video contained herein, supplemented by interviews with a lazy river lifeguard, a veteran rider, Thirsty Thursday revelers and Chuck "Mic Drop" Greenberg. Finally, a chance to take my shirt off at a Minor League ballpark. Dreams do come true.
Video: MiLB.com's Ben Hill rides Frisco's lazy river