Posted: July 13, 2015 at 5:43 pm

By: Craig Poole, Kaitlyn Redcay and Sydney Williams 

The mouthwatering smell of hot dogs waft through the grandstands of the newly built Monongalia County Ballpark as The West Virginia Black Bears kick off their inaugural season. Morgantown has greeted the Pittsburgh Pirates affiliate with open arms and huge smiles from the fans. The single A team is the first minor league team to call Morgantown its home, and the Black Bears intend to stay by providing the community with affordable family fun.

The team has had nine home games thus far, with its season opener on June 19. The Monongalia County Ballpark seats 2,500 and the Black Bears have sold out the park out twice so far this summer.

The team’s public address announcer, Bill Nevin stated, “I think because it’s new, people are gonna come down here and check out these new facilities and see how nice they are, see how well they’re treated and what a great experience it is. It’s about the entertainment for family and about the fun that you’re going to have in the ballpark.”

Nevin went on to say, “Another great thing, too, it’s affordable. It’s not like going to Pittsburgh at a major league game where you have to shell out a lot of money for tickets, concessions and parking. Here you can come and really have a nice time and it’s affordable and there’s a great family environment.”

A banner greets fans as they approach their seats at Monongalia County Ballpark.

A banner greets fans as they approach their seats at Monongalia County Ballpark.

A regular priced ticket for the Black Bears is $10, compared to $29 and up for the Pirates.

The newness of the team has brought a lot of attention and excitement. However, will the Black Bears keep bringing in the large crowds? Alyssa Showman, a member of the Black Bears’ public relations media team stated, “since this is the inaugural season there’s been a lot of hype about it. I’m not sure if it’ll keep up but hopefully.”

Attending a Black Bears game shows the team’s intentions of including the entire Morgantown community. The team invites local little league teams to meet the players and promotes local restaurants. Additionally, dance contests and trivia are held in between innings to add to the experience.

A couple of Black Bears fans show their support for the team.

A couple of Black Bears fans show their support for the team.

Nevin has high expectations for the team. He said, “We’ve had great crowds so far and I think it will just continue throughout the summer. I think this community is really going to back the West Virginia Black Bears.”

For more information on the Black Bears, visit their website.