Take me out to the movies: Fifth Third Ballpark hosting shows

Kent County

Fifth Third Ballpark, home of the West Michigan Whitecaps. (April 9, 2020)

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Even though the West Michigan Whitecaps are not playing this summer, Fifth Third Ballpark will still welcome families as it hosts a series of outdoor movies.

Moovies from the Mound, presented by Milk Means More, will start July 30. The lineup continues:

  • July 30: (6 p.m.) “Frozen” | (9 p.m.) “The Natural”
  • July 31: (6 p.m.) “The Incredibles” | (9 p.m.) “Angels In The Outfield”
  • Aug. 1: (6 p.m.) “The Sandlot” | (9 p.m.) “Field Of Dreams”
  • Aug. 6: (6 p.m.) “Night at the Museum” | (9 p.m.) “Forrest Gump”
  • Aug. 7: (6 p.m.) “The Lion King” (2019) | (9 p.m.) “The Karate Kid” (1984)
  • Aug. 8: (6 p.m.) “Toy Story” | (9 p.m.) “Jurassic Park”

Though two movies are being featured each night, each movie is a separate ticket. After each show, the ballpark will be cleared out and cleaned.

A $35 ticket will reserve you a 12-foot by 12-foot space in the outfield for up to six people. You can buy tickets online now.

The number of tickets will be limited to maintain social distance, the ballpark says; capacity will be at less than 8%. Everyone will have their temperature checked upon entry and will be required to wear a mask. Signs will be up to help remind people to stay 6 feet apart. Any transactions, like for food that will be for sale, will be cashless.

“We have an excellent plan for following all of the mandated guidelines and then some. There will be plenty of room and our staff are trained to follow strict protocols,” West Michigan Whitecaps President Steve McCarthy said in a Wednesday statement.

Word came in late June that the 2020 Minor League Baseball season was canceled. That meant for the first time in 27 years, the Whitecaps would not play. Ballpark officials were determined to make use of their space, however.

“Since the cancellation of the baseball season, creating new events for the community to safely enjoy at the ballpark has been our work,” McCarthy said. “This is the kind of fun we’re used to providing to the community … Having an open-air venue where we can safely come together as a community and have some fun will certainly be meaningful and impactful given our current climate.”

Economists say metro Grand Rapids businesses stand to lose about $10 million because of the MiLB cancellation, noting that games bring people into town to spend money at restaurants, gas stations and hotels.

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