The Peoria Chiefs Experience

Written By: Andrew Ketterer

Similar to each summer, there is an overwhelming amount of events and festivals going on throughout the Peoria Area. There are many local events that don’t get as much play, either because people don’t know about them or don’t give them a chance. But there’s also a few larger and more popular things happening in Peoria that people aren’t trying.

The Peoria Chiefs have called Peoria home for over 30 years and have been playing at Dozer Park for more than 10 years, but somehow I think the minor league franchise is still overlooked in the area.

It’s mind-boggling. Really!photo

Last Thursday, I headed to Dozer Park with a group of friends for my second Chiefs game of the summer. We specifically chose Thursday to take advantage of one of the most popular promotions that the Chiefs run—Dollar Beer Night. One of our best friends is leaving town soon and we figured that this would be the best version of a going away party.

Our group gravitated towards a picnic table area located down the left field line. There were two or three tables that we thought would be perfect for the group for a couple of reasons. First, because it just so happened to be 95 degrees outside and the tables were in a shaded area. And second, but certainly not least, the location left us conveniently 20-30 steps away from the beer lady at the concession stand.

As we all ordered our first round of beers, there was something rewarding about only handing the employee $1, considering the ridiculously-priced EVERYTHING at most ball parks these days.

But that low price didn’t just apply to the beer. It’s something that’s common at Dozer Park. The organization wants to make their events affordable for all families and they’re doing a great job! Ticket prices are tiered based on whether you’d like a box seat or a ticket for the grassy areas down each baseline, which is what our group decided to buy. Either way, the ticket prices are lower than most professional sports games.

As the game moved into the fourth inning and a few cold beers had been finished, we all decided it was time for some food. For whatever reason, it seemed like a good idea for each of us to get the “chili-cheese nachos.” Each one of us laughed as the employee handed us the five pound mixture of chips, chili and cheese. I’m not sure any of us finished the meal, but we all were surprised when it cost us under $5!

I mean come on, a meal and a few beers for under $10? It’s no wonder there were busloads of 20- and 30-year-old fans in attendance.

The argument for staying clear of Dozer Park because you’re not a baseball fan doesn’t hold any water anymore either. Throughout the entire game there are giveaways, races and competitions that involve the fans and keep everyone interested.

Our favorite non-baseball event involved two contestants bending over while placing their foreheads on a bat and spinning around ten times. After the contestants were nice and dizzy, they were instructed to sprint about 90 ft. to the finish line. I’ll just let you use your imagination for the craziness that followed, as the contestants swerved and stumbled their way to the checkered flag.

As the game entered the ninth inning the Chiefs were down by a run and ended up losing, which was somewhat disappointing, but what we all realized was that Chiefs games are about more than just watching a baseball game. The organization’s focus seems to be on turning the night into an experience.

As we exited the stadium, you could hear the fans discussing everything that happened at the game, from the “dizzy bat race” to the incredible one handed grab made by a fan on a foul ball. Again, so many things going on that didn’t even involve the game.

And all for under $20.


One thought on “The Peoria Chiefs Experience

  1. Pingback: River City Ramblings | What’s “Playing in Peoria?” – July 24

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