The Durham Bulls, the minor-league baseball franchise in North Carolina, have opened their empty ballpark for Pokémon Go players today while the team is out of town.
There's a good reason for it, too. The Bulls' general manager said in a statement that during the team's most recent homestand, management discovered that the Durham Bulls Athletic Park was a Pokémon Go hotspot, but that many monsters were on the field itself and out of range of players sitting in the stands.
The park is open from now to 1 p.m. where, for $5, anyone can go walk around and hunt up all the Pokémon they wish. The proceeds are all headed to a pet adoption charity, but this is the latest manifestation of Pokémon Go as a mainstream phenomenon, even in the world of sports.
Update: Here's the scene so far, courtesy of Joe Ovies, an afternoon-drive sports talker for WRAL-FM in Raleigh, N.C.
And here's an Instagram roundup by the club itself.
The event appears to be today only, but given the culture of minor league baseball in the U.S., which is constantly scheming up promotions to bring in people — many, like the now-annual Star Wars Night, drawing on pop culture — it's likely more than one club will get this idea before the minor league season closes in early September.
The Bulls are, yes, those Bulls, the team made famous in Ron Shelton's 1988 romantic comedy Bull Durham, widely considered one of the best baseball movies of all time. They are the Class AAA affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays, one classification below major league.