Bull Durham Brewing Sold, Will Stay at DBAP

“The first brewery in America to operate in a Minor League baseball stadium, Bull Durham Beer Co., owned by WRAL and Durham Bulls parent company Capitol Broadcasting, has been sold.

R&D Brewing Company based in Raleigh purchased Bull Durham Beer Co. for an undisclosed amount.”

More info at WRAL.com


Durham Bulls Job Fair

The Durham Bulls will host their annual Job Fair on Saturday, Jan. 21 to fill part-time game day positions for the 2017 season. The fair will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the PNC Triangle Club at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.

For more informaton go to DurhamBulls.com


‘Pokemon Go’ helped me meet 100 new friends at a baseball stadium

A baseball stadium outside regular operating hours ranks as only the fifth-weirdest place I’ve visited since Pokemon Go was released a week ago. The Durham Bulls opened up their downtown ballpark to allow trainers to walk around and catch Pokemon. We could have done it at home, or in our own backyards, but this wasn’t about actually catching them — it was about the experience. We were players of the same game, inside a stadium and none of us were athletes.

It’s hard to know what to expect when you approach this kind of promotional event. Minor league affiliates routinely use wacky giveaways or special theme nights to boost attendance, but the Bulls didn’t tie this to a game. The feeling of ennui poured over me during the drive to Durham, N.C. What if it was just me and three middle-aged guys walking around the outfield of an empty stadium catching Pidgeys? As much as I hoped the event would be amazing, my expectations were low.

Then I arrived.

Scores of people teemed around the entrance to the stadium and the surrounding streets. Routinely you’d see a group take off, running down a side alley to catch a rare Pokemon that just popped on their map. Every Pokestop in the downtown area had a lure on it, an item used to attract Pokemon. I overheard an overjoyed little girl who was unable to contain herself, “I’ve never seen so many Pokemon at once, mom! OH MY GOD I JUST GOT A DUGTRIO!”

The box office was busier than it had any right to be for 10:30 am on a Tuesday morning. Three lines were perpetually full of people waiting to plonk down their $5 to enter a stadium and never see any sports.

Every game needs a plan.

When the gates opened just before 11 a.m. I had a plan. Sure, I wanted to experience the event and talk to Pokemon Go fans, but I also had my eye on a Psyduck. Objectively the best Pokemon, I was in dire need of more Psyducks to level my own — and for whatever reason the downtown area was full of them.

Walking into the ballpark was a surreal experience. Every PA system and speaker was tuned into music from the Pokemon soundtrack, advertising boards were showing Pokemon. I took a quick loop around the concourse and watched my Psyduck’s proximity bounce between 2 feet and 1, an in-game metric to tell you just how close you are to a Pokemon.

Rounding the nearest entrance I head to the field thinking perhaps the Psyduck in on the field itself, and despite being well over 90 degrees the field was dotted with Pokemon fans.

The best thing about Pokemon Go isn’t the nostalgia, or hunting for Pokemon or the exploration — it’s the shared social experience. Anyone with a phone out suddenly becomes a potential acquaintance, and the confines of the stadium became a safe space to approach anyone and share notes. It’s not dissimilar to attending any sporting event in a stadium. Fast friends are made in an instant by just sharing their opinions on the team, or in this case commiserating about the app crashing for the 15th time in as many minutes.

“I heard there was a Kabuto in the dugout a little while ago,” a fan told me “but I haven’t been able to catch him. Best thing so far is a Nidorino — so that’s pretty sweet.”

I asked him if he’d seen the Psyduck, but to no avail.



Research Triangle: incubator for business

The redevelopment of the American Tobacco campus in Durham, N.C., has helped to change the city’s trajectory and provide a home for entrepreneurs.

Durham, N.C. — It’s hard to imagine now, but the bustling entertainment district in downtown Durham not so many years ago was a decrepit cigarette factory filled with bat dung and pigeon droppings whose last best use was as a practice field for the local SWAT team.

The American Tobacco works were a civic embarrassment by the late 1990s. American Brands had pulled out in 1987, and the home of Lucky Strike and Bull Durham was crumbling. Its demise nearly killed downtown Durham as other businesses fled. It was an eyesore, visible to travelers along the Durham Freeway that passes nearby.

But with the help of a visionary business leader, Durham re-imagined American Tobacco. Since reopening in 2004, the development has been filled to the brim with bars and restaurants, apartments and chic new offices. The handsome home of the city’s beloved minor league baseball team, the Durham Bulls, stands right across the street flanked by attractive red brick office buildings along the outfield walls. The glassy Durham Performing Arts Center opened nearby in 2008. An adjoining Aloft hotel came along last year.

And inside American Tobacco, you can get a glimpse of what’s coming next in the Research Triangle.

American Underground, one of the top entrepreneurial hubs in the country, is here. It’s where young companies take flight. There’s Mati, founded by Tatiana Birgisson, who began brewing her carbonated energy drinks as a Duke University student. Now, she’s selling them in Whole Foods. And there’s Nugget, a maker of foldable couches hatched by a couple of students at UNC-Chapel Hill. And Smashing Boxes, a digital product agency.

The Research Triangle area of North Carolina — with Durham, Raleigh and Chapel Hill at its vertices — has long turned good ideas into business enterprises. World class universities attract an enviable supply of talent. and a range of companies — from startups to Cisco, BASF and GlaxoSmithKline — keep that talent anchored. The Triangle has one of the highest levels of educational attainment in the nation.

Read the entire article HERE.


Durham Bulls to open ballpark for Pokémon Go players

DURHAM, N.C. — The Durham Bulls Athletic Park (DBAP) will open its stands, seats and empty baseball field exclusively for Pokémon Go players Tuesday.

From 11 a.m. until 1 p.m., gamers can purchase a $5 ticket to enter the ballpark’s stands and field to search for, and capture, their favorite Pokémon characters. All of the proceeds earned from the event will benefit Second Chance Pet Adoptions.

Currently the number one app in the iTunes App Store, players can use Pokémon Go on their smartphones and other devices to capture virtual Pokémon.

The app uses players’ cameras and locations to show their surroundings, encouraging them to walk around to find characters and capture them by throwing pokéballs at just the right angle.

“Over our last homestand we found that the DBAP proved to be a hotspot for Pokémon, with characters popping up in all areas of the stadium,” said Bulls General Manager Mike Birling. “The problem was, many of the Pokémon were on the field, and our fans weren’t able to catch them.” 

The game is sweeping the nation, and, now that the Bulls are on the road for two weeks, its the perfect time for the stadium to host such an event for area residents.

“The great thing about the app is that people can play it anywhere,” said Birling. “Our situation is slightly different, though, as fans [normally] don’t have acces to our Pokémon-filled field. [Now], we can make sure no Pokémon at the DBAP goes uncaptured.”


‘Bull Durham’ headed for Broadway

“The world I know, Minor League Baseball, there is a certain feel that I think you have to get right,” said former Baltimore Orioles farmhand Ron Shelton.

Of course, a career .253 hitter over five seasons at all levels of the minors, Shelton is familiar with the minor leagues – definitely more so than most of his Hollywood colleagues.

The 70-year-old writer and director has long traded the name on the back of a jersey for one on the back of a chair. Shelton’s Tin Cup, White Men Can’t Jump, Blue Chips and Cobb stand out for sports movie aficionados of the early and mid-1990s. But it is Bull Durham that takes the stage alone for many sports movie cultists.

And wouldn’t you know it, the stage is exactly where Bull Durham is headed – presumably.

“I think (the labs) went extremely well and we’re getting indication that it’s moving forward,” Shelton said.

Bull Durham the musical appears to be headed for Broadway after going through a series of test runs in New York and a developmental production set in Atlanta.


“There was a look we were going for to capture the minors and say ‘this is not the major leagues,’” Shelton said of the film. “Structurally, a Broadway musical is different than a movie. It is kind of a high-count; scenes have to play out quicker and in shorter version.”

Yes, that means the rustically romantic film framed around a baseball diamond will now feature singing and dancing.

So how does one recreate the low-lit, ragged look of 1980s minor league baseball while positioning oneself under the bright lights of Broadway – and staying true to the classic story that is, of course? It’s a bit of a juggling act.

“We are trying to balance a lot of things,” Shelton said. “Romance, earthiness, bodyness, sexiness, silliness. That’s a lot of plates to keep in the air.”

But make no mistake, even with the song and dance that define a musical, Crash Davis will still be Crash Davis, Ebby Calvin LaLoosh will still be “Nuke” and Annie Savoy will still be true to her character. And yes, the famed bull in the “D” logo will remain.

“We have worked hard so the woman’s voice is strong and the men are men – it’s like the movie,” Shelton said. “There is certainly testosterone in the air, but the women are powerful too.”

Read more at WRAL Sports Fan.

‘Bull Durham’ headed for BroadwayMORE INFO