Dayton Dragons 2021 season updates: Graeter’s, movie nights, cashless policy and more

Following a canceled 2020 season due to the pandemic, the Dayton Dragons organization is returning with a number of new initiatives and new COVID-19-friendly entertainment programs for guests.

“From the experience standpoint, you’re still going to get unsurpassed customer service when you come here,” said Robert Murphy, Dayton Dragons president. “You’re still going to have a smile on your face.”

According to Murphy, one major change that will be practiced at least at the start of the season is the strict “no on-field entertainment” rule. Between-inning activities will be replaced by interactive activities on the park’s video board and on guests’ phones via the Dragons Mobile App.

Though there will be a number of new health and safety protocols in place while guests order from concessions and pick up food and beverages during gameday, Murphy said “all the regular Dragons ballpark favorites” like hot dogs, pretzels, beer and more will return as usual.

For the first time, Graeter’s Ice Cream will have pre-packaged flavors available in all concession stands at the ballpark.

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Before a visit to Day Air Ballpark, hungry guests should keep in mind the park’s new cashless policy. All concession stands, 50/50 raffles and other monetary exchanges will be credit card only. Day Air Ballpark also now accepts other digital payment methods like Apple Pay and Google Pay.

Additional entertainment programs expected to roll out this year include five Public Movie Nights, a comedy show, the re-scheduled Nitro Circus, the return of Beer Fest and more. More details on 2021 Dayton Dragons entertainment programs are coming soon.

The Dragons typically roll out new programs and entertainment offerings every season. However, their 2021 plan involves more community involvement and fundraising than in previous seasons.

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“We decided that if we come out on the other side of this, we need to be doubling down on what we’re going to be doing for this community,” Murphy said. “So we’ve come up with some really great things.”

The new “Dragons Home Run Challenge” is a notable initiative. For every home run the Dragons hit at Day Air Ballpark in 2021, the Dragons will donate $100 from the Dragons Foundation to a non-profit organization helping serve the needs of the Dayton region. Once the season starts, the tally begins. In fact, the Dayton Foodbank will be the benefactor of the 2021 Home Run Challenge. Each season, a “new worthy organization” will be selected.

“The cool part of the structure we have in place for this Home Run Challenge is that not only do we increase the number of home runs hit as the season progresses, but we also increase the dollar amount donated per home run as more and more individuals, families and businesses join in,” stated a Dragons release about the challenge.

“Rebuilding the Arts” will be another large giveback effort.

“We’re going to take our marketing horsepower and our Dragon spotlight and (put) it on (the) arts groups for three different weekends from Friday, Saturday and Sunday,” Murphy said.

The arts groups include Dayton Art Institute, Dayton Live and Muse Machine.

In addition, with so many contactless practices in place, the Dragons are putting an emphasis on their newly revamped “Dragons Mobile App,” where guests will find the now-virtual “Playball!” program book, 50/50 raffle tickets, interactive media, all ticket and gameday information and more.

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