Colorado Rockies: Double-A affiliate makes bold announcement
By Kevin Henry
The Hartford Yard Goats, the Double-A affiliate for the Colorado Rockies, made a bold move on Wednesday. And, as with most bold moves, it was met with a mixture of praise and criticism.
The Yard Goats announced on Wednesday that Dunkin’ Donuts Park would be peanut-free in 2019. There will still be plenty of great Colorado Rockies prospects to watch play this season in Hartford. It’s only the ballpark concession menu that will change.
For those of us with friends and family members who have severe peanut allergies, the move makes perfect sense. I have a friend who has to carry an EpiPen around with him because of his daughter’s severe peanut allergies, so I know the stress this can bring to a family any time they leave the house. That stress is magnified when they take in a sporting event where peanuts are a very common indulgence.
He switched his airline allegiance recently to Southwest Airlines because they have also gone peanut-free. I will admit that, as a customer, I wasn’t happy when Southwest stopped offering peanuts as a snack. However, knowing Rick and what he goes through with his child, I can put up with having pretzels as an alternative on the flight if it helps his daughter stay safe.
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There have been plenty of people who have voiced their displeasure with the decision made by Southwest and Colorado’s Double-A affiliate. Just look at some of the comments in this thread and you can see that the Yard Goats made a necessary move, but not a popular move in many circles. Plenty have snipped that Hartford can’t do the seventh inning stretch any longer since fans will have to sing the words, “Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks.” And yes, without peanuts at the ballpark, some of those fans truly don’t seem to care if they ever come back.
As a minor league team, the Yard Goats have to do what is best to bring people into the stands. Their general manager talked about the importance of attendance with me during the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas. This move may keep people away in the short-term, but for parents like Rick and those who have this allergy, the announcement was a welcome relief.
The Yard Goats continue to be innovative and try new things … even if they aren’t the most popular things to try. Personally, I applaud them for making the game we all love more accessible to more people.