Home Run Dugout Lets You Eat, Drink and Play Baseball

At Home Run Dugout, you're not just at the game — you're in it

Three hot dogs on a white plate on a white wooden picnic bench
Now there's a place where you can enjoy high-end food and beer while watching and playing baseball
Getty Images / iStockphoto

Sure, going to an MLB ballpark to watch a game with good food and beer is great. But what if you could actually play in the game? That’s the experience the owners of Home Run Dugout want for their guests.

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While Texas may be known for its love of football, apparently its appreciation for baseball is strong as well. Home Run Dugout will soon boast two locations in the Lone Star State, a new one in Katy (a 30-minute drive from Houston), as well as its existing spot in Round Rock (35 minutes north of Austin). The emerging chain counts Hall of Fame pitcher and native Texan Nolan Ryan as one of its investors, and it’s — according to Front Office Sports — basically “the Topgolf of baseball.”

“Like Topgolf, Home Run Dugout combines sports, food and entertainment in one upscale setting,” the publication wrote. “Unlike the batting cages of old where you donned a rented helmet and tossed tokens into a batting machine, the 46,000-square-foot facility [in Katy] will feature ‘indoor soft-toss baseball’ and several [additional] amenities.”

At the Katy location, which opens March 30, there’s also a full-service restaurant, three bars serving 20 craft beers, 12 virtual batting bays and a “Biergarten Baseball” mini-field for wiffle ball games. Between the wiffle ball and soft-toss baseball, which allows “anybody to experience the visceral thrill of hitting home runs in their favorite (virtual) ballparks,” the place has earned its nickname as “Home of the 7 MPH Fastball.” For good measure, at the Katy spot there’s also a dog park and a concert stage for live music performances.

“The venue is designed to give you the same feeling of walking into a Major League Baseball stadium,” Nick Hermandorfer, one of the Home Run Dugout owners, told Front Office Sports about the Katy location. “That concourse experience where as soon as you walk in the gate, you get your ticket scanned and you can smell the concessions in the air and see people playing on the field.”

Home Run Dugout’s owners are not going to stop in Texas, either. Per Front Office Sports, they’ve raised $10 million in financing and are opening a three-level establishment in Florida’s Pompano Beach later this year.

With places like Home Run Dugout opening up, it’s hard to believe that baseball is “dying,” as so many headlines have claimed in recent years. In a January IPSOS poll of 1,035 Americans who were asked if they were fans of 13 different sports, baseball ranked second behind NFL football. Thanks to a number of initiatives launched by baseball stakeholders, participation in baseball and softball and baseball viewership across new broadcast platforms have jumped exponentially.

With Americans’ love for baseball thriving and the rising consumer demand for “luxury experiences,” the timing of Home Run Dugout seems pretty perfect. It’s further proof that sports, even baseball, will continue to be leveraged for money-making endeavors.

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