Explore Pensacola's Blue Wahoos Stadium
Welcome to Blue Wahoos Stadium, where Pensacola Bay glimmers in the distance, Double-A Marlins prospects are close at hand and delicious concessions are all around.
Pensacola Blue Wahoos (Double-A affiliate of the Miami Marlins since 2021)
Ballpark: Blue Wahoos Stadium (opened April 5, 2012)
League: Southern League, South Division
Championships: 2022 (Southern League), 2017 (Southern League co-champions with Chattanooga)
Alumni: Miguel Rojas, Didi Gregorius, Billy Hamilton, Tucker Barnhart, Michael Lorenzen, Jesse Winker, Jose Miranda, Edward Cabrera, Eury Pérez
Fun, fresh and fishy (in name only), the Blue Wahoos have a ballpark befitting the thoroughly 21st-century Minor League team they are. Featuring one of the most beautiful views in baseball -- or anywhere -- Blue Wahoos Stadium is such a fun place to be that people pay to come and stay a while even when no games are going on.
Blue Wahoos Stadium
351 W. Cedar Street
Pensacola, FL 32502
Dimensions: left field, 332 feet; center field, 400 feet; right field, 330 feet
Park Factors (2021-22)
100 = league average
Runs: 98 | Homers: 99 | Hits: 102
Southern League environment: 4.77 runs per team per game (ninth-highest of 11 full-season leagues)
Brought to Pensacola in 2012 by local businessman and philanthropist Quint Studer, the Blue Wahoos debuted in a park custom made for them ... sort of.
The Studer family acquired the independent Pensacola Pelicans in the early part of the new century and spent years investing in and developing the team, bolstering the Pelicans to such an extent that they twice jumped during the Studer's ownership. Still, the club was playing at a local college facility until the Studers spearheaded an effort to get a public park and a new stadium built in an area along the city's neglected waterfront.
Meanwhile, a Southern League franchise (the Carolina Mudcats, since replaced in the North Carolina town of Zebulon by a Carolina League team with the same name) came up for sale, and with the wheels in motion for the establishment of a worthy venue to host a Double-A club, the Studers ushered Pensacola into the world of affiliated ball.
It's been quite the success story. The Blue Wahoos ownership group has since come to include local legends Bubba Watson and Derrick Brooks, and the team welcomed two million fans through its gates within the first seven seasons of existence.
In 2021, after affiliations with the Reds and the Twins, the Blue Wahoos welcomed a partnership with the Marlins. It's a perfect match. Not only does Pensacola become the Double-A club for a big league club in the same state, but there's a synergy in their names -- marlins and wahoos are both sport fish found off the coast of Florida.
The water is warm. Come on in.
How could any feature beat that view? Even from vantages where the sea isn't visible, the expanse of sky over the ocean beyond the outfield walls lends an ethereal beauty to the horizon line.
But if breathtaking vistas of a bright blue bay or a gorgeous, wide-open sky aren't your thing, you'll likely be won over by the park's intimacy and the immediacy of the action. It's the smallest in the Southern League, so every seat feels close to the field.
The broad open-air concourse promotes strolling, and the variety of concessions options (see below) have facades designed according to theme. Wander far enough and you'll get to a walkway beyond the outfield overlooking the bay and a lovely, lively grassy berm with seating options.
Beyond the physical elements of the ballpark, the Blue Wahoos create an electric atmosphere just about every night. Despite having the fewest seats of the bunch, Pensacola posted the third-best total attendance in the Southern League in 2019, 2021 and 2022.
The beautiful design of the ballyard and wide variety of creative concessions items may be what keeps the community coming back, but the team has clearly worked hard and benefited from the Studers' experience running the Pensacola Pelicans to generate the kind of buzz that draws folks from all demographics out to the park for the first time.
The Wahoos put together promo nights ranging from "Mullet Thursdays," during which they play as the Pensacola Mullets (a nod to yet another kind of tropical fish, as well as to the business-in-the-front, party-in-the-back hairstyle), to Military Family Sundays, which offer servicemembers discounted tickets and draw on Pensacola's standing as "the cradle of naval aviation."
What are you looking for? The Blue Wahoos have it.
Hot dogs, peanuts, Cracker Jack -- sure. But Blue Wahoo Stadium is also outfitted with no fewer than six specialty stands where you can find goodies salty and savory, everything from churros to fried pickles, salads to B.L.T. shrimp po' boys, mac and cheese with crabmeat to Cracker Jack-dusted chicken and waffles.
Kazoo is a gigantic, blue, fuzzy aquatic creature with webbed feet and fin ears. He happened to be living in Pensacola Bay during the time the ballpark was being constructed.
He also happens to be a tremendous baseball fan, and his great passions in life include making people laugh and taking photos with new friends in the stands. The pairing was meant to be.
Where to Stay
Headed to the stadium and looking for a hotel nearby? Your Wyndham is waiting. As the Official Hotel of Minor League Baseball, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts welcomes baseball fans with a portfolio of 24 trusted brands. Find Hotels by Wyndham closest to the ballpark below and book now at wyndhamhotels.com.
• Days Inn by Wyndham Pensacola - Historic Downtown
• Baymont by Wyndham Pensacola
• Days Inn & Suites by Wyndham Navarre Conference Center
• Super 8 by Wyndham Pensacola
• La Quinta Inn by Wyndham Pensacola
As mentioned, Pensacola is known as "the cradle of naval aviation." To find out how that came to be, why not visit the National Naval Aviation Museum?
If you're visiting in July, catch the Blue Angels at the Pensacola Beach Air Show. The flight squadron is based in Pensacola, and you have an opportunity to see it practice throughout the baseball season.
There's plenty to do without craning your neck skyward, though.
The Pensacola Museum of Art, which is run by the University of West Florida with a mission seeking to "Create an inclusive community space which increases the visibility of diverse artists and ideas and promotes educational and public programming which facilitates those ideas," is a 10-minute walk from Blue Wahoos Stadium.
Historic Pensacola Village is also an easy hike from the park. A multiple-acre complex featuring costumed historical interpreters and buildings designed in styles representing eras from the 1860s through the 1940s, it's a fun and informative stop that can be enjoyed at any pace from a quick look to a lingering stroll.
Also right there: hop in the car for a quick jaunt across the Pensacola Bay Bridge and saunter along the Pensacola Beach Boardwalk.
We've covered the air and the land. Let's talk about the sea.
You can choose one of several companies like Frisky Mermaid Dolphin Tours to get a guided outing on the water, with a very good chance to see pods of dolphins. Likewise, you can easily find outfitters to set you up for a day of kayaking, standup paddle boarding, sailing or diving.
Food and drink
Seafood lovers will find their happy place in Pensacola.
Since you're here to check out Miami's Double-A affiliate, why not check out The Grand Marlin in Pensacola Beach? In the same area, you'll find Laguna's Beach Bar & Grill, Crab's, Flounder's Chowder House, Water Pig BBQ and more.
The End of the Line Cafe, within a 10-minute drive of the ballpark, serves vegan fare that's not just for vegans -- hummus wraps, sweet and spicy jackfruit sandwiches, burritos and an array of baked goods for dessert.
Taqueria El Asador, 15 minutes away, is a local favorite for Mexican.
Pensacola can form a corner of an approximate trapezoid with three other terrific Southern League cities. Starting with the Blue Wahoos, you could drive a little more than two and a half hours north by northeast to a Montgomery Biscuits game, cut west for not a half day's drive to see the Mississippi Braves, then return to the Gulf Coast with a visit to the Biloxi Shuckers.
Of course, Pensacola also makes an ideal starting or ending place for a much longer road trip through the Minors. Heading west and hugging the shoreline could take you to the Triple-A Sugar Land Skeeters and the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks. Go east by southeast for points throughout the Florida State League. Go north, and you can hit multiple clubs all the way up to Nashville, and beyond.
The Road to Miami
Marlins prospects spend three of the four full-season Minor League assignments in Florida, with Single-A ball a little more than an hour up the state's Eastern coast from Miami and Triple-A over in Jacksonville. A High-A journey shows the little Fish a larger pond via the Beloit Sky Carp in the Midwest League.