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Published: Thursday, 4/14/2005

Hens fans to have built-in party pavilion


Tomorrow the Mud Hens will unveil a new area for fans to visit while watching a game at Fifth Third Field.

Today the team will receive and assemble - get ready to groan - the "Coop A Cabana," which is located on the walkway beneath the Roost area in the right-field corner, which is called the "Fowl Pole Pavilion."

The idea behind the Coop A Cabana, according to Mud Hens general manager Joe Napoli, was to create an outdoor party pavilion at the ballpark.

"Because of the number of people we get on Fridays and Saturdays, which are usually standing-room only, we thought this would be a fun place to visit, especially if you don't have a seat," he said.

Initially only beverages will be served at the Coop A Cabana, but the team plans to introduce finger foods. The food service will not be ready for Opening Day.

"That wouldn't stop someone from going to a concession stand and bringing food into the area," Napoli said.

Napoli said the idea behind adding the Coop A Cabana - or any new feature - to Fifth Third Field is to enhance experience.

"One concept that came together rather quickly after the season ended was the idea of creating a party space in the outfield that could become a destination while people are at a Mud Hens game," he said.

"Several trips by some of our staff members to warmer climates this offseason spurred on the idea."

The initial plan for this new area is to have it stay open even after the game ends.

"We're going to try it, and we're going to see what kind of demand there is for it," Napoli said.

"Then we'll create the plan as our fans tell us what they want and what they like.''

Napoli said the "Coop A Cabana" could eventually become a space that is rented for individual games.

"We're going to balance that as we figure out what people want - our fans will tell us," he said.

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