An Opening Day Tradition

Durham Bulls Opening Day 2016

Fans head into the DBAP prior to MiLB action between the Durham Bulls and the Charlotte Knights at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park on April 7, 2016 in Durham, NC. (Will Bratton/WRAL contributor)

When the gates opened at the Durham Bulls last night, heralding the start of the 2016 season, the Bulls continued an Opening Day tradition that began over a decade ago.

It’s one of DBBC Sponsorship Account Executive/Radio Broadcaster Patrick Kinas’ favorite things about Opening Day.

“I love the Bulls’ tradition of opening the gates on Opening Day and applauding the fans as they enter,” said Kinas.  “I’ve been around dozens of minor league stadiums on Opening Day, and there’s no other franchise that does this in the country.”

A few minutes before the gates open on Opening Day, all of the full-time staffers and game-day workers gather on both the gate/street level, as well as the levels above.  As the gates open, they all cheer and applaud the fans as they walk through the gates.  The renovations have changed where the line-up assembles over the years, but the tradition has remained the same.

“That is a cool tradition we have had,” said DBBC Mike Birling.  “It is a small way for us to show our thanks and respect for our incredible fans.  They spend all year cheering us on, so that is the least we can do is cheer them on.”

The Bulls also treated the fans to a 7-3 win over the Charlotte Knights.  Despite a game delay due to rain, the evening included a flyover and a bevy of new treats.

Thanks to WRAL.com contributor Will Bratton for this capcom photo.

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