BRIDGEWATER, NJ- The Somerset Patriots hosted two nights of drive-in movies at TD Bank Ballpark last weekend, selling out both nights within a few minutes of putting tickets on sale.
The safe and socially distanced family event was so successful that the team is scheduling more drive-in movies.
The Patriots will host another viewing of "The Sandlot" on Thursday, June 25, followed by back-to-back nights of "Rookie of the Year" on Friday, June 26 and Saturday, June 27. All three shows are expected to begin at 9 p.m. with tickets going on sale in the coming days.
“We brought a little bit of yesterday back to today with the events,” said Jonathan Kalafer, Somerset Patriots co-chairman. “It had the classic feel of the old drive-in movie experience, while being able to give everyone a chance to enjoy a night out together. I know our staff worked really hard to put the two nights together for our community. It was extremely well done and received great reviews all around.”
The Patriots were able to welcome 115 cars on each night June 12th and June 13, to allow for social distancing and best viewing of the screen. HomePlate Catering and Hospitality, the ballpark’s concessionaire, provided packages of movie treats that patrons were able to pre-order and pickup in accordance to the safety measures put into place for handling food.
With the baseball season currently on hold, the Patriots have been looking for safe and fun ways to use TD Bank Ballpark for the community. In addition to the movies, the team is coordinating a Drive-In Fireworks Night on Friday, June 19th that is also sold out.
“We wanted to give our community a chance to enjoy some nights out after a very long few months,” said Somerset Patriots president and general manager Patrick McVerry. “In doing these events, we also wanted to help our health care heroes at RWJBarnabas Health, who are doing unbelievable jobs for all of us on the front lines of the coronavirus outbreak.”
The events were all designed as fundraisers for health care workers through the RWJBarnabas Health Emergency Response Fund. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bridgewater-based minor league franchise was able to raise thousands of dollars for their official health care provider.
“I had the chance to enjoy the drive-in experience with my family on Saturday night,” said Josh Kalafer, Patriots co-chairman. “It was beautiful to see families together again at the ballpark with something so simple as a movie night. Seeing the smiles back on people’s faces after the past few months felt good and encouraged us to want to continue to do as much as we can to bring joy the ways we can now and hopefully getting baseball back as soon as possible.”