FORT WAYNE – Downtown got an $800,000 endorsement Wednesday as the Fort Wayne TinCaps announced plans for an all-you-can-eat-and-drink buffet above center field.
Called the 400 Club, the new structure will seat up to 150 people and can be rented by groups.
It will have three food stations, plus a dessert bar; will serve soft drinks, draft beer and wine; and will have mixed drinks available. Tickets are $40 per person and include a game ticket.
TinCaps President Mike Nutter said the $800,000 project will not use any city funds or the ballparks capital maintenance fund.
We didnt have to dip into city funds or the capital improvement fund, Nutter said. Its a 100 percent TinCaps team investment.
The field side of the climate-controlled building will feature two tiers of seating and have floor-to-ceiling windows. The menu will feature mini burgers, hot dogs, pulled pork, a nacho bar, fried favorites and, after the fifth inning, a dessert bar. It can be open whether it is a game day or not.
This has never been done in minor league baseball, Nutter said. Its going to be beautiful.
Sitting atop the center-field wall, 400 feet from home plate, the building will also have a patio area and restrooms.
The views are going to be amazing, Nutter said.
Mayor Tom Henry said the teams investment is another sign of downtowns rebirth.
For many years, Fort Wayne stayed rather dormant, Henry said. Weve got momentum now in this city.
Dan OConnell, president of Visit Fort Wayne, said its another feature to attract people downtown.
Its another opportunity to create a venue downtown that people can come and enjoy, and thats good for all of Fort Wayne, OConnell said. Its good for the community as a whole to see the team investing in its product.
The project will also include a new ticket booth at the North Gate, on Jefferson Boulevard at Webster Street, and a new West Gate entrance at Jefferson and Ewing Street, at the west end of The Harrison, which opens Friday.
The 400 Club is expected to open in mid-May.