At least one baseball team in the Bay Area isn’t moving after this season. We’re talking about the Giants — in this case, the San Jose Giants, the minor league team that’s been an affiliate of the San Francisco Giants since 1988. 

Even though its field was built in 1942, the South Bay team isn’t headed to a new desert park like the Oakland A’s are planning. The San Jose team is part of the Single A California League, which has teams in Fresno, Modesto and Stockton in its North Division.   

San Jose Giants executives say the team appeals to audiences excited for entertainment that goes beyond simply nine innings of baseball. (Courtesy Larry Sokoloff)

San Jose’s Excite Ballpark (formerly called San Jose Municipal Stadium) holds 3,100 fans, which is more than the A’s have attracted to games this season at times. (On May 15, attendance at the Oakland Coliseum hit a low of 2,064.)  

One reason for the bigger audience may be that minor league games feature entertaining antics while the players are off the field.  

Going to a San Jose game is a popular outing for local workers and groups, as well as for families, according to Matt Alongi, the team’s vice president of marketing. He said minor league games appeal to those “who are looking for an experience that goes beyond nine innings of baseball.” 

The San Jose Giants are wrapping up their 2023 season, with a final homestand from Sept. 5 through Sept. 10. They’ll also be making at least one home field playoff appearance on Sept. 14. 

Entertainment at the minor league park often takes place between innings on the field sidelines or in the stands. Expect water balloon tossing contests, a round of musical chairs, and a chance to sing and dance to “YMCA” and “Sweet Caroline.” 

Fans sing and dance to “YMCA” at a San Jose Giants game on Aug. 27. (Courtesy Larry Sokoloff) 

The season’s schedule offers numerous promotions to draw crowds. Over 15 Friday night games this year have included fireworks, and weekend games also feature the popular “kids run the bases” after the game ends. Upcoming on Sept. 8 is Star Wars Night, with costumed characters expected on and off the field.   

Tickets to San Jose Giants games are inexpensive, especially compared to Major League Baseball prices. On a weeknight, bench seats go for as low as $5, while box seats can cost up to $29 on a weekend. Costs often are lower with buy-one, get-one free promotions.  

And as with suites at major league stadiums, at Excite Ballpark there are areas with special group seating, under tents or near a bar.  

For kids who need to burn off some energy, there’s an outside fun zone with a bounce house and a place to throw a baseball. 

Folks of all ages — in particular, locals, groups and families – are fans of Minor League Baseball in San Jose. (Courtesy Larry Sokoloff)  

Food options are plentiful, with a focus on quick snacks such as pizza, hot dogs, ice cream and of course, peanuts. Turkey Mike’s, an onsite barbecue restaurant, sells a variety of sausages, tri tip sandwiches and a rib dinner.  

Beer is a big part of the San Jose Giants tradition, thanks to the team’s longtime beer batter promotion. Each game, one batter on the opposing team is designated as the beer batter. If he strikes out, beer is sold at half price for the next 15 minutes. As the player is at bat, fans chant “beer, beer, beer” in anticipation and get prepared for good-natured pandemonium and the rush to buy discounted suds if the strikeout happens. The concept is so popular, the team changes its name once a season to the Beer Batters, and beer is half price all weekend. Not surprisingly, the weekend includes Father’s Day.  

Multiple times a year, including on Sept. 9, the team changes its name and jerseys to the San Jose Churros, as part of Minor League Baseball’s “Copa de la Diversión” (“Fun Cup”) initiative to embrace and celebrate Latin and Hispanic culture. The team’s mascot, Gigante (Spanish for giant) is an active participant in each game’s entertainment.  

The San Jose Giants play Sept. 5-10 at Excite Ballpark, 588 East Alma Ave., San Jose. For more information, go to