Everything You Need to Know about the Sacramento River Cats
March 20, 2024

Everything You Need to Know about the Sacramento River Cats

There’s nothing more American than a good, old-fashioned baseball game. Whether Little League or the Major League, baseball is truly the great American pastime. Luckily, you don’t have to travel far to experience the quintessential American experience. Sacramento is home to its very own professional baseball team, the Sacramento River Cats, a Minor League Team and Triple-A Affiliate of the San Francisco Giants.

Why the Sacramento “River Cats”?

Photo courtesy Sacramento River Cats

Formerly the Vancouver Canadians, the team moved to Sacramento after the 1999 season. A call was put out for members of the public to come up with names for the team, and the Sacramento River Cats came out on top. With more than 6,000 suggestions, the Sacramento River Cats was submitted 87 times, going head-to-head with the Sacramento River Otters, Sacramento Condors and the Sacramento Gold Miners. Other suggestions included the Sacramento Bees, Baby Kissers, and Mitten Crabs. The team’s mascot is Dinger, a loveable cat who is perhaps the team’s biggest fan!

How to Purchase River Cats Tickets

Photo courtesy Sacramento River Cats

River Cats tickets can be purchased online or at the Sutter Health Park ticket office, which is open 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Mon.–Fri. on non-game days, 2 p.m.–7th inning for evening games, and 10 a.m.–7th inning for day games. You can also email tickets@rivercats.com or call (916) 371-HITS. Note: all tickets are mobile tickets and require the use of a smartphone.

Unlike many other sporting events, not all seating at the River Cats games is assigned. There are general admission lawn tickets where you can grab a first-come, first-served spot on Home Run Hill. Many families choose this option, as it’s easier for squiggly little ones. You can bring a blanket or a low-backed chair and spread out a bit on the grass. In addition to traditional stadium seating, there are also luxury suites and private hospitality areas available. You can also purchase memberships for special club access. Ticket prices range from $10–$80.

Photo courtesy Sacramento River Cats

There’s much more to a Sacramento River Cats game than, well, just the game. Within the ballpark, there’s a special kids’ play area called “Down on the Farm.” There’s a replica of the iconic Tower Bridge, a wiffle ball batting area, a bounce house, and misting pads to keep the little ones cool on hot days. Speaking of kids, there’s also a special kids club with discounted tickets and access to special events.

Throughout the season, the Sacramento River Cats offers promotions and special events. There are theme nights (think Pride night, Harry Potter night, and Luau night); special honors and recognition (Salute to Armed Forces, Hispanic Heritage), and all kinds of giveaways (jerseys, bobbleheads). There are also designated days each week:

  • Sundays. Sunday Funday means fans can get autographs from their favorite players between noon and 12:30 p.m. After the game, kids can run the bases.
  • Tuesdays. Family Value Tuesday means families can save with $2 hot dogs, ice cream and Merlino’s freezes.
  • Wednesdays. There’s no reason man’s best friend should miss out on baseball. “Wet Nose Wednesdays” means you can bring your dog along with you, no (extra) ticket necessary.
  • Thursdays. Get a head start on the weekend with drink specials every “Thirsty Thursday.”
  • Fridays. SMUD Orange Fridays offer happy hour deals at Elysian Landing from 5–6 p.m., live music, and post-game fireworks.
  • Saturdays. You can take advantage of discounted family packs, which include four tickets, four hot dogs, four sodas and four limited-edition River Cats hats. Plus, you can watch fireworks from the field.

The Sacramento River Cats also participate in MiLB’s Copa de la Diversión initiative, in which they aim to promote their Hispanic/Latino fan base by taking on a new persona: Dorados de Sacramento. You can pick up specially branded merchandise and indulge in $2 tacos during these games. Following are Dorados home games:

  • April 9, vs. El Paso Margaritas (Chihuahuas)
  • May 5, vs. Familia de Tacoma (Rainiers)
  • Aug. 29, vs. Las Vegas (Aviators)
  • Sept. 17 vs. Dulces de Sugar Land (Space Cowboys)

Sacramento River Cats Opening Day: Friday, March 29, 2024

Photo courtesy Sacramento River Cats

The Sacramento River Cats will kick off the 2024 season on Friday, March 29 at 6:45 p.m. against the Salt Lake Bees. Not only is it opening day (actually, opening night!), it’s also a celebration of a quarter-century of baseball in Sacramento! As such, there will be a number of special events, including a pregame flyover courtesy of the U.S. Air Force, live music, and happy hour deals between 5–6 p.m. After the game, enjoy a spectacular fireworks show.

What to Eat & Drink at a River Cats Game

Photo courtesy Sacramento River Cats

There’s no doubt that eating and drinking is one of the highlights of any sporting event, and baseball is no exception. There are numerous vendors along the concourse selling all the traditional baseball fare: hot dogs, peanuts, cotton candy, and of course beer. Following are a few options:

  • Bridges Grille. Hot dogs, burgers, pretzels.
  • Coop & Kennel Pub. Chicken tenders, fish & chips.
  • Cadillac Diner. Gourmet hot dogs, burgers, shakes.
  • Oso’s Mexican Cantina. Tacos, burritos, nachos.
  • Pizza & Pints. Pizza and beer.
  • Golden Spike Chophouse. Gourmet burgers, corn dogs, fries.
  • Sweet Spot. Ice cream & root beer floats.

Things to Know Before You Go

Leave the cash at home. Sutter Health Park is a cashless facility. That means you must use a credit card, debit card, or River Cats gift card. There are no ATMs on site.

Parking. There are several parking lots at Sutter Health Park, including a VIP lot. There is also an EV charging station. Parking fees vary depending on the game, and only debit and credit cards are accepted (no cash). You can also find public parking in Old Sacramento and walk across the Tower Bridge to the ballpark. There is also a bike valet onsite.

Mobile food ordering. You can skip the line (and avoid missing a play) by ordering concessions from your mobile device. Download the MiLB First Pitch App to access mobile ordering from your seat and receive a text when it’s ready for pickup.

Clear bag policy. Sutter Health Park has a clear bag policy. Approved bags include clear plastic backpacks, tote bags, purses, fanny packs and gallon-size freezer bags. Small, non-clear clutches and diaper bags are also allowed. All bags are subject to search upon entry.

Chair policy. Fans with general admission lawn tickets are invited to bring a blanket or low-back chair to watch the game. Only folding lawn or beach-style chairs are allowed (no higher than 9 inches off the ground). Camping chairs, lounge chairs, and tents are not allowed.

Non-game days. Even if the River Cats aren’t playing (or aren’t at home), Sutter Health Park also hosts events throughout the year, like a Shamrock Run, Brewfest at the Ballpark, and even live music, among others!


 Featured image courtesy Sacramento River Cats



Category Local Events, Sacramento

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