Are you thinking about attending a Bears game in Hershey? Have you always wanted to make the trip, but weren’t sure what is nearby and what to expect? We’ve put together some general information to assist you in your planning. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to reach out to NoVa Caps at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Hershey Bears play their home games at the Giant Center which is located at 550 Hersheypark Drive in Hershey, Pennsylvania. You can reach the box office for Bears tickets at 717-534-3911. You can visit the Giant Center website or The Hershey Bears’ website for information on available tickets and game times.
Doors at Giant Center open 90 minutes prior to the puck drop. All fans will go through enhanced security measures (metal detectors) prior to entering Giant Center. All bags and containers are also checked. It is advised that you only bring items that are absolutely necessary to make the process quicker. Giant Center recommends that you arrive at least 45 minutes prior to the puck drop.
A QUICK HISTORY AND OVERVIEW
Giant Center (GC) opened in 2002 and holds 10,500, but can accommodate more with SRO (standing room only) and additional seating areas. The largest crowd in GC history was 11,002 on June 14, 2010, the date the Bears last won the Calder Cup (the American Hockey League’s equivalent to the Stanley Cup). Historically, during the regular season, Hershey Bears’ games sell out often, so if you are planning a trip during the regular season, it is recommended that you purchase your tickets as soon as possible. Games against Lehigh Valley and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton often sell out early. Sections in the lower level have 7,700 seats, and upper level sections have 2,800 seats. In addition there are 40 luxury boxes and 688 club seats. The arena also has handicapped-accessible seats available on each level. Click here for the Interactive Seating Map.
PARKING (map from Hersheyentertainment.com)
Parking is available outside Giant Center. Currently a $9 fee is charged. There are 10,000 parking spots. Season ticket holders have parking included with their full-season packages. If you are purchasing tickets from a season ticket holder, ask if they will include the parking pass for that game. The general parking area often fills early from the front of the lot. You may find parking further back and walk through suite holders parking lot easier.
Typically the Bears are available after games for autographs, but the coaching staff has limited the fan interactions in the post-season. Players and coaches park on the Park Blvd. side and in the regular season, the players have been known to sign autographs and pose for pictures after games. If you are spending the night or the week in Hershey, players are often available before and after practices and can be found at autograph nights at various charity events throughout the season. Check out Hershey Bears News for additional information. Please be courteous to the players and understanding of their time, especially if they suffer a loss.
Hershey Sports, located on the main concourse and to the right as you enter Giant Center, is the official store for Bears apparel and merchandise. In addition, there are four other stands located on the concourse, including a customized jersey stand. Jerseys are completed that day, so you will be able to take your jersey with you. You are sure to find the perfect souvenir of your trip to Hershey at the Giant Center!
There are 11 concession offerings at Giant Center. For a full list of menu items, click here: Food and Beverage Options, and see the listings below.
- Arooga’s Wing Shack – Located outside section 102 (and outside the main store), this is the place if you are in the mood for WINGS!
- Boulevard Cafe – Located outside section 123 has selections like hot dogs, sausages, and various snacks
- Center Ice – Located outside section 120 has burgers, chicken fingers, and Yuengling beer battered fish. Also try their Old Bay fries!
- Coco’s Italian Kitchen – Located outside section 115 has pizza and pastas if you’re in the mood for Italian
- Cross Check Cafe – Located outside section 112 has made to order subs using Deitz and Watson lunchmeat
- Hat Trick – Located outside section 104 has burgers, hotdogs, and cheesesteaks. If you’re in the mood for something a little healthier, try their Buffalo Chicken cheesesteak salad! They also have pierogies, a local favorite!
- Hot Shots – Located outside section 110 is the place to go if you want something fried. Perhaps the greatest “bang for your buck” is the Sampler Basket which contains chicken nuggets, fries, onion rings, fried mushrooms, and cheese curds with marinara and horseradish sauces.
- Marketplace – Located right inside the main entrance behind section 101 has paninis, coffee, salads, and soups. They also make a wonderful funnel cake and various desserts.
- Turkey Hill – Located across from Marketplace behind section 126 is the go-to place for ice cream. They have soft serve, hand-dipped, and milkshakes.
- The Smokehouse – Located behind section 117 has smoked bbq pork, burrito bowls, and taco salads – think Tex Mex!
- Portable – Located at various areas on the concourse, you can find popcorn, roasted nuts, Italian ice, and Uncle Andy’s pretzels. If you are a group of 4 or more, Uncle Andy’s has a great deal on pretzels – Buy 3, get 1 free. Their many flavors are sure to please everyone and this is another great deal at Giant Center! Portables also offer a variety of beer selections for those 21 and over.
Giant Center address: 550 Hersheypark Drive in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Here is a link to Mapquest so that you can get directions from your starting point.
Once you get onto Rt. 15, travel on 15 North to 581 East and then Take 83 North to 322 East and follow HersheyPark Drive/39 West to Giant Center – there will be a red light after you pass Giant Center (you’ll turn right and follow that all the way around Giant Center).
Troeg’s Brewery is located at 200 E Hersheypark Drive (past Giant Center). It offers a dining and beer-tasting area, a gift shop, and a free, self-guided tour of the brewery.
Funck’s Restaurant is located at 664 West Main Street in nearby Palmyra, PA. It offers a large menu of foods and boasts 56 different beers on tap. It has a dining area and a separate bar area that also has booth and table seating areas.
HersheyPark is open sometimes during the season. Their hours and rides vary based on the time of year, but the waterpark will open after Memorial Day, and if the Bears are still alive in the post-season, this is a can’t miss day of fun for the whole family. You can also preview the park the night before for 2 ½ hours prior to the park closing before your next-day visit!
Tanger Outlets is located between Troeg’s and Hersheypark. It has 58 outlet stores for everything from clothing to kitchen.
Hershey Chocolate World offers a free informational tour/ride of the chocolate making process, complete with a free sample upon exit. There is an entire floor of chocolate and souvenirs for you to browse. Check out their website for other activities. There is a 4-D movie playing daily as well.
Staying nearby is never a problem in Hershey. There are a variety of hotels to choose from.
Also nearby is Hotel Hershey and it’s Chocolate Spa.
By Julie Beidler