Owner: Brian Aufmuth
Theme Song: “Oh, Lando” by Recess Monkey
It seems almost inevitable to compare Bespin to Tesla Field, home of the Calrissians’ cross-state rival, the Jacksonville Dragons. Both stadiums are retractable-roof facilities that were privately built by their team owners (Brian Aufmuth in Orlando’s case), and both are state-of-the-art facilities. But the similarities end there.
For one thing, the stadiums look very different physically. While Tesla Field resembles an airplane hangar, Bespin looks more like a flying saucer, with its stainless-steel-finished panels gleaming in the central Florida sunshine. For another, Tesla Field is a very hitter-friendly park, while Bespin favors pitchers. Also, while Tesla Field is known for its cutting-edge technology and environmental sustainability, Bespin is a pure pleasure dome. There is a luxury hotel attached to Bespin, and guests can watch the game from some of the rooms. There is also a casino within the complex, and fans with the casino’s app can gamble from their seats (although not on the game). The stadium offers the most varied and sumptuous dining options in the league. If anything, the drinking options are superior to the dining options. The area behind home plate is home to a bar called the Vapor Room, which serves a wide variety of libations along with great views of the action. True to the team’s namesake, the team offers Colt 45 at every beverage stand. Even the fans in the highest bleacher seats find themselves in the lap of luxury here.
As the name of the team and stadium would suggest, Aufmuth is a big Star Wars fan, and this love permeates many aspects of the game experience. The Calrissians take the field to the Star Wars theme (while the visiting lineup is announced to the tune of the Imperial March), and the Cantina Song is played during the seventh-inning stretch. Stadium security guards dress like Stormtroopers, while the bat boys wear Ewok headdresses. Relief pitchers enter the game in a bullpen cart modeled after the Millennium Falcon. A section of the right field bleachers is reserved for the team’s most loyal fans, dubbed “Lando’s Commandos.” The Commandos beat drums, lead cheers and chants, and come up with creative songs to mock opposing teams and players.
Despite the presence of the Commandos, one of the most common criticism leveled at Bespin is that the experience can be somewhat sterile. The crowds outside the right-field corner tend to be relatively quiet and somewhat disengaged from the game, seemingly more interested in sampling the fine food options or spinning the virtual roulette wheel than in the action on the field. Also, the stadium can feel like a galaxy far, far away from the somewhat distant parking lots. Still, it’s a fun place to visit, and everyone leaves happy, having had a good time regardless of the score. As Billy Dee Williams would say, it works every time.
(click to enlarge)
Total Payroll: $33,000,000
Available Cap Space: $2,000,000
Manager: Logan “Lobot” Bothan
|42||Rick Tomblin||SP (R)||$1,200,000||5|
|62||Aron Fillippi||RP (L)||$100,000||1|
|66||Erik Geis||RP (L)||$150,000||2|