Hundreds of Pokémon Go fans swarmed the Durham Bulls Ballpark and nearby American Tobacco on Tuesday, intent on using their phones to catch as many of the exotic monsters as possible.
The new smartphone game continues to sweep the country. Many players, like Alana Pearson and Taylor Gainey, are ecstatic about being able to catch Pokémon in real life.
"I’ve been waiting for this for years," Pearson said. "When I first heard of it, Pokemon in real life, that is my dream because Pokemon is part of my childhood."
"This is basically our entire life," added Gainey.
The Durham Bulls charged Pokémon fans $5 to look for their favorite characters in and around the field. The money will be donated to Second Chance Pet Adoptions in Raleigh.
Matt Sutor, director of communications for the Durham Bulls, said the idea came from fan tweets over the weekend letting them know there was a Pokémon in the outfield behind second base.
"If fans can’t get to those characters while a game is going on, let’s do it while there isn’t a game going on," he said. "So we are on a nice two-week break and we decided now would be a perfect time to let fans on the field. And we let fans come on out."
For fans like Durham resident Breanna Byrd, it was a chance to play the game in a safe environment.
“Honestly, the thought of being able to walk around safely and play this game without being worried about being hit by a car anything like that, in broad day light,” said Byrd, a student at NYU.
See more photos of people playing Pokémon Go in downtown Durham:
Leoneda Inge is WUNC’s race and southern culture reporter, the first public radio journalist in the South to hold such a position. She also is co-host of the podcast Tested and host of the special podcast series, PAULI. Leoneda is the recipient of numerous awards from AP, RTDNA and NABJ. She’s been a reporting fellow in Berlin and Tokyo. You can follow her on Twitter @LeonedaInge.