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By Steve Andrews | Photos by David McLellend

NWA Naturals Set to Enter 16th Season with New Look on the Field

The Royals’ Double-A affiliate has altered its color scheme and unveiled a new set of logos

With the 16th Opening Day in franchise history April 5, the Northwest Arkansas Naturals will be sporting a slightly new look when they take the field at Arvest Ballpark.


The Naturals — the Double-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals — have altered their color scheme and revamped their array of team logos.


“It has been about a two-year process of brainstorming,” Naturals General Manager Justin Cole said. “We didn’t want to change the team name or lose our identity, and we did not want to totally abandon the color scheme. We just wanted to brighten it up.”


The primary dark blue remains about the same while the red is now a little softer and the yellow brighter. The logos will feature more of the light blue accent. The home cap will have the yellow sunset “N” logo.

“We had 15 years with our first brand, and now this can kind of carry us through that next number of years,” Cole said. “So, we still have the same identity we have appreciated over time, but it gives us a new look and some other things we can have some fun with.”

Naturals State Logo Baseball Sunset.png

Northwest Arkansas already hosted its first game this season, as the Royals’ Major League team came to play an exhibition contest against the Naturals on March 25, which sold out the ballpark. It was the first time in franchise history that the Royals made the trip to Springdale.


“It was such a cool opportunity, not only to get your big league team here, but so many of the players up there have played here in the past, or very recently,” Cole said. “So, it’s kind of like a cool gathering of having everybody back. It was a great way to get everything underway this year.”


As always, Cole and his staff have worked diligently to ensure the ultimate experience for fans and players alike. After completely revamping the field’s playing surface prior to last season, some issues arose, leading the organization to undertake a full renovation of the entire field — from the infield all the way to the warning track and bullpens. The state-of-the-art turf has elevated the stadium’s specifications up to the new Major League facility standards.

The Naturals taking the field in a game during the 2023 season. David McLelland.jpeg

“We have a brand-new surface that is in great shape, and it will be more to the standard that I know we wanted,” Cole said. “We added a lot of tweaks to the stadium, but a lot of the stuff we are doing is just maintenance as needed, and I think it keeps the facility looking as good as it did when we opened it up.”


Another project, Cole said, was “expanding our visiting clubhouse, just to meet the new Major League standard. So, that will be a great new space for the visiting teams.”


Opening night will feature the first of 19 post-game fireworks shows that will be standard after all 12 Friday night home games. There will also be four Saturday shows and two Sunday shows. And with the Naturals being off July 4 this season, the Independence Day spectacular will take place following the game July 3, which will be the largest fireworks display in Northwest Arkansas.

Concessions will remain much the same, but with a few new options. The always-popular barbecue nachos and chili-cheese nachos will be back, along with barbecue down the right field line. The Sweet Spot will also offer a variety of desserts.

Arkansas alum Cayden Wallace makes a play at third base for the Naturals -- David McLellan
Jorge Bonifacio collecting a hit against the Wichita Wind Surge in a game at Arvest Ballpa

“There will be some new concession items in our two main stands, and we are looking to test out some flatbreads and things like that,” Cole said. “We will be adding some items to the stand down the left field line, which will include the funnel dogs and funnel cakes. And the bullpen bar, down the right field line, we now have over 60 different varieties of alcoholic beverages. We also serve barbecue out of that stand.”


The Dugout Grill will continue to offer freshly grilled items, such as burgers and grilled cheese sandwiches, with a rotating menu throughout the season. Monday remains $1 hot dog night, with Tuesday being Buck-a-Brat night. Wednesday will offer $1.50 barbecue sliders.


The craft beer area will still offer the Bull Pen Party before all Friday (5:45 to 6:45 p.m.) and Saturday (4:30 to 5:30 p.m.) home games, featuring half-priced drink specials and $1.50 barbecue sliders (or 6 for $6). Thirsty Thursdays will also be back on tap.

Sundays are Kids Day, as ages 12 and under eat free, get to run the bases and play catch in the outfield before the game. The Kids Zone will also be back down the left field line, featuring four inflatables, the Little Arvest Ballpark, a mini-golf course and the Arvest Ballpark Train, which circles around the inside of the stadium.


“We still offer a lot of opportunities for the kids to have some fun out there,” Cole said. “And for some of the in-game promotions, we have added some new props and contests, hopefully to provide a little extra entertainment between innings.”


The fan giveaways will include four bobblehead nights throughout the season, featuring former Naturals stars and current Royals. The first bobblehead to be given away June 22 will feature former Arkansas Razorback Cayden Wallace, who finished last season with the Naturals and could return to start this season. The following three bobbleheads will feature Bobby Witt Jr. (July 27), Vinnie Pasquantino (Aug. 15) and Jorge Bonifacio (Aug. 31).

Tyler Tolbert signing autographs for fans prior to a game in 2023. David McLelland.jpeg

“Vinnie Pasquantino’s nickname is the Pasquatch, and we have our mascot, ‘Strike’ the Sasquatch, so it is going to be a cool dual, Vinnie and Strike bobblehead Aug. 15,” Cole said.


The popular Growlin’ Chickens Weekend will return July 19 and 20 for its sixth year; the team will wear special jerseys and caps. There will also be three “Celebración de Los Naturales” games as part of Minor League Baseball’s “Copa de la Diversión,” or “Fun Cup” initiative. The first will be held on Cinco de Mayo, May 5, followed by the weekend of Aug. 30 and 31.


Theme nights will once again provide family fun throughout the summer, featuring a Stars Wars Night, a Marvel’s Defenders of the Diamond Night, a Faith & Family Night and two Scout Nights.


In the clubhouse, the coaching staff remains the same, with manager Tommy Shields returning along with Larry Carter, Andy LaRoche and Kevin Kuntz.

The roster will not be finalized until spring training breaks April 1. Players will arrive in Springdale, have two days to work out, take part in Media Day, then begin play April 5. The Naturals will open and close the regular season at home this year, which Cole likes.

“I guarantee you, if you ask the players, they like that, too,” Cole said. “It just gives them a chance to settle into their routines. Then, to finish at home, if it is coming down to the playoff chase, that’s obviously an advantage. If they aren’t in the playoff chase, then you get to see them play their last game here. For me, selfishly, I like that because you get to say goodbye to everyone or continue on to the playoffs. It just makes for a clean start and a clean finish.”

Giveaway Nights:

Fans will be treated to a Dri-Fit T-Shirt Giveaway (May 11), Mother’s Day Celebration and Belt Bag Giveaway (May 12), and a Poultry Derby “Egg” Figurine Giveaway (July 20).


Special Theme Nights:

  • Star Wars Night (May 4)

  • Three Los Naturales del Noroeste de Arkansas games (May 5, Aug. 30-31) as part of Minor League Baseball's "Copa de la Diversión" or "Fun Cup" initiative. It is billed as “Celebración de Los Naturales.”

  • Two Scout Nights (May 10 and Aug. 30)

  • Marvel’s Defenders of the Diamond Night (May 25)

  • Faith & Family Night (Aug. 17)

For more information, visit


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