Thoughts and pictures of my local minor league baseball team the New York Penn League Connecticut Tigers; a Detriot farm team. We'll still be looking at former Navigators/Defenders players along the way....

Saturday, January 12, 2008

$2 is reported in The New London Day

Norwich — The Connecticut Defenders minor league baseball team is considering charging for parking at Thomas J. Dodd Memorial Stadium for the first time in several years.

Defenders General Manager Charlie Dowd said Friday that team officials are discussing a $2 charge per vehicle for parking, allowing buses in for free to encourage groups to come to the stadium, and giving full-season ticket holders free parking passes. Team officials hope to make a final decision by the end of January. The baseball season opens April 3.

“When you go to a sporting event or entertainment event, there's an expectation that you pay for parking,” Dowd said.

Team attorney Glenn Carberry said the Defenders may be the only team in the 12-team Eastern League that does not charge for parking. Last season, the New Britain Rock Cats charged $5 per vehicle.

Dowd said when he was general manager of the Bridgeport Blue Fish two years ago, the team charged $4 for parking. Dowd also noted that Six Flags amusement park charges $20 per vehicle for parking.

Dowd said it's a difficult decision, with the team weighing the need to raise revenue — in part to pay for parking lot staff and for possible improvements to the gravel sections of the stadium parking lot — against the desire to keep fans happy at a critical time in team history.

The Defenders' new lease with the city runs through the 2012 season, but the team has an option to pull out of Norwich after the 2009 season if finances and attendance are poor. Attendance had been sagging for years, but last year the Defenders saw the biggest attendance increase since the 2002 season, when the then-Norwich Navigators won the Eastern League championship.

The Defenders drew 195,235 fans in 2007, an increase of 24,428, or 14.3 percent, over the 2006 season.

At the end of the season, team owner Lou DiBella hailed the attendance improvements but looked forward to further improvements in the next two years.

Dowd said the team is considering a “nominal” parking fee rather than a ticket price increase, because it would apply per car rather than per person.

“If four people come in one car, that amounts to 50 cents a person,” Dowd said.


Blogger greg8370 said...

Don't get me wrong...I'm happy with free parking but they've cut back food prices and there are plenty of other "deals" out there so I think $2 is fair. The Navs used to charge $3 for the first few seasons anyway.

8:20 PM

Blogger LC said...

2 bucks is cool- they need to put more folks in the stands though.

12:37 AM


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