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, November 13, 2010

Also from yesterday's New London Day:

By Claire Bessette


Published 11/11/2010

The Connecticut Tigers minor league baseball team waited for months and months before finally winning approval to move to Norwich in April, just two months before the 2010 baseball season started.

I remember Day Assistant Sports Editor Mike DiMauro saying “they get a free ride this year,” meaning the region couldn’t judge the success of the team based on attendance or sponsorship during that first year.

The Tigers’ staff had little chance to book big groups and day camps, which already had made their decisions on outings. Companies already had committed their advertising dollars for the year, and it was months too late for any hope of Christmas gift ticket sales. The team barely had enough time to order merchandise for the gift shop by Opening Day.

The Tigers did OK in attendance, 50,511 for the season, averaging 1,485 per game – better than the team had done in Oneonta, but not as well as the Connecticut Defenders before that team left Norwich for greener pastures.

Tigers General Manager Andrew Weber said this week that things already are looking up. All but one or two of the 2010 season ticket holders have renewed for 2011 and the rest are expected to renew. Companies are returning calls for sponsorship advertising, and the Tigers plan to be visible and active in the community during the off season.

Team officials also now have time to schedule high school and college games for Dodd Stadium in April, May and June before the Tigers’ season starts.

Tigers season tickets went on sale to the general public on Monday. The Tigers open on June 20. Most local schools should be done for the summer by then, and the weather will be warming up on summer’s eve.

“The difference this year compared to last year should be great,” Weber said. “The difference between starting now verses starting in April.”

Check it out at See you at the ballpark.


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