Right around the corner…

That ‘Cats season is right around the corner and this is definitely the busiest time of the year for everyone here in the front office. Everyone has numerous things on their plate to get everything ready for Opening Day on Friday, June 17.

Let’s go through a departmental report and fill you in on the latest happenings:

Food & Beverage

With a new season comes new surprises when it comes to food variety at the ballpark. This year we are adding a very special kiosk down the left field line, called “Left Field Louie’s” for our long-time employee and buddy Lou Tricarick who passed away in March. Soon we will announce what great new food items you can purchase at that stand. The Cat-tle Ranch group area will have some new enhancements in 2011 and we’ll be featuring some great new offerings at the concession stands. Stay tuned for more info on all the new food coming to “The Joe.” Gian, our food & beverage coordinator, has been going through the process of staffing each position needed throughout the stadium. He has the most employees by far! They all do a great job and enjoy working in the great atmosphere.

Stadium Operations

Op’s manager Keith Sweeney will be extremely busy leading up to the opener…as he and his two interns Derek and Phil will be responsible for putting up all the signage around the ballpark, cleaning the stadium, putting nameplates on all of the season ticket holders seats, arranging the parking situation for 2011 and hiring all of the game day staff.

Media/Production

Currently being worked on is the ValleyCats 10th anniversary game magazine, which will feature three different commemorative covers. One in June, July and August. This years program will have some great content including “Get to know Stubby Clapp”, “Ten Seasons at “The Joe!”, “The Championship Season: A Recap of the 2010 ValleyCats Season”, “Charlie’s 300th Game” and more. Along with different sections such as “Wingfest 2011″, “Women In Business”, “Dining Guide” and “Craft Brewers Festival 2011.”

As you have all been made aware, the ‘Cats new on-air voice will be Capital Region native Erik Elken. Erik recently graduated from Syracuse University and will be a great asset to the ‘Cats.

The broadcasts in 2011 will once again be featured online at tcvalleycats.com. New in 2011, something we first mentioned right here in ‘Cats Corner months ago, will be the ValleyCats Mobile Application for iPhone and Android smartphone users. The ‘Cats radio broadcast will be streamed right through this app, which is FREE to download! Now you will be able to hear the ‘Cats wherever you have your smartphone. Very exciting and more information will be released in the coming weeks.

Also very exciting is the return of tcvalleycats.com beat reporter and ‘Cats Corner blog specialist, Kevin Whitaker. Kevin will be providing more great coverage of the ValleyCats in 2011. It all begins with the 2011 MLB first-year player draft June 6-8.

Promotions

2011 is going to be the best on-field promotional year ever. There are so many exciting new things that are going take place in-between the innings along with staples such as the “Tri-City Hall Mayor’s Race”, dugout dancing, t-shirt tosses and the hot dog race. So get ready to have more fun than you have every had at “The Joe!”

As far as giveaways go…the 2011 ValleyCats Bobblehead Series will feature former ‘Cat and Houston Astros star outfielder Hunter Pence and ValleyCats longtime bat boy Charlie. Other exciting giveaways include a replica NYPL championship trophy and a commemorative 10th anniversary giveaway item.

Merchandise

Step into “SouthPaws Den” this year and you will find a wide array of new items, including a great supply of championship and 10th anniversary items, new replica ValleyCats jerseys, great new t-shirts and also merchandise for infants and babies. Right now, the ValleyCats are participating the Minor League Baseball’s “15 for 15″ initiative, where 15% of all online merchandise sales from the ‘Cats team store will go to  help at least three Minor League Baseball communities that were recently affected by storms, tornadoes and flooding in the Southeastern United States. Click here to visit the ValleyCats official online team store

Community Relations

Chances are good that you have seen SouthPaw or one of the other ValleyCats mascots at some point during the offseason. We’ve participated in more community events than ever before and that’s extremely important to us as an organization. We’re committed to the Capital Region and will continue to support the great events and causes that take place here. Our fans deserve it after being so supportive of ValleyCats Baseball for the past ten years.

This season, the ‘Cats are bringing back the “Street Team” and will attend many events during the summer with the ValleyCats speed pitch machine and prizes to give away. The Street Team’s first event will be Summer Jam at SPAC on Saturday, June 4th.

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In closing, below are some helpful links for ValleyCats fans:

Spend Father’s Day at “The Joe!”
The ValleyCats have announced a special Father’s Day Premium Package that includes a brunch followed by a catch on the field, personalized photo souvenir, and a Sunday Funday ticket to be used for that night’s game or any other Sunday home game. Sunday Funday ticket includes a hot dog and soda voucher!

Win an Authentic ValleyCats Championship Ring!
There’s still time to register to win an authentic ValleyCats 2011 championship ring. The winner will be announced on opening night.

MVP Health Care Youth Tip: With the ValleyCats new manager Stubby Clapp
Each week during the season, the ‘Cats will feature a new MVP Health Care Youth Tip from the Pros. Sign-up to have these pro tips sent straight to your inbox as they are released.

ValleyCats Kids Club!
If your son/daughter is not a member of the ValleyCats Kids Club, now’s the time to register. Registration is FREE and includes a free grandstand ticket to any home game, Junior ‘Cats membership card, birthday card from SouthPaw, 10% discount on all merchandise, coupons and prizes from ValleyCats sponsors and a special autograph session with the ValleyCats players and mascots.

2011 ValleyCats Baseball Camps
The ValleyCats Academy Camps are filled with professional baseball instruction, exciting games, drills and more. The ‘Cats professional instructors, including the professional ballplayers, will provide each camper with a wealth of knowledge that they will benefit from the moment they reach the field.

2011 Capital Region Craft Brewers Festival

2011 Promotional Schedule

Tickets for Opening Day are going to be gone very soon…click here to order tickets and be sure to witness the great opening night festivities!

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