by Kevin Kimmes
With less than 4 weeks until their home opener on April 8th, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers invited the media out to Fox Cities Stadium on Tuesday to preview the parks newly renovated amenities. The 6.2 million dollar renovation began last fall following the teams last Midwest League Championship Series home-game and currently stands at about 95% complete, which according to Timber Rattlers President, Rob Zerjav, puts the progress ahead of schedule.
Zerjav stated Tuesday that the renovation will not be coming at the expense of the fans. The project was fully funded by the team, the facility’s owners (The Fox Cities Amateur Sports Authority) and a $400,000 grant from the Fox Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau. That means that prices at both the ticket window and the concession stands will be in line with what fans paid last season.
So, what can fans expect when they head out to the ballpark this season?
1) An expanded team store: Twice the size of the old team store, the new store will be open during the day and will allow the team to have an expanded selection of merchandise on hand at all times.
2) Parking lot accessible restrooms: Piggybacking off of the existing concourse restrooms, the new restrooms will provide amenities for tailgaters prior to gates opening on game day.
3) 2nd Floor Banquet Facility/Club Level: One of the big focal points of the renovation was to turn the park into a year round venue which has been accomplished with the addition of an enclosed banquet facility on the parks new upper level. Already scheduled to host 12 weddings this year, the team is looking into how the space can be utilized for other non-baseball events potentially including concerts or festivals.
Tickets for the Club Level will be $15.00. This section of the facility will also be open for 2 hours after every home game giving fans who don’t want to go home yet a place to hang out.
4) Luxury boxes: Also located on the parks upper level, 6 luxury boxes have been added which replace the teams 3 suites which they previously had . Each box is designed to accommodate 14 fans with outside seating for 10 and an additional 4 seats located at a party bar inside the boxes themselves. Additional features of the boxes include closed circuit TV and waitstaff. The boxes will be rented out on a 1/4, 1/2 and full season basis.
5) Increased stadium capacity: Stadium capacity has increased from 5,500 to 5,900 with the addition of the upper deck. While not a huge jump in capacity, the expanded facilities should make for an even better fan experience on game day.
The Timber Rattlers play their first home game of the 2013 season against the Cedar Rapids Kernels on Monday April 8th with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 pm.
Kevin Kimmes is a regular contributor to creamcitycables.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @kevinkimmes.