Great season off the field for Watertown Rapids
WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - There was something for everyone at the ballpark in 2022, with the Watertown Rapids hosting a full slate of events in conjunction with their sponsors.
General manager Nick Czerow says that was one of the goals of the front office this season and he feels they achieved that, along with increasing their involvement in activities outside the park.
“We were able to put in some more promotional things in place this year with having a larger staff and having Jay Matteson come on as the fan experience specialist,” he said. “Our community involvement has improved over this year. We’ve been involved in more parades, handing out tickets at different spots, going to sponsors’ events.”
As for attendance, Czerow says because there were more things for people to experience during the game, fans made the trek to the Alex Duffy Fairgrounds in numbers the team hasn’t seen since its inception, and adds the front office feels they can build off that.
“The attendance has increased,” Czerow said. “It’s been our best average as the Rapids have, for as long as we have existed. There’s always more room for growth. I think we’re still expanding what we can do and kind of teaching who we are to the community and there’s more growth there.”
Another bright spot for the team was at the concession stand, where the team expanded options for the menu. Czerow says while the new items were a hit, they are looking for additional things to offer next season.
“Yeah, we’ve added some new options,” he said. “We’ve had meatball subs, we have cheese fries and Dufffy burgers as well. That’s a specialty there that Ron Derucci cooked up for us. He’s been doing a great job and we love having him. We are looking for suggestions from the community, too, if they have any sort of innovative food items we can come up with.”
With the off season just a few days old, the team is looking to make some changes for the 2023 season with a focus on the all-you-can-eat section, which Czerow says was a busy place during the 2022 season.
“Our all-you-can-eat section has gotten us a lot more attendance this year, but we want to expand into kind of an adult section over on the third base line with some cornhole or washers and kind of some more adult beverage options over there,” Czerow said. “Then use our first base line side as a kids’ zone with more activities for them to do.”
Czerow says a number of the things fans were able to experience both on and off the field wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the team’s sponsors throughout the season.
“I mean, we couldn’t do any of this without the sponsors this year, especially the fireworks and the new uniforms.” he said. “Toyota’s been huge for us, Laura Whitney with State Farm has been massive for us. Everyone else, every little bit that they can contribute and how we try to get them in the eyes of our fans here is important to us.”
So, the countdown begins for the start of the 2023 PGCBL season for the Watertown Rapids, with the front office already getting to work on the upcoming season.
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