Even without games being played the Okotoks Dawgs are ensuring there’s ways to get behind the boys of summer.
The Western Canadian Baseball League outfit has launched a pair of initiatives with its sale of naming rights to legacy seats and its Online 50-50 program launching on Oct. 5.
“It’s been a challenging year with lots of expenses to keep the stadium current and maintain it without having any revenues based on not having a season,” said Dawgs managing director John Ircandia. “Organizations like ours rely on season tickets and concession sales and those types of things – all those were gone with COVID-19.
“This 50-50 idea is something that’s been done by other sports teams and it’s a way to hold your own and keep your head above water and to meet the expenses that you’ve got as you go forward.”
The Dawgs plan to hold three 50-50 contests over the off-season leading into the 2021 spring. The first raffle, which could yield a price as much as $10,000, runs from Oct. 5-25 with the draw date held on Oct. 30.
“In Okotoks, we’re extremely lucky with our fan-base because our fans have been, not only supportive, but they’ve also enjoyed the quasi-gambling of the 50-50 sweepstakes,” Ircandia said. “I’ve been to a lot of American places where they have baseball and 50-50s aren’t as big of a deal, but in Okotoks we’ve really had a very loyal group there that does enjoy contributing that way and taking a chance on winning the pot.”
Ircandia said he’s been amazed at the Dawgs supporters interest in the team during the 2020 hiatus from on-field action.
“The fans have been so on top of this and supportive and I can’t tell you all the followers we’ve got involved in enjoying the Core-4 development and other aspects of what we’ve been doing in the off-season,” he said. “This is another way to connect.”
The legacy seats program creates another avenue for fans who want to be a part of the Seaman Stadium story, Ircandia said.
“We’re offering the seat naming rights which is really a great gift for grandpa or whoever that wants it stapled historically that I was part of this thing that came into the community and people enjoyed so much,” he said. “People that have season tickets would naturally want their season ticket (seats) memorialized with their name and that’s most likely what we would do, that’s number one priority so they have first choice on their seats.
“We have sold some already way back when we launched this years ago, but we’re increasing the size of the plaque that memorializes the legacy.”
Ircandia said the organization has used the down time to look at ways of advancing the fan experience at the friendly confines, such as mitigating the lineups for concessions by adding hot-food functionality to the second concession.
Another example is the completion of the Core-4 Corner, the brand new patio seating in the left field porch of Seaman Stadium.
“We’ve almost sold out the seats down there already,” he said. “It’s a very iconic way to watch a ballgame and it’s going to be extremely cool. That part is basically finished and is going to be good to go for 2021.
“This is all to improve the enjoyment of the fans.”
The Dawgs online 50-50 can be accessed by clicking here.
For more information go to dawgsbaseball.ca.