Once the season starts, we’ll use this space to highlight top performers and notable events of the previous week but for now we’ll catch up on some off-season news from around the league.
Battle of the Video Boards
Akron: Under new owner Ken Babby, the Aeros are undergoing a $3.5M renovation of Canal Park over the next two years. Included in the upgrades is a new video board with an active display area of 26 by 68 feet which will be the largest in Double-A and an additional HD LED ribbon board in left-center field.
Trenton: The Thunder are improving Arm & Hammer Park by installing multiple video boards as part of a state-of-the-art multimedia upgrade around the ballpark. The focal point of the project will be a 21 by 68 foot high density screen that is more than four times larger than their previous display. They are also installing a 20′ x 16′ display in left field and a new 14′ x 15′ highway marquee outside the stadium along Route 29.
Reading: FirstEnergy Stadium will also continue their improvements with a new 30′ x 60′ HD10 board which will be illuminated by the second most LEDs of any screen in minor league baseball. As part of the $1M renovation, the Reading Baseball Club will also add a 6′ x 100′ ribbon board on left field, a 4′ x 8′ screen above the stage in the VIST Bank Plaza, and 25 flat-screen HDTVs littered throughout the concourse.
If You Build It, …
David Kronheim of NumberTamer.com released his annual analysis of minor-league attendances and made some great points highlighted here:
• Despite playing six more dates in 2012 than 2011, total attendance declined 3.4% to 3,791,241
• Only two teams, Portland and New Hampshire, increased attendance
• Altoona was the only team to increase their average per date
• Despite the biggest drop in the league of 30,334 fans, Reading still managed to set a Class AA record for their 15th consecutive season drawing over 400,000
• Akron’s 2012 attendance of 256,473 was the lowest in their team history
2011 EL Rookie of the Year Starling Marte was awarded the Dominican Winter League Playoff MVP for leading his Escogido squad in a sweep of their best-of-nine series. The Altoona Curve alumni went 11-for-21 in five games against Aguilas and hit .422 in 11 total postseason games.