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08/18/2008 7:17 PM ET
Thunder upgrade Waterfront Park

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Trenton Thunder President Joe Finley announced that the ownership group of the team, Garden State Baseball LP, will invest over $2 million in the next two years on projects that will improve Mercer County Waterfront Park at a press conference on Monday afternoon in Trenton.

The projects will improve the 15-year-old stadium for fans, staff and the Thunder's Major League affiliate, the New York Yankees.

The projects include:

1) New Video Board. The team will replace the video screen in right field with a new one that is larger and keeps pace with recent improvements in video technology. This will include a new linescore and miles per hour indicator.

2) New Picnic Area. The Thunder will transform an area located along one of the baselines into a group outing destination to complement the Yankee Club & Conference Center and the Burlington Center Mall Bullpen Grill. Both existing areas are in high demand with fans regularly asking for more group options.

3) Replace Bench Seating. The metal bench style "Terrace" sections at Waterfront Park will be removed and replaced with more comfortable individual seats.

4) New Front Office / Lobby. The Front Office area of the stadium will get a complete facelift including new flooring, walls and decor. The project will provide a new modern look as well as create additional workspace.

5) New Concessions Equipment. Equipment such as freezers and coolers that are original to Waterfront Park will be replaced with newer more efficient machines.

6) New Hitting Tunnel. The batting cages located underneath the seating bowl at Waterfront Park will be transformed into a state-of-the-art indoor, climate controlled practice facility for the New York Yankee players that is on par with those enjoyed at Major League ballparks.

"As we turn the page and begin a new chapter with Will Smith at our helm, we are excited to announce a major undertaking and building program that will keep Mercer County Waterfront Park as one of the premier Minor League ballparks in the country," said Thunder President Joe Finley.

In consultation with Mercer County, these projects are still in the design and bidding process and work will begin soon after the 2008 season and post-season are done. It has not been determined what projects are targeted for completion in time for the 2009 or 2010 seasons.

The press conference on Monday was held to introduce Will Smith as fourth General Manager in Thunder franchise history.

The Thunder return home on Tuesday, August 19 to face the Harrisburg Senators (Washington Nationals) at 7:05 PM. It is Women's Tote Bag Night thanks to St. Francis Medical Center with the first 1,500 women ages 18 and over receiving a tote bag.

The Thunder have 10 home games remaining this season. Playoff tickets are on sale by calling 609-394-3300 or online at www.trentonthunder.com.