Choctaw Lazy River garners national media attention

ESPN, Fox Sports 1/TMZ Sports, MLB Network, among outlets covering story

By Nathan Barnett / Frisco RoughRiders | February 29, 2016 5:15 PM

FRISCO, TEXAS (February 29, 2016) - On Thursday, the Frisco RoughRiders unveiled plans for its new Choctaw Lazy River, a first-of-its-kind pool and hospitality area, and the project immediately went viral, receiving local, regional, and national media attention in less than 24 hours. A variety of prominent national media organizations including ESPN, Fox Sports 1, TMZ Sports, MLB Network, FOX Sports, Yahoo! Sports, as well as various DFW media outlets, all published or aired content on the most talked about aquatic project in professional sports.

 (Click here to view full text, audio, and video of all mentioned media coverage)

After the announcement of the 3,000-square-foot, 68,023 gallon lazy river and adjoining hospitality area, which is being built by Gold Medal Pools in Frisco, the Dallas Morning News published a follow-up story, detailing that the new lazy river is "likely to be the largest pool in pro sports." That feature story and the RoughRiders video announcement of the development kicked off a whirlwind of glowing media coverage from coast-to-coast.

Darren Rovell of ESPN noted that "the Frisco RoughRiders have been the top-drawing Double-A franchise for the past 13 years. A new lazy river that the team is building should solidify that status for years to come," and that "there are other water structures in sports, but they won't compare to what is in Frisco."

Kevin Millar of Intentional Talk pledged to visit the Choctaw Lazy River on MLB Network during his show on Friday, and one of the hosts of TMZ Sports said, "I would love to do this" during their Friday night show on Fox Sports 1. Local TV stations throughout the country are covering the project as well, from Cleveland's WJW-CLE (FOX), to KMSP-MIN (FOX) in Minneapolis, to the local networks in the DFW market.

Frisco RoughRiders CEO and Managing Partner Chuck Greenberg was on "GBAG Nation," 105.3 The Fan's afternoon drive radio show, on Friday and is scheduled to appear on "The Newy Scruggs Show," a nationally syndicated show on the NBC Sports Radio Network, on Tuesday. Radio Stations across DFW have been running news segments on the improvements, and the Choctaw Lazy River even made the headlines in markets such as Los Angeles, where KFWB "The Beast 980" did a segment on the project on Thursday.

Bleacher Report highlighted some out the fun and outrageous statistics of the new lazy river (8,706,944 ounces of nacho cheese could fill it, for example) and said that the lazy river was being built, "because why not?"

"I have to say, absolutely nothing sounds better than floating around in a lazy river while watching baseball," commented Mike Axisa, CBS Sports baseball writer. "This is an A+ ballpark feature. Well done, RoughRiders." Sports Illustrated's Extra Mustard said of the new project, "the dream is becoming a reality," while FOX Sports asked, "how long until one is built at Globe Life Park in Arlington?"

The Street and Smith's Sports Business Journal, one of the leading sports industry publications, placed the Choctaw Lazy River announcement as the second biggest sports story of the week in its "SportsBusiness Saturday" on February 27 behind only the news of FIFA electing its new president.

National outlets SB Nation, USA Today, MSN, and Yahoo! as well as the industry publication Ballpark Digest also covered the story. Among local media outlets, in addition to the Dallas Morning News, WFAA, FOX4 News, NBC5 DFW, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and the Frisco Enterprise all covered the new concept within 48 hours.

Even prior to the announcement this past week, when preliminary renderings for the project were first revealed by the Dallas Morning News in January, the initial plans made a major splash across the country, with FOX Sports, NY Daily News, and Yahoo!'s Big League Stew covering, what was then, only a concept.

Fans interested in booking a Lazy River group should contact the RoughRiders front office at (972) 731-9200 or info@ridersbaseball.com.

Individual fans won't want to miss Thursdays at Dr Pepper Ballpark with the creation of the new "Thursday Night Pool Party" ticket. For only $39 per ticket, individuals can enjoy full 360-degree Lazy River access, pre-game live music and all-you-can-eat hot dogs, brats, chips, peanuts and Dr Pepper products. Plus, each Thursday is "Thirsty Thursday" offering $1 select domestic drafts and $2 craft beers from 6-8 p.m. for a 7:05 p.m. first pitch. Thursday Night Pool Party tickets will go on sale along with all single-game tickets for the upcoming 2016 season on Monday, March 14 at 9 a.m.

The RoughRiders will open their 2016 home schedule at Dr Pepper Ballpark on Thursday, April 14 and host 70 home dates through Labor Day, September 5. Season ticket packages and group and hospitality offerings for the RoughRiders 2016 season can be reserved by calling (972) 731-9200 or emailing info@ridersbaseball.com.

About the RoughRiders

The Frisco RoughRiders are the Double-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers and play their games at beautiful Dr Pepper Ballpark in Frisco, Texas. The team was founded in 2003 and has finished first among all Double-A franchises in attendance in each of the last 11 seasons (2005-2015). In August 2014, the RoughRiders were purchased by an ownership group led by Chuck Greenberg and Scott Sonju. The new ownership group has spearheaded numerous major franchise improvements, from a completely new team identity to massive additions and upgrades to Dr Pepper Ballpark, including a giant new video board, sound system, sports bar, team store, improved food service and menu, and a complete overhaul of in-game entertainment. The improvements earned the Riders and the City of Frisco "Best Ballpark Renovation" of 2015 by Ballpark Digest in the under $6 million category. More than 130 former RoughRiders players have gone on to play Major League Baseball, including All-Stars Chris Davis, Elvis Andrus, Adrian Gonzalez and Ian Kinsler. For more information on the Frisco RoughRiders and Dr Pepper Ballpark, please visit RidersBaseball.com or contact Nathan Barnett at (972) 334-1976 or via e-mail at Nathan@RidersBaseball.com.

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