The Frisco RoughRiders and the City of Frisco have been recognized by Ballpark Digest for the series of massive fan experience improvements made to Dr Pepper Ballpark prior to the start of the 2015 season. The publication named the enhancements to the facility its "Best Ballpark Renovation" of 2015 in the Under $6 Million category.
The most prominent upgrade to the fan experience at Dr Pepper Ballpark was the addition of a giant 2,763-square-foot HD video board and nearly 2,500-square-feet of new or upgraded LED boards that provided RoughRiders' fans with the largest in-stadium digital display footprint in Minor League Baseball. Other improvements made to the ballpark included a newly-designed and modernistic video control room, state-of-the-art sound system, relocated and expanded "Riders Outpost" team merchandise store, upgraded and repositioned InTouch Grille location, and new Bull Moose Saloon open-air sports bar.
"This recognition from Ballpark Digest is the result of our great partnership with the City of Frisco and outstanding collaboration with our architects, vendors and contractors," said Chuck Greenberg, RoughRiders' CEO & General Partner. "The improvements made to Dr Pepper Ballpark prior to this past season were a huge hit with our fans and business partners and provided the centerpiece for a completely re-imagined RoughRiders' game day experience."
The ballpark opened in 2003 for the RoughRiders' inaugural season and has been widely recognized as one of the country's top baseball venues ever since. Ballpark Digest previously honored Dr Pepper Ballpark in 2008 for the addition of the current Playground Area and Outfield Pool.
"Dr Pepper Ballpark and the Frisco RoughRiders are very important to the City of Frisco," said Frisco Mayor Maher Maso. "The venue has hosted baseball fans, sports enthusiasts, concert goers, conventioneers and fun seekers for more than twelve years. It is the first in our collection of professional sports venues developed from a public private partnership. While Dr Pepper Ballpark has evolved with our community, one thing hasn't changed. The ballpark continues to provide affordable, family friendly entertainment. Our (City of Frisco) decision to reinvest in this award-winning ballpark is nothing short of a home run for Frisco."
In addition to the partnership with the City of Frisco, the RoughRiders also invested in improving other areas of the in-game experience at Dr Pepper Ballpark. The franchise re-imagined the ballpark's food and beverage experience, headlined by the creation of the new "State Fairway" area, which simulated the feeling of a trip to the Fair. This area featured a rotating series of locally-owned food trucks, local favorites like Fletcher's Corny Dogs and The Nutty Bavarian, and other traditional fair and ballpark favorites. The team also created a first-ever, multi-layered fan promotional schedule that included 15 giveaways, 20 fireworks dates, daily value promotions like Thirsty Thursday, Kids Sunday Funday, Taco Tuesday and others, and fun theme nights like "Bark in the Park," "Full House Night," "Back to the Future Night," "College Night" and more.
The franchise also introduced new logos, colors and uniforms, inspired by Teddy Roosevelt's original "Rough Riders." The re-branding produced a fun, fresh look and connected to American and Texas history in a unique, story-telling way. The new brand identity received Honorable Mention in Ballpark Digest's "Best New Logo/Re-Branding" for the 2015 season.
Fans from across the DFW Metroplex responded to the multitude of ballpark and experiential enhancements as the Riders welcomed the three largest and seven of the nine biggest crowds in franchise history to Dr Pepper Ballpark during the 2015 season. Topping the list was the crowd of 11,927 fans for the team's Friday, June 12 "Full House Night" game.
"Frisco has always been one of the leading franchises in Minor League Baseball, and Dr Pepper Ballpark has always been regarded as a great venue," said Kevin Reichard, Ballpark Digest publisher. "It would have been easy for the new RoughRiders ownership and City of Frisco officials to maintain the status quo, but it was important to tell fans things were different - and very much improved - for 2015."
ABOUT THE BALLPARK DIGEST AWARDS
Each year Ballpark Digest honors noteworthy accomplishments in the baseball world, whether it be Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball, independent baseball, summer-collegiate baseball or college baseball. Team officials and readers are asked to submit nominations for awards in specific categories; Ballpark Digest editors then go through the submissions (numbering some 400 pages of documentation in 2015), consulting with industry leaders before a final decision. This is the seventh season for the Ballpark Digest Awards. A complete listing of Ballpark Digest Awards can be found at www.ballparkdigest.com/awards. The award winners will be honored at a Baseball Winter Meetings reception.
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The leading Website covering the culture and business of baseball since its inception in 2002, Ballpark Digest (www.ballparkdigest.com) has been called an "indispensable" guide to baseball and ballparks by The New York Times; it's been used as a source by publications and Websites ranging from The Wall Street Journal to Epicurious.com. August Publications is a publisher based in Middleton, Wis. Besides Ballpark Digest, August Publications websites include SpringTrainingOnline.com, ArenaDigest.com, SoccerStadiumDigest.com and FootballStadiumDigest.com.
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