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With a new playing surface installed and extensive renovations to the ballpark and parking lot nearing completion, the Lynchburg Hillcats announced their 2017 promotions calendar, which includes 12 Fireworks Nights and 12 FANtastic Giveaways. The Hillcats are also bringing back popular season-long promotions, such as Winning Wednesdays and Thirsty Thursdays, while adding new themes to the calendar like Meow Mondays and 2Fur Tuesdays.
Opening Night is slated for Thursday, April 6, at 6:30 p.m., and the first 1,000 fans through the gates will receive a free schedule magnet courtesy of Nadine Blakely, Realtor. Two days later, the Hillcats will host their first "Sparkling Saturday" presented by 93.7 KHF with Postgame Fireworks sponsored by Pepsi. All Saturday home games in 2017 will begin at 6 p.m., in order to accommodate for the fireworks afterward.
The Hillcats will be at home for three of the four Saturdays in April - the 6th, 22nd and 29th - and hold postgame fireworks for each contest. There will also be two Sparkling Saturdays in each of the months of May, June, July and August, in addition to the annual 4th of July Fireworks Show, which begins a homestand on the first Tuesday of July. The July 4 game will remain at its normal weekday time of 6:30 p.m.
Each Friday home game in 2017 will include a FANtastic Giveaway, beginning with a schedule magnet April 7 and continuing with a scarf giveaway presented by Pepsi April 21. Other giveaways throughout the season include a Hillcats flag, drawstring bag, patriotic cap, fanny pack, superhero cape and multiple T-shirts. All FANtastic Giveaways will be for the first 1,000 fans.
A long-standing and extremely popular promotion, fans who show up to any Winning Wednesday home game presented by 89.9 FM WNRN will automatically receive a free ticket to the next Wednesday home game. Meanwhile, Thirsty Thursdays presented by Miller Lite, Yuengling and 97.9 FM The Planet will feature game-long happy hour specials as well as serve as the GLTC and RIDE Solutions' Bike to the Ballpark Nights. Fans who ride their bike to City Stadium will receive $1 off regular admission price.
Another season-long promotion returning in 2017 will be Family Funday Sundays presented by ABC 13. These days offer a 4 for $40 Family 4-pack, which contains four tickets and four hot dog combo meals. After each Sunday contest, families can run the bases and play catch in the outfield. Sundays will also include free admission for anyone with a Virginia529 Smart Savers Card. Accounting for the hot summers in Lynchburg, the Hillcats have decided to move their Sunday home games after the All-Star Break to 5 p.m. All Sunday games prior to June 19 will remain at 2 p.m.
In conjunction with its partnership with the Lynchburg Humane Society, the Hillcats are debuting Meow Mondays. On these days, fans can receive $3 off admission by donating pet food. Select Hillcats players will be available prior to the game for autographs, and the Hillcats will also feature a different non-profit organization to continue its 'Cats with a Cause tradition. Furthermore, the first 300 fans will receive a team photo giveaway presented by Charley's Restaurant on each of these days, and Kids Club members can run the bases following the game.
Another new theme throughout the season will be 2Fur Tuesdays presented by ABC 13. Fans will be able to enjoy buy one, get one tickets as well as varying concessions deals every Tuesday except for July 4.
Lynchburg's start times for its home weekday games are set for 6:30 p.m., excluding May 3, which will be Say No To Drugs Day for local elementary schools with a first pitch at 11 a.m. The only other deviation on a weekday will be Memorial Day, May 29, in which the Hillcats will play Salem at 2 p.m.
Toward the end of the season, Lynchburg will host multiple "Theme Weeks," including '80s Week from July 24 through July 30 and Geek Week from August 14 to August 20. Geek Week will conclude with Star Wars Night August 20 at 5 p.m. Fan Appreciation Night will be held on the regular-season home finale, August 31 against Potomac at 6:30 p.m.
Lynchburg will continue to host numerous charity and awareness nights, beginning with The 9th Annual Autism Awareness Night presented by Physicians Treatment Center on Saturday, April 22, which features a T-shirt giveaway to the first 1,000 fans and a silent auction. Proceeds of the night will benefit Commonwealth Autism. On Friday, May 26, Lynchburg will host its 6th Annual Paint the Park Purple Night presented by Gastroenterology Associates of Central Virginia, Relay for Life of Lynchburg, and The American Cancer Society. Fans can participate in a raffle to help benefit the American Cancer Society, and the first 1,000 fans will receive a free commemorative T-shirt. The Hillcats are also proud to host the 11th Annual Breast Cancer Awareness Night on Friday, June 23, presented by Centra's Alan B. Pearson Regional Cancer Center. The first 1,000 fans will receive a T-shirt, and the Hillcats will wear special pink jerseys that will be auctioned off during the game to benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation of the Virginia Blue Ridge.
Headlined by a brand-new playing surface with a state-of-the-art drainage system, Calvin Falwell Field will have numerous improvements to showcase during each home game. New group seating areas, an expanded kids zone, and a relocated team store cover just a few of the updates. Additionally, the team's new colors and logos will be on display every time the Hillcats take the field in 2017.
The Hillcats will play two new members of the Carolina League in 2017, the Down East Wood Ducks and the Buies Creek Astros. The Wood Ducks, an affiliate of the Texas Rangers, will travel to Lynchburg for the first and only time for a four-game series beginning August 3. The Hillcats host the Astros for a lone four-game series August 14-17. Lynchburg hosts multiple seven-day homestands beginning April 6, June 8, July 4, and August 14. The Hillcats' regular-season schedule concludes on the road in Wilmington on Labor Day, Sept. 4, with the Carolina League Playoffs set to begin Wednesday, Sept. 6. Lynchburg has made the postseason five consecutive years, a streak that includes the 2012 Mills Cup Championship.
Season tickets are on sale now by calling the Hillcats Box Office at 434-528-1144. Single-game tickets will go on sale Monday, March 13.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.