JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - The Johnson City Cardinals and Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union have agreed to a stadium rights partnership that will kickoff the team's first year under Boyd Sports, LLC.
Starting with the 2016 season, the Cardinal's home stadium will be named TVA Credit Union Ballpark, while the playing surface will remain Howard Johnson Field. The change comes after Boyd Sports assumed the management contract of the Johnson City Cardinals, and will coincide with over $400,000 in stadium improvements prior to the 2016 season.
"We are excited about partnering with Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union," said Boyd Sports Vice President Jeremy Boler. "Their commitment to the Johnson City Cardinals has created a new level of excitement for the ballpark and the community. This partnership continues to build on our vision for family entertainment and advance it towards the next level. TVA Credit Union Ballpark will be the place to be not only during the summer months, but for events throughout the year."
The Johnson City Cardinals have a long history in professional baseball, first fielding a team in 1910. Baseball was on and off up until 1937, when the organization came back as the Johnson City Soldiers. In 1939, Johnson City began its first affiliation with the St. Louis Cardinals, before switching to the Phillies (1957-1960) and Yankees (1964-74). In 1975, Johnson City once again inked an affiliation with the St. Louis Cardinals, and that has continued to the present.
"Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union is a non-profit, a cooperative. That means we not only work in our communities, but we live here and our children attend school here," added Tammy Combs, Branch Manager at Knoxville TVA Credit Union in Johnson City. "So our communities are a part of us and it's important to invest in our communities and to give back. Baseball is a wonderful sport that brings the community together. It doesn't matter how old or young you are, baseball is a great environment for people to come together and enjoy one another. And it doesn't break the bank. That is the same thing we do for people and their finances. The Credit Union provides a safe, reliable environment for the community to keep and invest their money. For us, it's a natural fit. At the end of the day, it's about the Johnson City community and giving the residents of Johnson City a great experience."
The current ballpark was constructed in 1952 and remains one of the more historic ballparks in all of Minor League Baseball. While the facility has undergone several renovations over the years, 2016 will represent some of the more significant improvements. A large party deck/beer garden will be constructed on the third base side, along with improvements to concessions, a new ticketing system and an overhaul of the locker rooms. Additionally, following the conclusion of the Cardinal's 2016 season, a synthetic grass infield will be installed.
The Johnson City Cardinals have won three of the last six Appalachian League Championships and they kick off their 2016 season on June 26th when they host the Elizabethton Twins. Season tickets, mini-plans and single game tickets are now on sale, and fans can purchase them online at JCCardinals.com or calling 423-461-4866.