ALLENTOWN, Pa. -- Coca-Cola Park, the most visited venue in Minor League Baseball for each of the last three seasons, will serve as the host venue for the 2013 Gildan Triple-A National Championship Game on Sept. 17, 2013, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs announced today. The Gildan Triple-A National Championship Game is a one-game, winner-take-all contest featuring the champions of the International League and Pacific Coast League, and will be televised live to a national audience on the NBC Sports Network beginning at 7 p.m.
"This truly is a historic day for our franchise, our loyal and enthusiastic fans and the entire Lehigh Valley community," exclaimed IronPigs general manager Kurt Landes. "The Gildan Triple-A National Championship Game is Triple-A Baseball's showcase event and we are thrilled to bring it to our fans at Minor League Baseball's showcase ballpark."
Added International League president Randy Mobley: "The Lehigh Valley hosted one of Triple-A Baseball's crown jewel events in 2010 with the Triple-A All-Star Game and now with the 2013 Gildan National Championship Game coming to the area, the IronPigs will become the first International League team to have hosted both of Triple-A Baseball's nationally televised games."
New and existing full-season, 36-game and 18-game ticket plan holders will have the initial opportunity to purchase National Championship tickets when the 2013 ticket renewal process begins on Aug. 17 at 10 a.m. These plan holders will also receive a $2 discount per ticket off the individual game ticket price for the National Championship game of $19 for Club Level, $14 for Field Level and $11 for General Admission.
IronPigs full-season (Club, Front Row & Field Level) ticket holders who purchase tickets for the 2013 Gildan Triple-A Natonal Championship Game will have the benefit of remaining in the same seats that they have for their regular season plan. 18- and 36-game ticket holders will be seated based on first-come, first-serve basis beginning on Aug. 17 at 10 a.m. To purchase or renew a ticket plan for the 2013 season and secure 2013 Gildan National Championship Game tickets, please call (610) 841-PIGS (7447) or visit the Coca-Cola Park during normal business hours.
"Gildan is proud to partner with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the International League and Triple-A Baseball on the 2013 Gildan Triple-A National Championship Game at Coca-Cola Park," said Rob Packard, vice-president of marketing and merchandising, Gildan Retail. "This is a special game involving Minor League Baseball's two best teams and we couldn't be more proud to share in that excitement."
The Triple-A National Championship Game debuted in its current one-game format in 2006 although it has never been hosted by a club in the Northeast. The Triple-A World Series, Triple-A Classic and Las Vegas Triple-A World Series all served are predecessors to the current championship event.
The International League has captured the Triple-A National Championship each of the last three seasons with Columbus ousting Omaha in Albuquerque, N.M., last year. The all-time series between the two leagues is tied, 3-3.
Gildan Triple-A National Championship Game all-time results:
2006: Tucson 5, Toledo 2
2007: Sacramento 7, Richmond 1
2008: Sacramento 4, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 1
2009: Durham 5, Memphis 4
2010: Columbus 12, Tacoma 6
2011: Columbus 8, Omaha 3
Coca-Cola Park will serve as a perfect backdrop for the 2013 event as the IronPigs are currently leading Minor League Baseball in average attendance for a third consecutive season and are on pace to surpass the elusive 600,000 fan barrier for a fifth consecutive campaign. The club is among a select group of just three Minor League clubs, along with Louisville and Sacramento, to exceed 600,000 fans during every season since 2008.
Coca-Cola Park and the Lehigh Valley IronPigs have received numerous honors and distinctions since 2008, including Ballpark Digest's "Ballpark of the Year" award and "Best Game Operations and Presentation" award as chosen by gameops.com.
Coca-Cola Park debuted in 2008 and became an overnight sensation and drew rave reviews for its intimacy, fan-friendly atmosphere and architectural design. Furthermore, FoxNews.com recently ranked Lehigh Valley IronPigs fans as the best fans in all of Minor League Baseball.
Local support for the 2013 Gildan National Championship Game is provided by Service Electric Cable TV & Communications, Air Products, Lehigh Valley Health Network, Service Master and Allentown Beverage. Additionally, Service Electric's Emmy-award winning television crew will handle the production of NBC Sports Network's national broadcast.
This year's Gildan Triple-A Championship Game will be in played in Durham, N.C., on Sept. 18.
Other events surrounding the 2013 Gildan Triple-A National Championship Game will be announced in the near future.
Gildan is a vertically integrated marketer and global manufacturer of quality branded basic apparel, as well as the leading activewear brand in the American and Canadian screenprint markets and one of the world's largest suppliers of branded and select national retailer brands of athletic, casual and dress socks. With approximately 30,000 employees worldwide, Gildan owns and operates highly efficient, large-scale, environmentally and socially responsible facilities in Central America and the Caribbean Basin. Based in Montreal, Gildan also has a U.S. headquarters for its Branded Apparel division in Charleston, S.C. For more information about Gildan, please visit www.gildan.com and for more information on Gildan's community involvement initiatives, please visit www.genuinegildan.com.
The Lehigh Valley IronPigs are dedicated to providing family-friendly entertainment and are the only Minor League team to offer bubbles to fans entering the AT&T Plaza and balloons for all children exiting Coca-Cola Park.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.