Peoria, IL - The Peoria Chiefs, the Class-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals, will take part in the MiLB Copa de la Diversión or "Fun Cup" program for the 2020 season with a team identity of En El Rio de Peoria, or Peoria on the River. En El Rio jerseys and hats will be worn for five games in the 2020 season and all five games will feature Latin music, games, food, education and more.
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The cornerstone of MiLB's U.S. Hispanic/Latinx fan engagement initiative, "Copa de la Diversión" established an innovative new platform authentically connecting MiLB teams with their diverse communities, embracing the culture and values that resonate most with Hispanics/Latinos nationwide. The program began with 33 teams in 2018, expanded to 72 in 2019 and will include 92 teams in 2020.
The En El Rio moniker was chosen because the Illinois River runs through Peoria and East Peoria. The name En El Rio de Peoria and the boat logo represent Peoria as a river town, encapsulating the history of Central Illinois. The Chiefs worked with the Greater Peoria Hispanic Chamber of Commerce on the name selection as they sponsor and help produce a En El Rio festival in Peoria every summer on the riverfront to bring culture, fun, music, family, and businesses together.
"We are thrilled to be joining the COPA program and expanding on our highly successful Hispanic Heritage Night from last June" said Chiefs General Manager Jason Mott. "The staff had a lot of fun coming up with the name, logos and designs and we look forward to working with the Greater Peoria Hispanic Chamber on these five nights and celebrating with the local Hispanic community."
Merchandise featuring the En El Rio identity and logo will be available at the Peoria Chiefs team store both at Dozer Park and online. The on-field hats and jerseys will be unveiled in March and will be available for fans to purchase at that time. The onfield jerseys, worn by the players, will be auctioned online in September with the proceeds going to benefit local Hispanic causes.
The five games that will be COPA dates are Friday, May 15 against Wisconsin, Friday, June 19 against Clinton, Sunday, July 26 against Fort Wayne, Sunday August 9 against Kane County and Friday, September 4 against Burlington. The Chiefs will request these opponents who are also part of the Copa program to bring their unique jerseys and hats for the full Copa experience and Peoria will also take their En El Rio identity on the road when requested.
The Chiefs and their En El Rio identity will work with the Greater Peoria Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to theme the five games to honor the many different and diverse Latinx communities in Central Illinois while also celebrating the heritage of 2020 players from Latin America.
All five COPA games will feature special promotions and theme nights. Friday, May 15 features a COPA Cuban style hat giveaway and post-game Fireworks. Friday, June 19 is Soccer Day with an En El Rio Soccer Scarf Giveaway and post-game Fireworks. Sunday July 26 will feature a Sugar Skull Bobblehead Giveaway and post-game Fireworks. The Sunday, August 9 theme will be announced at a later date. Friday, September 4 features the En El Rio jersey auction, post-game Fireworks, live music and the kickoff to Fan Appreciation Weekend.
Fans can purchase a COPA ticket package by calling 309-680-4000 or online at www.milb.com/peoria/fans/copa. All purchasers of an En El Rio ticket package receive an entry to win a team-autographed En El Rio de Peoria jersey following the 2020 regular season. Packages start as low as $25.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.