Choctaw Lazy River named Best Ballpark Improvement

Ballpark Digest honors RoughRiders for second straight year

By Frisco RoughRiders | October 19, 2016 1:05 PM ET

FRISCO, TEXAS (October 19, 2016) - For the second year in a row, Ballpark Digest has recognized the Frisco RoughRiders by naming the design, construction, and opening of the Choctaw Lazy River as its "Best Ballpark Improvement (Over $1 Million) for 2016. The recognition comes on the heels of the Choctaw Lazy River being named "Best Sports Promotion" in Dallas by the Dallas Observer last month.

Last offseason, the RoughRiders garnered "Best Ballpark Renovation" for the series of improvements made to Dr Pepper Ballpark, including the new state-of-the-art HD video board, sound system, Bull Moose Saloon, InTouch Grille, and Riders Outpost Team Store.

Under the leadership of Greenberg, together with the City of Frisco, the RoughRiders have made just under $8 million in capital improvements to Dr Pepper Ballpark over the past two seasons.

The Choctaw Lazy River project was unveiled publically in February and completed in June to much fanfare. Upon its initial announcement, the Choctaw Lazy River garnered national acclaim. Within 24 hours of the announcement, the project went viral with local, regional, and national media outlets like ESPN, Fox Sports 1, TMZ Sports, MLB Network, FOX Sports, USA Today, and Yahoo! Sports. The Street and Smith's Sports Business Journal, one of the leading sports industry publications, placed the Choctaw Lazy River announcement as the second biggest sports story of the week at the time in its "SportsBusiness Saturday," which catalogs stories from across the globe, behind only the news of FIFA electing its new president.

Not only was the 68,000-plus gallon, 400-foot long lazy river a wildly popular subject of conversation in the sports world but also was a success with fans once is opened. Along with the lazy river itself, additional standout features such as the two 27-foot water curtains, the two eight-foot waterfalls, and the CoServ Cabana, have made the Choctaw Lazy River a resounding success.  As RoughRiders General Partner and CEO Chuck Greenberg told Ballpark Digest, "the Choctaw Lazy River was open for the last 46 games of our season and 44 of those 46 games were sold out. The two games we didn't sell out were still close to being at capacity. We're happy with the outcome. The visual appeal is phenomenal."

In the article, Greenberg goes on to discuss the fans' reaction to the newest hospitality area at Dr Pepper Ballpark: "They have loved it. We have lifeguards out there who also have fishing nets to catch balls. We had a few home run balls go out there and people were thrilled. The whole area is utilized in a way that appeals to our fans. We've had groups across the spectrum from fraternities to kid's birthday parties to corporate outing." 

The hiring of Michelle Hardman as Vice President of Ballpark Events, announced Tuesday, will help maximize the utility of the space as well, as she is charged with prospecting, selling, planning, and executing ballpark rentals, meetings, parties, and corporate outings at Dr Pepper Ballpark, including the Choctaw Lazy River, on a year-round basis. 

The 2017 Frisco RoughRiders season begins on April 6, when the RoughRiders host the Springfield Cardinals at Dr Pepper Ballpark. For all 2017 ticketing information, including tickets for the Choctaw Lazy River and ticket packages for the 2017 Texas League All-Star Game at Dr Pepper Ballpark on Tuesday, June 27, fans can visit RidersBaseball.com, email info@ridersbaseball.com, call (972) 731-9200, or stop by in-person to the RoughRiders Ticket Office. 

About the RoughRiders

The Frisco RoughRiders are the Double-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers and play their games at beautiful Dr Pepper Ballpark in Frisco, Texas. The team was founded in 2003 and has finished first among all Double-A franchises in attendance in each of the last 12 seasons (2005-2016). In August 2014, the RoughRiders were purchased by an ownership group led by Chuck Greenberg and Scott Sonju. The new ownership group, together with the city of Frisco, has spearheaded numerous major franchise improvements over the past two seasons, investing over $7 million in wide array of facility upgrades and improvements, including the new state-of-the-art HD video board, sound system, Bull Moose Saloon, InTouch Grille, Riders Outpost Team Store, and the newest and biggest creation, the 174-foot Choctaw Lazy River. The improvements made prior to the 2015 season earned the Riders and the City of Frisco "Best Ballpark Renovation" of 2015 by Ballpark Digest. More than 140 former RoughRiders players have gone on to play Major League Baseball, including All-Stars Chris Davis, Elvis Andrus, Adrian Gonzalez, Ian Kinsler, Nelson Cruz, and C.J. Wilson as well as current Rangers stars Derek Holland, Rougned Odor, and Mitch Moreland. For more information on the Frisco RoughRiders and Dr Pepper Ballpark, please visit RidersBaseball.com or contact Nathan Barnett at (972) 334-1976 or via e-mail at Nathan@RidersBaseball.com.

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