Wilmington, DE -- Frawley Stadium is getting a facelift. The long-time home of the Wilmington Blue Rocks will have all of its seats replaced in a construction project that began in early December and will be finished in March, 2016. Once work is completed, the biggest difference will be the removal of all aluminum benches. Now every fan who enters the 24-year-old ballpark will get their own seat.
"We feel this project will not only give Frawley Stadium a more modern look, but will also enhance the comfort of our fans as they watch Blue Rocks baseball," said the team's general manager Chris Kemple. "This is going to be a significant upgrade."
For fans who grew attached to their old seats there is a way to maintain that connection. The Rocks and the Delaware Stadium Corporation are offering fans the opportunity to purchase those seats. The stadium chairs will be mounted onto floor brackets so they can be enjoyed from the comfort of home for as low as $99.
"Knowing our fan base we figured many would want to keep their seats as a memento from the many memories they enjoyed watching the Blue Rocks," Kemple said. "This seemed to be the best way to offer the opportunity to even sit in those seats again."
Fans have had plenty of opportunity to create memories since Frawley Stadium opened its doors in April, 1993. Matt Minker's construction company, Minker Construction, built the ballpark during the winter leading up to that season. Minker's son Clark is now a co-owner of the Blue Rocks, along with Dave Heller. The younger Minker knows his Dad, who owned the Rocks for more than a decade before he passed away in 2007, would be enthusiastic about this project.
"My dad built the ballpark during a long, cold winter in 1993. At the time, we hoped the stadium would serve as a gathering place for families for years to come, all the while serving as the anchor for the then-planned Riverfront development.
"More than two decades later, I am certain my late father would be overwhelmed with joy to see the growth that has taken place as it has exceeded our wildest dreams. If Dad were here today, he would tell me it was time to begin making the improvements necessary to maintaining that anchor for another generation of Blue Rocks baseball families."
And Minker says this is just the beginning.
"New seats are the first step in a multi-part plan to upgrade the stadium and give our fans the best minor league baseball experience possible. There's a lot of excitement building between this and our partnership with the world champion Kansas City Royals. My dad would have loved the fact that his beloved Royals won the World Series this year. In memory of Dad, I have asked the Royals to inscribe my ring with my dad's name so that I can give it to my mother."
The Blue Rocks, who drew 282,437 fans to Frawley Stadium in 2015 and averaged more than 4,100 patrons per game, will release game times for the 2016 campaign later in the offseason. Fans should call 302-888-BLUE or visit BlueRocks.com for more information or to purchase mini plans and group packages.