Suns plan to offer fireworks on, over the field

April 09, 2003|by BOB PARASILITI

The Hagerstown Suns are doing their best to make sure fans have a blast at their games while making them leave with a bang this year.

And they plan to do it in an explosive manner.

The Suns will feature 13 fireworks shows after games this season - the first coming after Thursday's home opener - as the most visible of the promotions set for the 2003 season.

"We took all of our strong points from last year and tried to make them stronger," said Suns general manager Kurt Landes. "Last year we added to our fireworks schedule to have five shows. This year we've made a huge investment and added more shows."


Fireworks will be featured after every Friday game, except for the first week of the season. There will also be two Thursday displays - after the first home game with Lexington and on July 5 after the John Michael Montgomery country music concert.

"We aren't going to have any fireworks on back-to-back nights," Landes said. "It ends up being one fireworks night per homestand."

The entertainment portion of Suns games had some old favorite promotions enhanced while adding a few new ones to tempt a different set of taste buds.

The Suns have enlarged the beer garden area down the left field line to add more room for some of Hagerstown's better known attractions.

On the top of the list is Thirsty Thursdays, when most beverages are only $1 and the nightly beer inning when drinks are sold at a reduced price for 10 minutes if the Suns retire their opponent in order.

Starting in June, the Suns will offer Saturday night post-game parties.

"It's becoming the place to be," Landes said.

Two other weekly promotions are Feed-Your-Face Mondays and Herald-Mail Family Night Tuesdays. On Mondays, fans can pay $10 for a ticket to the game and all the food they can eat from the main concession stand for free. A number of local restaurants will also come in and offer free food at the games.

On Tuesday, families will get four tickets, four hot dogs, four sodas and four cups of popcorn for $25 and a coupon which will appear in Sunday, Monday or Tuesday's Herald-Mail.

The Suns will continue a number of their between-inning promotions, including the popular strikeout batter of the game. One opposing player is selected as the strikeout batter prior to the game. If he strikes out during the game, everyone attending the game will receive a ticket for a free sandwich.

"We try to get as many people involved in our promotions as possible," Landes said.

The Suns will also offer two Education Days for students with morning games on May 6 and June 2 to go with a special lesson plan.

"Those days are important to us," Landes said. "It combines learning and baseball for the kids and both are important to us."

The Suns will also continue their "Score an A, Score a Ticket" promotion with Home Federal Bank. Students will get a free game ticket for every 'A' they receive on their third and fourth marking period report cards.

On Aug. 23, the Suns will feature The Great Campout and Sleepover. Families are invited to set up camp in the Municipal Stadium outfield after the game and stay the night. The night will feature movies on the outfield wall, games for the kids and breakfast the next morning.

One of the biggest events of the season is the Montgomery concert, which is scheduled on a night when the Suns are out of town. Tickets for the show are already on sale at the stadium box office.

"We are trying to show that the ballpark can be used as a community facility," Landes said. "We are trying to get as many people as possible to come in and experience the park and the fireworks. Hopefully they will come back to see a game.

"Fireworks are one of our biggest promotions. It's a big investment by us and by our new ownership to put the best foot forward in the community."

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