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Thread: Why a Dragons game is the place to be...

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    Waiting for a tour/album KittyDuran's Avatar
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    Why a Dragons game is the place to be...

    Nice article on the whole Dragons experience...
    http://www.daytondailynews.com/s/con...nid=dlh-040309

    Why a Dragons game is the place to be
    By Kim Margolis

    Staff Writer

    Friday, April 03, 2009

    DAYTON ó The Dayton Dragons were successful even before the team took the field in 2000.

    The first season was sold out before a game was even played. Eight years in a row of sell-outs earned them a place among Sports Illustrated's list of hottest tickets in all of sports.

    The players on the field are the draw, but it's also the literally thousands of other little ó and not so little (we're talking to you, Heater) ó things that round out a lovely summer night or afternoon at the ballpark.

    Here are some key reasons why a Dayton Dragons game is the place to be.

    You can take a toddler or a grandparent and still have fun

    A Dragons game is a safe, affordable place to take your children, your spouse, a date, your friends or a group from work. Parking is in nearby lots, a parking garage and on the street if you arrive early.

    The food and tickets are affordable and the atmosphere is comfortable. The variety of food is traditional with hot dogs, hamburgers, beer and ice cream available. And it's different with churros, chicken fajitas and Mike's Hard Lemonade, too.

    People have been known to leave a Dragons game, not remember the score or who even won, but report they had a great time, said Tom Nichols, director of media relations and broadcasting.

    "Every business in America has a target market," Nichols said. "Ours is families. We want people to bring their children or grandchildren to games and have a family environment."

    Dragons and even ogres work to entertain you

    Heater arrived as a rookie with the team in 2000 and eventually was joined by his niece, Gem. They attend every game and mingle with fans and goof around with players. Kids love to have their pictures taken with the mascots, especially one.

    "If you ask a kid who is their favorite Dragon, they name Heater," Nichols said.

    Wink, the kindly ogre, and Roofman appear at select games. Roofman is elusive, with fans getting only a glimpse of him from the roof where he turns foul balls into presents he tosses to fans.

    Dogs will thrill, chickens will go crazy, plus Ken Giraffey

    There will be a fireworks show after the home opener Thursday, April 9, and another fireworks show will take place Aug. 22.

    The Famous Chicken visits on June 18. The ZOOperstars! featuring characters like Ken Giraffey, Nolan Rhino, Clammy Sosa, you get the idea, will appear July 2. BirdZerk!, another crazy, dressed-up bird-man, will visit July 16. The canine entertainers, Skyy Dogs USA, will appear Aug. 13.

    Pop a squat, catch a fly ball

    What's easier than grabbing a blanket or towel, taking $7 out of your wallet and seeing a baseball game? That's all there is to sitting in the lawn seats.

    "You can bring a beach towel, lie down and watch a game," said Alex Vispoli, media relations administrator. "It's a quaint and somewhat romantic experience."

    You're also close to the outfield and have a good chance of getting a foul ball or home run ball, Vispoli said.

    Play amateur MLB scout

    Adam Dunn, Austin Kearns, Jay Bruce, Wily Mo Pena, Joey Votto and Johnny Cueto are now Major League Baseball players, but they all started in Dayton.

    It's fun to watch them throughout the season and see their skills grow. Or to see that powerful home run swing when a prospect is a mere 20 years old. Getting an autograph or a picture of a future star is possible here.

    "You never know which ones will make it," Nichols said. "It's always fun debating what players will get there."

    Shed a few happy tears

    Again this year, the Dragons will honor service men and women stationed overseas. The dates this year are May 30 and Aug. 22.

    At the Hometown Heroes events, a military family stands outside the players' dugouts and watches a videotaped message on the scoreboard from their family member.

    "Definitely everyone in the ballpark is very much moved by it," Nichols said.

    At one event, the Thigpen family was watching Capt. Jim Thigpen talk to them on the scoreboard, but the video stopped working. The family members and the audience ó which gave out a huge, collective groan ó were disappointed.

    But then the man walked out of the dugout toward his wife, Kim, and two sons, Jacob and Caleb.

    "There was a five-minute ovation for him," said Chris Hart, Dragons marketing manager.


    You never know what will happen next

    First, there is the video board. It is Major League Baseball quality, including moving images of the players during their hitting introductions. It features live video of good plays from the game as well.

    Then there's the Dragon, who snorts smoke from his nose when a home run is hit by the home team.

    "The kids love the Dragon when we hit a home run," Nichols said.

    There are skits featuring racing toddlers and singing retirement home residents called the Retirement Village People.

    "It's a different show every night," Nichols said. "You're not going to come Monday and see on-field skits and come back a couple nights later and see the exact same ones."


    Contact this reporter at (937) 225-2216 or kmargolis@DaytonDailyNews.com.
    2014 Reds record when I'm attending: 21-17
    2014 Dragons record when I'm attending: 2-1 - FINAL
    "We want to be the band to dance to when the bomb drops." - Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran

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    Member Jharb74's Avatar
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    Re: Why a Dragons game is the place to be...

    I agree with the whole article. If you ever get the chance to go, you should! Most every Minor League team should use the Dragons as a benchmark of what to do.
    I only hope that my new local team, The Bowling (KY) Green Hot Rods, can be half as successful.

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    Re: Why a Dragons game is the place to be...

    Pop a squat, catch a fly ball

    I saw George Brett do that once. Looked painful.

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    Member medford's Avatar
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    Re: Why a Dragons game is the place to be...

    Personally, I think the Dragon's ties to the Reds have increased their local draw signifcantly. Since many in the area are also Reds fans, we've already hit bits and pieces about many Dragon stars prior to ever seeing them. Watching Dunn develop into a major league slugger, gives you the sense of "remember win" that translates into watching Devin behind the plate last season. Johny Cueto made it to the show, will Juan Carlos pave the same path when the makes his Dragon's debut later in the season. I belive that connection there to current Reds/past dragons makes the whole scene just a tad more special.

    How many other Minor league teams play in the back yard of their Parent club? How many have a season ticket base that cross references the Big leagues season ticket base? I know several businesses that have both Dragon's season tickets and Reds season tickets, or at least parts there of. I'm sure there are many more. This is one aspect of the Dragons that I imagine has to be hard to replicate and I think the single biggest reason they remain such a big draw.

    They really are in a win-win situation. If the Reds are struggling, then we all turn our eyes to the future, and where better to see that future than in Dayton a mear 40ish miles up the road in a town that has long supported the Reds. If the Reds are having success, that likely means they're having success w/ a significant amount of one time dragons. Where better to see that next Reds super star than a mear 40ish miles up the road in a town that has long supported the Big League club.

    Aside from that, the games move quickly, traffic in/out is generally pretty smooth, its a beautiful ball park in a City that has a tradition of supporting their teams. Food prices are more than reasonable, there is no such thing as a bad ticket, nor long lines for food; you can get from your seat, grab your food, and sit back down while the pitchers are warming up b/w innings. The b/w innings entertainment is more creative than the big league club, and certainly geared towards the youngsters meaning that kid of your will not be found quickly bored.

    It helps that I live just south of town (Dayton), but even if I sat equidistant from the 2 stadiums, and had an offer for Reds tickets and Dragon tickets for the same night sitting in front of me, I think I'd take the Dragons tickets 75% of the time. I can watch a Reds game on TV just about every night and almost as entertained as I can attending a Reds game, and certainly escape the scene of a "bad game" with a mear flick of the remote. I've never seen such thing as a "bad Dragon's Game". Even in a 9-3 beat down, I can find joy in watching a Todd Frazier or Zach Cozart perform, attempting to draw some conclussion about their future involvement w/ the Reds.

    My heart lies with the Reds, no doubt about that, but I'll take a Dragons' game over a Reds game (in person anyways) more often than note.

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    Re: Why a Dragons game is the place to be...

    Daytonís pastime: Opening Night for the Dragons was predictable. Friendly faces, great atmosphere and a loss by the local nine. The Dragons have sold out like a million straight games, and I think the streak will outlast the Easter Bunny.

    How does this happen when most minor-league franchises canít draw flies? My answer: civic pride. The Dragons do a great job making fans feel like theyíre big shots. Fifth Third Field, which opened in 2000, looks new. And Heater always is worth a laugh. The organization is first-class, but Daytonians have taken this baseball and run with it. Itís part of our identity.

    How popular are the Dragons? If every season-ticket holder decided not to renew for 2010, there are more than 9,000 standing in line to take their places.

    http://www.daytondailynews.com/dayto...ide-78836.html

    Wow. That's amazing.
    I miss Adam Dunn.

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    Waiting for a tour/album KittyDuran's Avatar
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    Re: Why a Dragons game is the place to be...

    Quote Originally Posted by OnBaseMachine View Post
    Daytonís pastime: Opening Night for the Dragons was predictable. Friendly faces, great atmosphere and a loss by the local nine. The Dragons have sold out like a million straight games, and I think the streak will outlast the Easter Bunny.

    How does this happen when most minor-league franchises canít draw flies? My answer: civic pride. The Dragons do a great job making fans feel like theyíre big shots. Fifth Third Field, which opened in 2000, looks new. And Heater always is worth a laugh. The organization is first-class, but Daytonians have taken this baseball and run with it. Itís part of our identity.

    How popular are the Dragons? If every season-ticket holder decided not to renew for 2010, there are more than 9,000 standing in line to take their places.

    http://www.daytondailynews.com/dayto...ide-78836.html

    Wow. That's amazing.
    Yeah, I'm one of the more than 9,000 patiently waiting (and I'm on the short list of 17 games)!
    2014 Reds record when I'm attending: 21-17
    2014 Dragons record when I'm attending: 2-1 - FINAL
    "We want to be the band to dance to when the bomb drops." - Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran

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    Waiting for a tour/album KittyDuran's Avatar
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    Re: Why a Dragons game is the place to be...

    It helps that I live just south of town (Dayton), but even if I sat equidistant from the 2 stadiums, and had an offer for Reds tickets and Dragon tickets for the same night sitting in front of me, I think I'd take the Dragons tickets 75% of the time. I can watch a Reds game on TV just about every night and almost as entertained as I can attending a Reds game, and certainly escape the scene of a "bad game" with a mear flick of the remote. I've never seen such thing as a "bad Dragon's Game". Even in a 9-3 beat down, I can find joy in watching a Todd Frazier or Zach Cozart perform, attempting to draw some conclussion about their future involvement w/ the Reds.
    I live in Hamilton - so I can pretty much say it about equidistant (45 vs 30 miles). That being said it probably about 50% IF I was offered Dragons tickets (and that's a mighty BIG IF - I go out and buy them for myself).
    2014 Reds record when I'm attending: 21-17
    2014 Dragons record when I'm attending: 2-1 - FINAL
    "We want to be the band to dance to when the bomb drops." - Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran

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    Re: Why a Dragons game is the place to be...

    Quote Originally Posted by OnBaseMachine View Post
    How does this happen when most minor-league franchises can’t draw flies?
    That statement is way off base. This is from 2007 but I think that the '08 numbers would show similar results:

    Attendance at Minor League Baseball games during the regular season in 2007 soared to 42,812,812, an increase of more than 1.1-million fans over the 2006 season. It was the fourth year in a row that the industry set its all-time record.

    This highest total in the 106-year history of the industry was accumulated by the 175 teams in the 14 affiliated domestic leagues in the U.S. and Canada, plus the Triple-A Mexican League.

    Turnstiles were spinning nearly everywhere in Minor League Baseball as 13 of the 15 leagues reported increases over 2006 totals. Four of the leagues–Pacific Coast, Midwest, South Atlantic and Pioneer–set their own all-time records.

    The only leagues that did not show increases in total attendance did average more fans per playing date this year. They were the Texas, which was coming off a record season in 2006, and the Appalachian, which was operating with one less team this season.

    Rem

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    SERP Emeritus paintmered's Avatar
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    Re: Why a Dragons game is the place to be...

    Quote Originally Posted by OnBaseMachine View Post
    How does this happen when most minor-league franchises canít draw flies? My answer: civic pride. The Dragons do a great job making fans feel like theyíre big shots. Fifth Third Field, which opened in 2000, looks new. And Heater always is worth a laugh. The organization is first-class, but Daytonians have taken this baseball and run with it. Itís part of our identity.
    Out of curiosity, have you ever lived in or around Dayton? Having spent all but five years of my life in the Dayton area, I can say that the Dragon's success is not due to Civic pride. Civic pride in Dayton is completely nonexistent.

    It just saddens me that downtown Dayton continues to rot while the rush to move to Springboro continues.
    What if this wasn't a rhetorical question?

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    Re: Why a Dragons game is the place to be...

    Quote Originally Posted by paintmered View Post
    Out of curiosity, have you ever lived in or around Dayton? Having spent all but five years of my life in the Dayton area, I can say that the Dragon's success is not due to Civic pride. Civic pride in Dayton is completely nonexistent.

    It just saddens me that downtown Dayton continues to rot while the rush to move to Springboro continues.
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that was a quote from Hal...not OBM talking there.
    2014 predictions:
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    SERP Emeritus paintmered's Avatar
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    Re: Why a Dragons game is the place to be...

    Quote Originally Posted by _Sir_Charles_ View Post
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that was a quote from Hal...not OBM talking there.
    Thanks for pointing that out. I stand corrected.
    What if this wasn't a rhetorical question?

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    Re: Why a Dragons game is the place to be...

    That quote wasn't from Hal. It was made by the sports editor, Brian Kollars, in his Sunday paper opinion fluff piece. It's usually filled with mostly idiotic musings, but occasionally has a legitimate point.


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