ROANOKE, Va. – With the cancellation of the Minor League Baseball season, it’s left many organizations wondering what’s next in terms of revenue and use of ballparks.
The Pulaski Yankees, who were recognized as having best ballpark at the rookie level last summer, are putting the historic Calfee Park to use by engaging with fans.
“We knew that yesterday’s news was pretty much inevitable, but it doesn’t make it any easier to get that phone call or see it in writing. So, it’s still just a very big feeling of disappointment throughout our organization and the minor leagues and all our fan bases throughout the country,” said Yankees general manager Betsy Haugh.
“Minor League Baseball and Calfee Park have been a part of Pulaski since 1935. We’re not going to let Calfee Park stop being an entertainment venue this summer. We’ve got a lot of really great events planned and an event schedule that’s ever changing and ever developing. We are still very much looking forward to being an entertainment hub for Pulaski and the New River Valley this summer,” Haugh said.
They will have a busy July 4th weekend at the park, beginning on Friday evening with 16 and under baseball being played followed by fireworks. On Saturday, at 4 p.m., there will be a showing of the movie “Captain America: Civil War” on the video board at the ballpark.
Much of the same is happening at American Legion Field, the home of the Danville Braves.
First-year general manager Brandon Bennett said it will be different not being able to bring good baseball and fun promotions to Southside as they have done the past 27 years.
In terms of generating revenue, the team is still selling merchandise online and hoping to make a pop-up shop at the stadium in the near future, while coming up with ways to bring entertainment.
“Stadiums are being turned into Airbnb’s, golf courses, disc golf and now that’s going to trickle down to us now that we have the official notice that we don’t have Braves games,” Bennett said. “So, what we’re going to be doing is looking for other things here at the park and stadium within the state’s guidelines.”