The 2009 season isn't over, but we're working hard on 2010.
The Bulls have extended their affiliation with the Tampa Bay Rays for four years. In Minor League baseball the contract that frames that relationship is called a Player Development Contract. Now, the agreement is in force through the 2014 season. I believe this has been a very good partnership. The Rays enabled our move up to Triple A ball in 1998. That was a milestone for the club, and the Rays more recent success (2008 AL Champs) has been icing on the cake. They are committed to winning in the Minors and the Majors, and we enjoy working with the front office...very progressive, strategic thinkers. (Baseball is over 160 years old; progressive thinking doesn't necessarily abound!)
To celebrate the PDC extension we announced that the 2010 season will begin with a Rays/Bulls exhibition game on Easter weekend. We haven't nailed down the date, but it will be Friday night April 2nd or Saturday afternoon April 3rd. It will be fantastic to see former Bulls like David Price, Evan Longoria, James Shields and Carl Crawford standing on the Durham field in their Rays' uniforms.
And last but not least, the Bulls will play a 2010 game in the newly renovated Durham Athletic Park.
On Monday evening May 10th the Bulls will take on the Toledo Mud Hens in the Bulls' former home - the DAP. This is nostalgia to the max for Bulls fans and the City of Durham! The two most famous MiLB teams will play in one of America's most historic ballparks. I'm thinking we'll set a DAP attendance record...even on a Monday night!?!