Friday, March 29, 2013

Food, Beverage & Funding for Triangle Nonprofits

Maybe you have noticed that many of the concessions stands at the ballpark are staffed by volunteers. They donate their labor in return for a percentage of the stand's income. You might have been served by your neighbor, a high school band member or a former Durham mayor!

Sixteen different non-profits were part of this program last season that is managed by our concessionaire, Centerplate. In total, the organizations received $119,000. Looking at the 2012 report, I noticed three major categories: 

+  service clubs earned $41K
+  school support groups took in $26K 
+  ├╝ber loyal high school band parents pulled in 
    $37K for their kids uniforms and trips.

Over the past five seasons, the payout to non-profits has totaled $680,000.

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On a historical note, click on that menu graphic (above) from the 1980s at the old Durham Athletic park. It's hard to believe we sold smokes and Skoal at the concession stands. Times change! 

I readily admit that prices have crept up over the past 25-30 years, but remember, the Bulls do battle with inflation every Thursday night with a special menu of $1.00 concessions. 

Opening Day is April 8th. You're invited.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Check out the Sports Shop

Not a week goes by that I don't hear from someone hoping to launch a career as a play-by-play announcer or a sports talk show host. I hate to rain on their parade(s) but medical school might be an easier path. 

For sure, you hear game broadcasts and talk shows 24/7, but there are few local employment opportunities. Most of our programming originates with national and regional networks. It's very difficult to get your foot in the door, and when you do, "paying your dues" takes perseverance and great patience. For example, play-by-play "voice" of the NC State Wolfpack, Gary Hahn, has been with us for 23 seasons. 

This post is about a local ensemble that kicked down my door, and we've given them an opportunity on The Buzz/AM620. They hone their craft - what they call "urban sports-talk" - every Saturday from 9-12 on The Sports Shop. John McCann tells their story in the Herald-Sun.

From left: Erroll Reese, Bill Murphy, Anna Bays 
& Kevin McClendon.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Ballparks Teach History

This week's big story has been the election of a new Pope, so I pose this question: What does the Papacy have in common with baseball? Answer: Three Papal Masses were held at Yankee Stadium, in 1965, 1979 and 2008.

That factoid comes from a neat feature on ESPN's website called STADIUM 50. It's a ranking of fifty historical stadia events that were not directly related to sports competition.

Number One is from 2005 when the Superdome became home to Hurricane Katrina refugees, and Number Fifty is Janet Jackson's 2004 "wardrobe malfunction" in Reliant Stadium.

Durham made the list - ranked at 27th - thanks to Bull Durham, of course. The classic movie, filmed here in 1986, "helped usher in a new era of minor league ball with one of the greatest sports films ever made" at the Durham Athletic Park.

The Bulls manage the DAP for the City of Durham. It's a great venue for corporate events, especially in 2013, the 25th anniversary of the film's premier.

Rent the DAP this year...and make history!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Eagle Pride App

My boss is a Cameron Crazy and I have an allegiance to the Wolfpack...but we still have fan bandwidth for the NC Central Eagles.

Capitol's Fox50 offered a big assist last fall with football promotion and our latest project has been the development of a mobile app for the athletic department. John McCann tells the story in the Herald-Sun.

The app is available for Apple, Android and Kindle

I am, of course, compelled to mention baseball. The Eagles home field is the renowned, historic Durham Athletic Park. As I type, Jim Koerner's squad is 8-5. They play Duke on Tuesday at 6pm.

A Straight Arrow

Chris Archer looks good in that Rays' gear, and we just received a shipment of those new sunburst BP caps in our Ballpark Corner Store.

The photo was in last Sunday's Tampa Bay Times along with a wonderful spring training interview with the Garner NC native

Archer is a first class young man, personable and humble. Maybe we will see him in Durham again, but he's definitely on his way to a Major League career. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Unique Bulls Cap - First Prize!

With apologies to the Minnesota Vikings, I read (on Wikipedia so it must be true) that there's no evidence of the Vikings wearing horned helmets. 

With that myth-buster, the Bulls can claim the ancient headgear as their own!

Christine Nguyen of the Herald-Sun took this photo and several other great shots at the team's Fan Fest on Saturday, and reporter Ray Gronberg was at the DBAP, too. Check out their work in Sunday's paper.

A highlight of Fan Fest is the opportunity to take BP on the Bulls' field, and I liked this line from Ray's story:

Most who stepped in to the batters box discovered, or rediscovered, that hitting a baseball truly is one of the hardest things to do in sports.

Watch the pros do it beginning Opening Day, April 8th. Mark your calendar and score some tickets online.