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Upgrades coming to Calfee Park with box suites, parking, fan comfort

Upgrades to historic Calfee Park have already started in Pulaski. Almost immediately after the 2015 inaugural season, Shelor Motor Mile, the ownership group that has already invested more than $3.5 million into this Minor League Baseball Park, is at it again.

This year’s developments exceed $500,000 in total, but will not affect the historic value of the stadium. During the 2015 inaugural year, the ownership group noticed improvements that could be made and dedicated the entire off-season toward the new developments.

“Our first year with this ballpark was a learning experience,” says David Hagan, co-owner of the Shelor Motor Mile. “After each game, we began to notice changes that needed to occur and decided to act upon them as soon as possible. Some changes happened during the season and some had to wait. At the end of the day, the changes that we make to the park are with the fan’s experience in mind.”

While Shelor did recognize that these improvements could cause changes to pricing at the ballpark, the return comes from the added convenience and comfort that each fan will experience.

One of the larger issues Calfee Park has historically faced – fan parking – has been addressed once again. Shelor has purchased four new lots along Pierce Avenue, Draper Avenue, Floyd Avenue and Fourth Street. After these lots are graded, leveled and lined, they should provide approximately 250 new parking spaces that will be extremely convenient to the ballpark. To aid in convenience for fans, additional six-passenger shuttles have been purchased to transport guests before and after each baseball game.

Addressing the comfort of fans, new seating has been added to many different sections of the park. The bleachers along the third base line in the canopied grandstand have been removed and will be replaced with approximately 700 general admission stadium seats. These seats will not only match the uniformity of existing seating in the park, they will also add to the comfort for fans sitting in general admission. Below these new GA seats are 10 brand new box suites, each including eight to 10 upholstered seats with thick foam padding. In addition to the 10 new suites, the existing 21 box suites will also receive upgraded stadium seats with upholstery and foam padding, along with updated patio furniture.

A variety of seating options will be more convenient for handicapped fans that are ADA compliant. These fans will be able to purchase tickets based on their preference for seating at Calfee Park. ADA seats for general admission and reserved sections can be purchased as season tickets or day of game tickets, based on availability. In addition, wheelchair-only accessible sections, available as a season ticket, will be more abundant in 2016.

While the renovations will most likely continue into early 2016, fans will be able to access their tickets well before the construction is finalized. The ticketing platform will remain unchanged – season, individual and flex tickets will continue to be offered to fans for the upcoming season. However, there will be some changes to ticket pricing for 2016.

After putting the immense improvements into perspective – the convenience of amenities, upgrades to seating, faster concession lines and entertainment from the 35-foot x 23-foot JumboTron – ticket prices will be inflated slightly to uphold the invaluable developments that have occurred at Calfee Park. All ticketing information are:

Season ticket: $170-$306

Flex ticket: 10 minimum, $5 per ticket

Advance game day ticket pricing: $6-$10

Day of game ticket pricing: $8-$12

Seniors and children: $1 off

Children ages 6 and under: Free

One of the biggest takeaways from the improvements of Calfee Park has been from the economic impact that has emerged within Pulaski. In addition to new jobs, businesses and recent planning in this area, Calfee Park has proved to be an area of commerce for outside businesses to advertise, socialize and invest in Pulaski. With assets such as the JumboTron and a brand new 40-foot x 80-foot batter’s eye, there will be ample opportunity to advertise at the ballpark in the upcoming year. For the first time in history, a business can host their organization in one of Calfee Park’s Executive VIP Towers, sponsor a home Yankees game and see the breadth of a Pulaski County summer night. As additional developments arise at Calfee Park, more opportunities to advertise and cross-promote with outside businesses with certainly become more present.

2015 was a successful inaugural year for the Pulaski Yankees and Shelor Motor Mile. Total fan attendance skyrocketed from a league-low of 25,000 in 2014 to more than 60,000, which led total attendance in the Appalachian League. Calfee Park has a promising future and will continue to grow with the help of other businesses in the area and the support of the community.

Calfee Park is the home of the Pulaski Yankees, a Rookie-League affiliate of the New York Yankees. Last year, the historic baseball park was purchased by the Shelor Motor Mile, a Christiansburg-based car dealership. With just one season under their belt, the Pulaski Yankees have doubled the attendance records and brought home an Eastern Division title in the Appalachian League.

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