The Sports Informant

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River Cats fans see changes at Raley Field

Fans from in and around the Sacramento area saw a few new features to their experience of their typical Triple-A ballgames recently. Their hometown team, the Sacramento River Cats, opened the season at home on April 7 agains the Tacoma Rainiers, revealing a plethora of new additions the fans will get to experience all summer at Raley Field.

For the third straight season, River Cats ticket prices remain unchanged as the team continues to provide the best in affordable family entertainment for our fans.  New for the 2011 season — $7 tickets will be sold for all Thursday games in the Jackson Rancheria Home Run Terrace, for fans who enjoying  the popular Thirsty Thursday promotion featuring $2 beers.  Additionally, convenience fees have been reduced an average of approximately 50 percent for fans purchasing tickets online at Ticketmaster.com.

Also, exciting things are happening in and around Raley Field as part of The Bridge District redevelopment project. For Raley Field patrons arriving from downtown or Old Sacramento, a new walkway from the Tower Bridge will lead fans directly to the Right Field Gate. A pedestrian walkway along the northeast side of the ballpark will provide fans easy access from Lots G, H and the Ziggurat building.  Due to some changes in traffic patterns, fans are encouraged to visit rivercats.com for the latest parking map and driving directions to the ballpark.

Darren Bush is the new Manager for the River Cats this season.  Bush steered Midland (Double-A affiliate of the Oakland A’s) to the 2009 Texas League Championship during his two seasons with the RockHounds.  Joining Bush is pitching coach Scott Emerson and hitting Coach Todd Steverson.  Emerson served in the same capacity for Midland the past four seasons, while Steverson returns to Sacramento after two years as first base coach on Bob Geren’s Major League staff in Oakland.

Raley Field fans also enjoyed the convenience of ordering their concession items from their seats via a free downloadable smartphone application.  Fans can place orders using the Esurance Fastlane powered by Stadium VIP, and will then be notified when their orders are ready and available for pick up at a designated concession stand.   New food selections include:  Walkin’ Taco, Mango on a Stick, Chipotle Black Bean Burger, Fajita Chicken Rice Bowl, Veggie Italian Sausage, Donut Bacon Cheeseburger, BBQ Nachos and the Baked Potato Dog.

Several Raley Field concession areas have also received a facelift.  The Left Field Ballpark Bistro is a new venue for food and beverage. Located near the left field side of the concourse, the Ballpark Bistro will feature various items including, BBQ, tacos and desserts.  Additionally, the Raley Field Solon Club has been revamped with a new bar layout to make ordering food and drinks a more fan friendly experience.

In 2011, all weekday day games will begin at 12:05 p.m. as part of the recurring promotion “Nine Innings @ Noon.”  The 12:05 p.m. start time is intended to align with lunch breaks so fans can come out and enjoy lunch at the ballpark and a few innings, or more, of daytime baseball.  Free WiFi is available throughout Raley Field and there is plenty of “workspace” available from the Chaps All-You-Can-Eat Diamond Club seating area to the Solon Club and hospitality suites.  A business person special will also be offered during the Wednesday games which includes a Delta Box game ticket, hot dog, peanuts and a 12 oz. soda all for $15.

Local product, Mike Osborn is the new on-field emcee for the 2011 River Cats season.  The Sacramento native is a stand-up comic, event emcee, and television personality.  He’ll be entertaining fans between innings for all 72 home games this season.

The River Cats smartphone application, which was launched in 2010 for all Apple mobile products, is now available for Android phones. The River Cats app features:  live game pitch-by-pitch and in-game updates, the season’s game and promotion schedules, a social media hub with direct Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare feeds, River Cats news, standings and special offer notifications.

Other items of note in 2011 include:

  • Dinger’s Bandstand debuts this season featuring live performances by Dinger and The Dogs along with drum solos by River Cats mascot, Dinger.
  • The On Deck Shop, official team store of the River Cats, now has the ability to customize jerseys with fans’ names.
  • Each Sunday, children can gather around The Sac Bee Reading Tree for story time with local celebrities and guests.
  • RC Willey’s Best Seat in the House will provide fans the opportunity to win two (2) tickets to a game, recliner seating for that game and food vouchers. Fans can enter to win at Sacramento area RC Willey locations. Winners will be selected for each of the 72 home games.
  • Premier Access Dental and Vision Insurance Company provided a new target area in left field named Action Jackson.  Each time a ball goes through the mouth of Action Jackson, $2,500 will be donated to the Loveall Foundation for Children charity. Also, each time Action Jackson gets hit in the face by a home run ball $1,000 will be donated during the 2011 season.
  • A new designated ADA number, 916-376-4636, is available for fans with inquiries relating to wheelchair, attendant and limited mobility seating.

For a complete list of all the fun, value-packed promotions at Raley Field this summer, visit www.rivercats.com.

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