Slammers get time to prepare this season
By Bob Okon email@example.com April 19, 2012 11:03AM
John Plate, with JP Construction, replaces a seat at Silver Cross Field Wednesday, April 18, 2012, in Joliet. | Matthew Grotto~Sun-Times Media
Slammers lower some ticket prices, hike some food prices
JOLIET — The Joliet Slammers are lowering the prices of some seats by $3 and increasing the prices on some concessions by a quarter as the team gets ready for the baseball season that starts in May.
Fans have a new $7 option for general admission seats in the two sections farthest away from home plate along the left-field and right-field lines.
“Other than that tickets are the same,” team President Bill Waliewski told the Joliet City Council Baseball Committee Tuesday.
That means all other seats will remain $10 reserved seating. The lawn areas, where fans can sit on the grass located just beyond the new general admission seating on both sides of the field, will still be priced at $5.
The prices on beer, soda, water, hot dogs and other sausage sandwiches will go up by 25 cents. So, will garlic fries.
“Otherwise, your menu items are the same,” Waliewski said. “We’re sensitive to the economy. We’re sensitive to pricing.”
Still Councilwoman Jan Quillman suggested that the new $4 price for a bottle of water looks too high to many fans.
Quillman said the price of water at Silver Cross Field already was a “huge complaint” for many fans. “They were balking at $3.75,” she said. “At $4 they’re really going to balk.”
Waliewski said the team will take the complaint under consideration.
Fans still will get some lower-price options on the menu, including a $2 hot dog, regular draft beer at $3.50, and regular soda at $3.25.
The Jumbo Slammer Dog will be $4. A variety of beer prices for a variety of beers range from $5 Budweisers to a $9 Blue Moon. Concessions also vary widely but include: a smoked brisket sandwich, $8; a Grand Slammer Burger, $7.50; cheeseburger, $6; and grilled chicken sandwich, $6.
Vegetarians again can get a veggie burger for $6.50.
Joliet Jake’s Chicken Fried Steak, a double meat sandwich with gravy too, is back at $12.50.
Opening day at Silver Cross Field is May 22. The team starts the season on the road but not far away. The first game will be May 17 in Crestwood against the Windy City Thunderbolts.
Updated: April 19, 2012 7:40PM
JOLIET — The infield at Silver Cross Field is being ripped up and resodded this week — the most obvious sign that the Joliet Slammers are getting ready for a second season and a May 22 home opener.
Some other things will be new this year besides the infield grass.
The Slammers on Wednesday announced a new partnership with Me-TV, the broadcaster of classic TV shows. Chicago TV legend Svengoolie will be at the ballpark July 6. And the team will show segments of classic TV shows such as “That Girl” and “Gunsmoke” on an outfield screen during games played on what will be called “Memorable Mondays Presented by Me-TV.”
Not only is it a new season. It’s also one in which the Slammers have had some more time to prepare after rushing to field a team in 2011 while picking up the pieces from the demise of the JackHammers the year before.
One of the things that got attention this spring was the infield grass, which was “a little rundown” by the end of last season, said Paul Rathje, vice president of stadium operations.
The Slammers called White Sox groundskeeper Roger Bossard for advice on the infield and were advised to replace it. Bossard has a private groundskeeping company that is doing the job at Silver Cross Field this week.
Fans can watch the work when it’s done on the Slammers Facebook page. The team plans to put up time-lapse footage showing the infield being replaced.
With more time during the off-season, the team reports an increase in corporate sponsorships and group sales. The Slammers also have the benefit of coming off of a debut season in which they the won the Frontier League championship.
“We had a lot of people who saw what we did last year and want to be part of it,” said Sarah Eichenberger, marketing director for the Slammers. “We have a lot of new sponsors.
Corporate sponsorships and group sales are up this season, the team said.
A sponsor was found to help host a second “Barks in the Park” game at which people can bring their dogs.
Team mascot Spikes will be replicated as a garden gnome for a special event Aug. 7 sponsored by the Will County Health Department and Will County Land Use Department to increase awareness of the hazards of lead poisoning.
What’s more, the Slammers have paid their bills, which was noted by City Manager Thomas Thanas when he gave a report on the 2011 season this week to the Joliet City Council Baseball Committee. The city owns Silver Cross Field and leases it to the Slammers.
Many of the vendors who did business with the JackHammers in their last two seasons were not getting paid on time. In the end, many did not get paid at all.
“That’s a chapter of history that’s been closed in our mind,” Thanas said. “Occasionally, I’ll bump into somebody who tells me they’re thrilled to do business with the Slammers. The whole team is a good community partner.”