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Ballpark Notes for Feb. 16, 2009

In today’s ballpark news, the Trenton Thunder go all FM on us, while the Charleston RiverDogs forge ticket relationships with local hotels on "staycations," the Charlotte Knights invite noted White Sox fans Barack Obama to throw out a first pitch, and the Schaumburg Flyers announce ballpark enhancements.In today’s ballpark news, the Trenton Thunder go all FM on us, while the Charleston RiverDogs forge ticket relationships with local hotels on "staycations" and the Charlotte Knights invite noted White Sox fans Barack Obama to throw out a first pitch.

The Trenton Thunder (Class AA; Eastern League), have announced a three-year agreement for all Thunder games to be broadcast on Rider University’s 107.7 WRRC-FM through the 2011 season.

WRRC-FM plays a variety of music including Top 40, adult hits, and the oldies. It is also the flagship station for Rider University men’s and women’s basketball. 107.7 WRRC-FM can be heard throughout Mercer County, and into Bucks and Burlington counties.

"Broadcasting via an FM signal is a huge asset for Thunder fans listening on 107.7 FM and over the Internet," Thunder General Manager/ C.O.O. Will Smith said. "We work closely with Rider to host the MAAC Baseball Tournament and we look forward to expanding our relationship to include Trenton Thunder radio broadcasts for the next three years."

Broadcasts start on Wednesday, April 8 as the Thunder host the Binghamton Mets at 7:05 PM. Thunder broadcaster Steve Rudenstein will return for his fourth consecutive season behind the microphone. He will be joined by first-year Thunder broadcaster Jared Smith.

The Charleston RiverDogs (Low Class A; Sally League) are attempting to entice cost-conscious vacationers back to the Charleston area this year by offering price discounts on general admission tickets to local hotels. The RiverDogs Hotel Ticket Voucher program aims to soften the cost of staying in the destination city of Charleston and enjoying America’s favorite pastime.

"There are many quality attractions here in Charleston," said RiverDogs General Manager Dave Echols. "We are planning a number of promotions this year aimed at helping folks out who come to our park. Lets’ just say that this will be our economic stimulus plan for ‘Joe the Baseball Fan.’"

Hotels that have signed up for the program are beginning to offer overnight packages with RiverDogs ticket vouchers on their websites and through third party vendors like Travelocity and

The RiverDogs are also offering deals for those fans trying to stretch their dollars at home. The "STAY’CATION" package, which is valued in excess of $100, will be available until Feb. 27. Ticket holders receive undated ticket vouchers, food vouchers and parking vouchers that can be exchanged for game day tickets and STAY’CATION merchandise that includes caps, baseballs, Kidz Zone passes and a picture with Charlie T. RiverDog.

On this President’s Day Holiday, the Charlotte Knights (Class AAA; International League) have sent a formal invitation to President Barack Obama to attend and throw out the first pitch at a Knights game in 2009. President Obama is a fan of the Knights parent club, the Chicago White Sox, and is often seen wearing a White Sox ball cap.

“We now have the Chicago White Sox biggest supporter in the White House. President Obama is a huge White Sox fan and a fan of baseball,” says Knights Director of Media Relations John Agresti. “We would be more than happy to host President Obama and his family as they watch the future stars of the White Sox right here at Knights Stadium.”

President Obama had previously thrown out the first pitch before a White Sox 2005 playoff game. The President has also been invited by the White Sox to throw out the first pitch on Opening Day.

The Schaumburg Flyers (independent; Northern League) announced changes to Alexian Field for the 2009 season. Among the upgrades to the minor league ballpark will be a new and improved Kids’ Zone, "Velcro-Man" and the brand new Schaumburg Sports Lounge debuting Wednesday, February 18.

Rainbow Play Systems and the Flyers have added a 36-square-foot Supersized Rainbow Castle to the Kids’ Zone located on the left field berm. The new play system will feature a slide, swing set, ropes, tire swing and more. A new bounce house, Rainbow Castle, will give kids the perfect place to burn some energy. A Flyers batting cage will also join the Speedpitch machine that has been a mainstay at Alexian Field.

Also new in 2009, Flyers fans will have the opportunity to drive away in a brand new car with the new Velcro-Man promotion presented by Fox Valley Volkswagen. At each of the 48 Flyers home games, a contestant will be affixed to a giant velcro wall beyond the right field fence. If he or she can catch a homerun ball during the Flyers Home Run Inning, they will win a brand new car from Fox Valley Volkswagen.

The new Schaumburg Sports Lounge will make its debut at the grand reopening celebration on Wednesday, February 18th at 5:00 PM. The restaurant and bar overlooking Alexian Field offers six flat screen TV’s, a pool table, comfy lounge furniture and more. New Flyers field manager, Mike Busch, and the SYN Vodka Flight Attendants will be greeting and mingling with guests at this free event. Local band 7th Heaven will also be performing at 7:00 PM. Guests can RSVP to or (847) 891-2255 ext. 136.