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Mallards announce Warner Park improvements for 2013, will host league showcase

Madison MallardsThe Madison Mallards (summer collegiate; Northwoods League) unveiled two Warner Park improvements for the coming season, including the installation of a new videoboard in left field.

The new videoboard replaces the old, smaller one. The new board will be four times larger than the old board and greatly improve the fan experience at the Duck Pond. The board will have a high resolution and will be visible for the entire stadium. Players stats, in-game replays, on-field promotions, and the in-game experience will be bigger and better than ever.

In addition, TRICOR/West Bend Club four-top tables behind home plate are being upgraded. These tables will have refurbished rotating Camden Yards stadium seats and will seat four people. They are currently being sold as season tickets to local businesses. The tables include all-you-can-eat in the TRICOR/West Bend Club including a specialty food menu, private wait staff, and three draught beers per person.

Meanwhile, the Mallards and Warner Park will host a unique event in summer-collegiate circles: the Northwoods League Big League Dreams Showcase on Monday, July 29. The Big League Dreams Showcase will consist of a double-header featuring the top 100 players from the Northwoods League who will be selected with input from Major League Baseball Scouts. The players will participate in a day of workouts in front of scouts which will be followed by the doubleheader.

“This game will provide a great opportunity for scouts to see amateur players with the best tool sets in the country compete against each other in a unique showcase,” said Minnesota Twins Scout Mark Wilson. “Sometimes players that make an all-star team don’t necessarily have the best all-around tools, so this chance to see the best prospects is exciting for us.”

In 2012, 129 players from the Northwoods League were drafted in the Major League Baseball Draft.

“One of the goals of the Northwoods League is to give its players as much exposure as we can to Major League scouts,” said Northwoods League President Dick Radatz Jr. “This event will further that goal and I hope it will become a destination for baseball fans in years to come as the League continues to grow.”

The Mallards are our hometown team — Ballpark Digest publishes out of Madison — so it’s good to see one final bit of news from yesterday’s annual First Pitch event: the team released a report on investments made to Warner Park.

“As part of our new lease signed in 2011, the Mallards are obligated to invest $1 million into stadium improvements, which become property of the city upon completion, over the 13-year term of the lease,” said Mallards President Vern Stenman. “Well, in typical Mallards fashion, we’ve already surpassed that obligation as we enter just the third year of our lease. This Community Impact Report exists to memorialize the investments we’ve made into the ballpark as part of our agreement.”

We’re not going to go into all the details, but this report is something most teams should look at: many fans don’t realize franchises of all sizes have lease responsibilities beyond just the game-day experience. You can find the report and a summary here.


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