It’s the third straight year with some significant upgrades to the Ballpark at Jackson, as the city and the owners of the Jackson Generals (Class AA; Southern League) continue to improve the fan experience.
Some of the changes to the Ballpark at Jackson have been to streamline operations, such as the decision to upgrade the ballpark’s beverage system. Other changes, like this offseason’s installation of a kids play area, are purely for the fan. From the Jackson Sun:
“We’re lucky in the sense that that our city government and our mayor understands that when the commitment to play baseball here was made back in 1998 that wasn’t just a one-time deal,” General Manager Jason Compton said. “There are stadiums around the league, and around Minor League Baseball that were built in the same time, give or take a year or two as this ballpark was built.
“There are a lot of them that are already in discussions about building new ballparks.”
Compton said due to all of the renovations and upgrades over the years the ballpark has stayed not only maintained but also stayed current with the newer facilities such as the video board being installed a few years back, the landscaping improvements around the sign off I-40 and last season’s renovations to the playing surface.
We have found time and time again the team that does something memorable in the offseason when it comes to ballpark operations — new scoreboard, new playing field, new kids play area — usually benefits from an attendance bump the following year. Fans love improvements and something new at the ballpark. And it sends a signal that ownership and management is committed to the market. These don’t need to be huge improvements, to be sure, but they need to be significant enough to generate some sorely needed offseason headlines and fan interest.