With a new naming rights deal in tow, the Sioux City Explorers (independent; American Association) partnered with the City of Sioux City on multiple ballpark upgrades.
In April, the City of Sioux City sold the naming rights of the playing surface at Lewis and Clark Park to Mercy Medical Center. The 10-year, $300,000 deal resulted in one of several changes for the ballpark now known as Mercy Field at Lewis and Clark Park.
One of the most striking enhancements is the installation of a new videoboard. With dimensions of 19.6 feet by 36.4 feet, the board will redefine the game day production at the ballpark, with the Explorers touting instant replays as one of the features fans can expect this year.
When factoring in the other upgrades that were made—including improvements to the restrooms and the ongoing enhancement of the press box—hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent, with the videoboard estimated to have come in around $400,000. As Explorers vice president and general manager Shane Tritz told the Sioux City Journal, these improvements should lead to a better game day experience:
“The whole atmosphere is changing, and it’s obviously for the better,” Tritz said. “When you look at construction around town, it means something good’s coming behind it. That’s kind of the same concept down here.”
“I think it’s something people want to come out and see — what’s new, see what’s happening, see what’s hot here in town,” Tritz said.
“Mercy Field at Lewis and Clark Park is definitely going to be hot this year.”
The naming rights deal, combined with a $25,000 contribution from the Explorers through their lease, helped pay for the upgrades. Overall, these projects amount to phase one of a multi-step renovation process to Mercy Field at Lewis and Clark Park, which first opened in 1993. The suites will be upgraded after this season, and other improvements are expected to take place.