Following a solid 2017 season, the Hartford Yard Goats (Class AA; Eastern League) are hoping to build on their success and deliver stronger results in 2018.
The debut of the Yard Goats at Dunkin’ Donuts Park turned out to be one of the biggest stories of the 2017 season. After delays during the ballpark’s construction process prevented them from debuting there in 2016, the Yard Goats had a successful first season at Dunkin’ Donuts Park in 2017. Overall, the club drew 395,196 fans last season and sold out 41 of its home games.
Since the 2017 season concluded, the Yard Goats have made some major promotions within their front office, including Tim Restall to President and Mike Abramson to General Manager. In their respective roles, Restall and Abramson will work to deliver stronger attendance numbers in 2018 while looking for ways to fine tune the fan experience at Dunkin’ Donuts Park. More from The Hartford Courant:
“Well, to me, perfection is selling out 70 games,” Abramson said. “I think we have room for improvement since we only sold out 41. That’s the most sellouts [in a season] that I have ever been associated with. But I have always told the staff, in every place I have worked, that somebody somewhere can sell out 70 games in a row. It’s just a matter of figuring out how to do it and working hard enough to get it done.”
According to Abramson and Restall, there are a number of subtleties involved with making great even greater. While the fans were in their seats or roaming the concourse for food and drink, the two were making mental notes about inadequacies.
Of course, much of this will be based on expanding corporate sales and the attraction of more groups to the ballpark. But much of the planned modification will be in the areas of increased game-day staffing and making concessions more available.
“How can we put someone that is smiling in front of every possible fan? How can we put a beer or food as close to every possible fan,” Abramson said. “I’m sure the fan experience seemed near perfect, but when you build something new and you walk around, you can identify problem areas in need of improvement. We have a laundry list, things I’m sure most people wouldn’t notice. But we are working toward a much tighter, exciting, much edgier show night to night.”
For their results in 2017, the Yard Goats were honored with the Team of the Year Award from Ballpark Digest.
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