The Frisco RoughRiders (Class AA; Texas League) have garnered headlines over the years for various ballpark projects, from the Choctaw Lazy River to the Bull Moose Saloon. Now, another idea is making waves. The team introduced Deep Ellum Brewing Party @ the Yard for Thursday games this year, transforming the outfield areas at Dr Pepper Ballpark into one big block party. RoughRiders executive vice president Jason Dambach said the idea was to appeal to a younger demographic.
“The idea came about after last season. For the last three or four years, we’ve done the traditional Thirsty Thursday and have been looking to attract a certain demographic to the ballpark,” Dambach said. “We realized that while that promotion had grown, it certainly wasn’t what we had envisioned in terms of creating a unique atmosphere at the park. We started with laying out a vision and what we wanted it to become which was the place to be in the DFW (Dallas-Fort Worth) market for young professionals, singles, and the millennial crowd.”
The front office brainstormed ideas and Party @ the Yard was born.
“We came out of the first meeting with the idea to take an area or district of the ballpark and turn it into a party zone. Every idea had to be caveated by is this something that will really make the experience unique and will we be able to attract a crowd that we haven’t been able to get to the ballpark in years past.”
Party @ the Yard has evolved to include live music with a DJ, lawn games, beer stations and food trucks to help create a different experience from a traditional baseball game.
“Hallmarks of Party @ the Yard are going to be access to affordable beer, a fun atmosphere, and the opportunity to create an environment that makes you feel like you’re not necessarily at the ballpark,” Dambach said. “You are enjoying time with people like you. It’s that classic example of everyone there is having a great time and has no idea what the score is and no idea who the teams are.”
Partnerships with the local community have helped grow Party @ the Yard which has a strong showing each Thursday night.
“We took the approach that everything we did was investing in the concept. We created unique partnerships with social media influencers in the DFW market, with apartment complexes and townhouses which are popping up everywhere,” Dambach said. “We invest in the experience. It’s not about how much money we can make. Everyone leaves the ballpark, tells their friends they should go, and we have that word of mouth marketing that is so important.”
One cornerstone that Dambach credits for making the event so successful is affordability.
“We didn’t want to overprice anyone out of the market,” Dambach said. “When you are talking about young professionals and singles, that’s a very price-conscious demo. You want to be conservative about the amount that you’re asking them to reach into their wallet.”
Party @ the Yard has become a success and Dambach said the RoughRiders expect the event to keep growing.
“It’s ever evolving. We will continue to tweak it, evolve, and grow every week,” Dambach said. “It could eventually be something that takes over the whole ballpark. We’re certainly excited about the event that’s been created, and it’s got good momentum. Hopefully this will become the signature event that we’re known for. We want to be thought of as a brand that connects with people looking to have a great time.”
Image courtesy Frisco RoughRiders.
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