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RATS CONTINUE TO GROW

July 9, 2012
INDIANA SPORTS PAGE



RATS CONTINUE TO GROW

KELCI BAKER…EIHSS SPORTS

With the economy the way it is, it's a wonder that businesses are finding ways to keep their balance, especially what some people see as a luxury now-a-days; attending a baseball game. It's America's sport and Richmond, Indiana is the proud home of one of its teams. The collegiate summer baseball team, the Richmond River Rats, who was established here since 2009, are slowly integrating their way into Richmond residents' lives much like the Roosters did in the past. General manager Deanna Beaman has high hopes for the team, "It's taken fans a little while to understand the Roosters are different than what we have with the River Rats which is more of a college based team where players are playing to get better." Beaman believes that getting the message across to fans has taken a little while but they're still open-minded as to what the River Rats offer.

They've seen a lot of support from Richmond residents and surrounding cities through season tickets or simply coming out to the game and spending money at the ball park. All of this helps the business thrive. Beaman says that the start of this year was stronger in fan numbers than past years. She's a firm believer that all it takes is one time to get someone to come to the game and tell their friends to attend to raise attendance. By getting fan bases and groups and companies to come out early in the season, she hopes they enjoy that experience early on in order to come back for more games.

But can people come back to the games when the economy is the way it is? Beaman doesn't think the economy has harmed the team as much as one would expect. The downfalls have played a part in sponsorship issues but she says that there is help in other places, "The one thing I think that Richmond and the surrounding counties and communities have done is always find a way to support local businesses. They try to find a way to get involved." There are many ways to be supportive and get involved to help the River Rats. A sign in the outfield or bringing the company for a group night and picnic are all options that Beaman believes show great support for what they're doing.

Despite a slow start for the River Rats who have been wavering at half season, Beaman thinks they just need a little more time to mesh as a group. "We've had more players coming from their colleges who went farther in their respective tournaments who didn't get here until later all plays a role to where they are now." As the season goes deeper the team is starting to mold better not only together but also with their host families. With that she believes is they'll become more competitive and over the next couple of years she hopes the business as a whole will grow. "Long term it would be nice to enhance and work on the field itself." She also wants to enhance and grow numbers from sponsorship participation to season ticket holders to general fans. With that comes the need to continue to be creative to get people to want to come to the games, "You can't force them to come to a game so we just have to be very trendy with what's going on in our business industry and be able to translate that to something that is attractive for people in our community to want to see."

 


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