PPNA Happenings

Happenings, history and news of the Prospect Park Neighborhood and Ypsilanti

Professional Baseball Coming to Ypsilanti

Posted by ppna on October 10, 2008

I guess Springsteen did more for Oestrike stadium than pack it for the Obama rally.  I’m giving the Boss credit for bringing professional baseball to Ypsilanti.  I hope all of you folks that want a baseball stadium on WaterStreet will purchase tickets for this team even though we’ll only have them for 1 year I’m excited.

YPSILANTI, Mich. — Oestrike Stadium, home to Eastern Michigan University’s defending Mid-American Conference Baseball Tournament champion Eagles, will also be home for the 2009 season to the Midwest Sliders, an independent professional baseball club competing in the Frontier League. The announcement was made jointly by EMU Athletics Director Dr. Derrick Gragg and Midwest Sliders President and Director of Team Personnel Rob Hilliard.

The Sliders, purchased last January by Baseball Heroes of Oakland County, LP, operated in 2008 as a travel squad, playing all 96 games on the road. The Oakland County-based ownership group plans to start construction on a 3,900-seat stadium next spring in Waterford Township. After the ball park’s completion, the club will be renamed the Oakland County Cruisers. “For the upcoming Frontier League season, we want to bring the club as close as possible to Oakland County while playing in a first-class facility,” explained Hilliard.

“We’re extremely pleased to call EMU home for the 2009 season and look forward to bringing this affordable, family entertainment activity to the greater YpsilantiAnn Arbor area,” Hilliard said, adding that he, Vice President & General Manager Bill Terlecky and Manager & Player Development Director Eric Coleman were anxious to meet with Ypsilanti officials, members of the local business community and area residents.

“We’ve had a long and rich baseball tradition here at EMU and have always prided ourselves on putting our best foot forward,” said Dr. Gragg. “We believe Rob and his staff are knowledgeable baseball people and good folks who will fit in well, both on campus and in the surrounding community.”

According to Hilliard, the club will be called the Midwest Sliders of Ypsilanti for 2009, taking a page from MLB’s Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The cap will include a “Y” in its design.

The ball club is releasing its 2009 Frontier League schedule and will soon begin to offer promotional packages to area businesses. Plans are also underway to add portable food & beverage carts, souvenir stands and other fanfriendly amenities. Together with an ingame entertainment program, Midwest Sliders games at Oestrike Stadium will take on all of the trappings of a typical Minor League ball game.

“Every aspect of our operation is being developed in concert with EMU’s Athletic Department and head coach Jay Alexander,” said Hilliard, who stressed the importance of cooperation, coordination and communication as the Sliders assume the role of tenant.

The ball club has set ticket prices for its 45game home schedule, which begins with a three-game series against twotime defending Frontier League champion Windy City Thunderbolts on Friday, May 29 (7:15 pm); Saturday, May 30 (7:15 pm); and Sunday, May 31 (2:00 pm). Grandstand reserved seating is $8.00 for adults and $7.00 for children 12 years of age and under, as well as for senior citizens age 55 and over and Eastern Michigan University students. Season ticket packages are $315 for one ticket (saving $45 off individual gameday pricing); $585 for two tickets (a $135 savings off individual gameday pricing); $810 for three tickets (a $279 total savings), and $990 for four tickets (a $450 total savings).

A 12game Flex Pack allows fans to redeem 12 undated coupons for any Midwest Sliders home game, subject to ticket availability, and includes a free ticket to the Sunday, May 31 game with Windy City. At $72, fans realize a $32 savings off gameday ticket pricing.

A Weekday Pick Six package gives fans an opportunity to choose any six Monday thru Thursday home games for $36.00, a $12 savings off gameday ticket pricing. Finally, a Baker’s Dozen program featuring a “Division Rivals” package and a “See the League” package provides fans with two options to purchase a dozen games and receive a free ticket to a 13th game.

Season tickets, Flex Packs, Weekday Pick Six packages and the Baker’s Dozen program will be available for online purchase at noon, Monday, Oct. 20. Visit www.cruisersbaseball.com and click on the TICKETS section. Click on THE TEAM section for more information on the Sliders. Click on the VIRTUAL STADIUM TOUR and surf the rest of the Web site to learn more about the Oakland County Cruisers and stadium plans in Waterford.

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2 Responses to “Professional Baseball Coming to Ypsilanti”

  1. Our ownership group is in the early stages of formulating plans for a longer-term baseball commitment to the Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti area. While we cannot discuss the specifics at this point, we can tell folks that we have taken notice of the desire of many people to have independent professional baseball here.

    With support from the local community, our agreement to play the 2009 Frontier League season at Oestrike Stadium could very well be the beginning of a great relationship here in Washtenaw County.

  2. cra said

    water st pk or oestrike we need to parlay this into a permanent club for the huron valley by packin the pk with consistency GO SLIDERS and welcome home !

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