With the help of the Clinton County Community Development Association, the Clinton LumberKings plan to add a little “wow factor’’ to the surroundings at Ashford University Field next season.
Grants from the organization are helping the Midwest League club install a new electronic ribbon board and other amenities designed to enhance the fan experience at the 81-year-old facility.
The ribbon board, a first at the facility, measures 65 feet in length and six feet in height and will be placed along the façade of the Lumber Lounge group area located beyond the stadium’s right field fence.
It will provide high-definition video content as well as statistics that will be updated throughout games starting next season.
“It’s been nearly 12 years since our last major renovation in 2006 and one of the things we’ve taken a look at lately is what did we miss? What could we do to create a better experience for our fans now?’’ LumberKings general manager Ted Tornow said.
“This is a result of those discussions and something that we, with the help of the community development group, can do to upgrade our facilities. It adds a little ‘wow factor’ and helps us move our franchise forward.’’
In addition to the ribbon board, similar to one that is in place along the right field wall at Modern Woodmen Park in the Quad-Cities, three 75-inch high-definition monitors are being installed on the concourse at Ashford University Field.
Located along the outer walls of the LumberKings’ business office, the monitors will display lineups, league standings and other information in addition to providing video opportunities for the team and community groups to publicize upcoming activities at the ballpark and in the community.
“There will be a lot of ways we can use the monitors to promote not only what we have at the ballpark, but to partner with other groups and help them as well,’’ Tornow said.
Other offseason improvements include new concrete on the main concourse, a freshly-painted façade, new picnic garden pergolas and an upgraded children’s playground area.
“A lot of people are still impressed by our little old stadium by the river and we have our loyal fans who we appreciate, but every year we work to attract more people from the community,’’ Tornow said. “We feel like these upgrades will help us do that.’’