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New Concession Stand Spices Facility Upgrade
By Paul Sturm, C-T Sports Editor
May 24, 2016

C-T Photo / Paul Sturm

CAPTION: A new 16'x26' building at "June" Shaffer Memorial Park stadium in Chillicothe will house a larger concession stand soon, enhancing the fan experience at Chillicothe Mudcats, Chillicothe American Legion Cardinals, and Chillicothe High School Hornets baseball games, beginning in the next week or so and on into the future. It was built as a joint endeavor of the Mudcats' sponsor - Grand River Entertainment - and the City of Chillicothe. The Mudcats' organization will operate it at the aforementioned events.

When the new Chillicothe Mudcats college-level, wood-bat baseball season begins the home portion of its schedule a week from Thursday, fans will be greeted by a most-welcome sight - a recently-constructed, expanded concession stand which should help dramatically lessen wait times and lines. Through a variety of funding mechanisms, including monetary and goods and services donations, the Mudcats' parent organization - Grand River Entertainment - teamed with the city and its parks and recreation department to respond to fans' displeasure of past years and put the new 16'x26' building with four service windows in place this spring. Doug Doughty, Mudcats' general manager, explains. "Our goal was to enhance the enjoyment at the ballpark," he states. "Last summer, the Mudcats were asked by the city to take over the concession stand at Shaffer Park. Mudcats board members Randy Brammer and Melody Gilgour headed up the concession stand and added lots of new menu items that were big hits with the fans. "However, more space, more storage, bigger fryers and cookers, and more service windows (than the original, 40-plus-years-old structure had) were needed to accommodate larger crowds. "Once the building, plumbing and electrical contractors were in place, Randy and Melody did an excellent job coordinating the project. They came up with detailed plans for the layout of the inside of the building, and the end result will be shorter lines, faster service and a menu that will be the envy of every ballpark in the MINK League.

"This is a 'fan-friendly' addition." All of the building construction and outfitting costs are being paid for through donations, grants, or "trade-outs" (sponsorships such as billboards, radio and Mudcat TV ads, public address-system announcements, corporate nights, tickets and other advertising) arranged through the Mudcats, Doughty notes. No city funds were expended, other than Chillicothe Municipal Utilities updating a transformer and wiring to serve both the previously-existing structure (now to be used for storage, in addition to continuing to be the press box) and new building. "A big thank you to the local and area businesses that contributed to building the new concession stand," Doughty emphasized. "Generational Buildings, Town & Country Plumbing, MW Electric Supply, Phil Minnick, Copeland Construction, Chillicothe Wholesale Plumbing, SMC Electric Supply, the MFA Oil Foundation, and CMU all stepped forward and made this possible. Everyone worked together, sometimes at a moment's notice, to complete the project. And 'thank you' to Mayor Chuck Haney, City Administrator Ike Holland, parks and rec superintendent Josh Norris, and the City Council for approving the project."

Other additions to the Mudcats' game "experience" and the city-owned facility this summer, Doughty reports, include an expanded, more-user-friendly batting cage adjacent to the previously-existing one (which will remain) and another fan-interactive "game," in addition to the Missouri Lottery-sponsored "Baseball Bingo," which has been a hit with fans since being introduced in 2014. "A new game, Line Score, will be introduced and played at several home games," Doughty disclosed to the C-T this week. This game will involve each fan being given a free Line Score game card, which will list a series of 36 possible Mudcats' line score (runs/hits/errors) number combinations on it. If, between the third and seventh innings of the game (on nights when Line Score is being played), the fan's card has the correct current sequence of Mudcats' runs, hits, and errors (as shown on the stadium scoreboard), that card becomes eligible for inclusion in a prize drawing. The fan will have to sign the back of the card and turn it in at the announced location. Further specific details on the Line Score game will be announced over the stadium's loudspeakers at each game the contest is conducted in. The new fan game will be in addition to the "between-innings entertainment" previously in place. The Mudcats will give away several prizes and promotional items at every home game says the GM.

The first Mudcats' home game is scheduled for Thursday, June 2, against the KC Monarchs. The 2016 home slate has 23 scheduled playing dates, including - barring interceding circumstances - the return of the U.S. Military All-Stars team for a July 9 game.

Park to Get New Concessions Stand
By Catherine Stortz Ripley
March 29, 2016

The concessions area of June Shaffer Memorial Park will be expanded this spring, with the addition of a building measuring 16 feet by 26 feet. The new building will replace an existing wooden shed. Randy Brammer, representing Grand River Entertainment, and Parks Director Josh Norris attended Monday night's meeting and made the formal request to the council. "They have a need to provide more storage, and provide more selling windows," Norris said. Brammer explained that the GRE has basically outgrown the building. "The building was originally built and they basically sold pop, popcorn, candy bars, flavored ice and that's it," he said. "We have over 50 items on our menu. We have fried food, grilled food... Lines are sometimes really long. Our goal is to provide better service and faster service to the community." He noted that it's not just during Mudcat games that concessions are sold; but also during high school games and American Legion games. He explained that GRE representatives had talked with contractors and could provide sponsorships to them to help cover some of the costs. Brammer said that Generational Buildings of Jamesport has agreed to build the building. "They are donating that in exchange for three years of major sponsorship of the Mudcats," he said. Copeland Construction has agreed to contribute $2,000 in cash. The electric and plumbing work has not been finalized, but GRE is working with Matt Hopper who will assist with the project. If any money is needed from the city, it would come out of what is already budgeted for Shaffer Park, Brammer said. The request was brought to the council because it involves a permanent building on city property. The council gave a unanimous consensus to proceed with the project, with 4th Ward Councilman Paul Howard abstaining.

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