September 25, 2003
Gold Sox baseball returning
By Daniel Witter/Appeal-Democrat
Baseball lovers will have at least another three years to watch the Gold Sox play at Bryant Field.
Team owners Don McCullough and Bob Bavasi announced Thursday that the team has extended its current one-year contract with the city of Marysville for use of the field another three years.
“We're looking forward to doing it again,” McCullough said during a press conference Thursday at Marysville City Hall.
The team owners will pay the city a license fee totaling $42,000 for 2004 to use the field. Each subsequent year of the contract, the licensing fee will increase by 5 percent.
The team will remain much as it is - nonpaid collegiate players scheduled for 44 games, most of them at home.
“We're so far ahead of last year,” McCullough said, referring to the earlier start the team has to prepare for the upcoming season, over last year, when the organization had only two months to prepare. The next season starts in May 2004.
Words of praise were thrown about the room following what the owners, City Councilmember Paul McNamara and Mayor Dirk Helder described as a successful 44-game season.
“Don has a lot on the line to make this work,” McNamara said. “That took a lot of bravery on your part, sir,”
McCullough declined to reveal how much profit the team made this season, but indicated there wasn't a large profit margin. He said the profit wasn't as important as providing a source of entertainment for local residents, especially children, who come from all over the area to watch the games.
McCullough estimated the average paid attendance per game this past season at 1,080. He hopes the team can increase attendance by 10 percent next season.
The team is already preparing for the next season, and McCullough is looking for sponsors for signs that line the interior of Bryant Field. The team is also looking for a sponsor to purchase naming rights for the stadium, possibly for a three-year contract.
The owners still want the city to install permanent bathrooms and netting along the back side of the stands to stop foul balls from going into the concession area. Once that happens, the team and facilities will be better than ever.
“We can only get better with support,” McCullough said.