WASHINGTON, Pa. - Local officials interested in bringing professional baseball to Parkersburg got a peek at the possibilities Wednesday.
A delegation led by Parkersburg Mayor Bob Newell took a trip to Washington, Pa., Wednesday to meet with Frontier League officials to discuss creating a team and facility in Parkersburg.
In addition to meeting with league officials and members of the Washington Wild Things ownership and staff, officials were given a tour of the Wild Things' Consol Energy Park.
Local officials tour Frontier Leage franchise
The Wild Things and Consol Energy Park have been in operation for 11 years.
"It is more than just baseball. It's about all kinds of events," Newell said.
Stu Williams, managing partner of the Wild Things, said depending on your point of view the park is one of the newest old stadiums in the league or the oldest new stadium in the league. Regardless, Frontier League Commissioner Bill Lee said the stadium is one of the premier facilities in the league.
A view of the field at Consol Energy Park in Washington, Pa. (Photo by Jody Murphy)
The stadium holds 3,200 people. The worst seat in the stadium is 17 rows off the artificial grass field and costs $5.
"Our first year our slogan was 'So close, you can smell the leather,'" said Christine Blaine, the Wild Things director of marketing and communications.
Premium seating behind home plate sells for $15 and includes wait service.
Blaine said the key to the facility is sponsorship.
The Wild Things have three primary sponsors: Consol Energy, Washington Financial and Mylan laboratories. In addition to the major sponsors, the outfield wall is adorned with large placards of additional advertisers and the bleachers feature ad signs, and banners.
Above the bleachers, the stadium features six corporate suites that officials noted could be used for business meetings.
The facility is kid friendly, featuring a kid park with inflatables and a play area just outside the bleachers and steps from the action on the field. The stadium has a picnic area that seats 200 people that features pre-game, all-you-can-eat tailgating.
"The ticket makes this a thing for the family," Blaine said.
As home of the Wild Things, Consol Park hosts about 40 games (May-September) a year. It also hosts concerts, antique shows, car shows, circuses and baseball games for several college and high school teams.
Wild Things officials said since the stadium was built, $110 million in additional development has cropped up around the facility.
Newell said a stadium facility in Parkersburg would be a destination site.
"Wherever you build it people and development will come."