As we plan for the Curve’s 10th anniversary season, here are a few pearls we found written on the clubhouse wall:
First, take a bow.
Together, we have achieved the unimaginable during the Curve’s first nine seasons. Minor league baseball doubted this community could support a franchise.
The visionaries who preceded us knew better. They believed in you, and you delivered, starting with the inaugural 1999 season. By the time we showed up after year three, there were signs the honeymoon was coming to an end.
We injected new energy, connected with you on a personal level and improved the best ballpark in minor league baseball. The Curve reached new heights, becoming the most highly (and quickly) decorated franchise in minor league baseball history, collecting every industry award by the end of 2006.
By most franchise’s standards, 2007 was outstanding.
But, as in 2001, there were signs the world’s longest honeymoon might be ending. We enjoyed our second-strongest August ever, but overall attendance was down 2.5 percent. On some nights the ballpark lacked its usual energy. Cory Giger wrote about this after the season finale and told us to amp up the ballpark experience.
A lot of folks might expect us to be offended.
The reigning recipient of the John H. Johnson President’s Trophy as minor league baseball’s best franchise being lectured by a writer?
Well, you know what? Cory was right. He wasn’t saying we stink. He was saying that no matter how favorably we compare to other franchises, we’ve set such a high standard that we have to take it to a new level to keep it fresh.
He’s right, and we bet you have lots of ideas we would agree with too. In fact, many of our most creative innovations have actually come from you. So call us or e-mail us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org and help make us better.
One word captures why the first nine years have been a joyride. That’s passion — your passion to make being a Curve fan a way of life and our passion to go above and beyond to do right by you and electrify you each night.
Let there be no doubt — our passion, enthusiasm, excitement and obsession have never been greater. We’re bouncing off the walls with ideas to make the 10th anniversary season the most surprising and dynamic celebration of Curve baseball ever.
But we need, and can’t live without, your passion. Keep those fires burning. We promise to throw on some fresh lighter fluid, but without your passion, enthusiasm and energy, the Curve will become just another franchise — enjoyable but not special.
We see too many reminders on a daily basis of the challenges we face in our community.
The Curve remain one of the very best things we have going. It’s a safe, happy place for families and friends, for young and old, for folks from all walks of life to come together in a true sense of community.
Together, we have made countless memories. Together, we can make this honeymoon last forever.
Greenberg is the Curve’s managing partner. Parnell is the Curve’s general manager. This is their first joint submission to Voice of the Fan.