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Curve president chides Giger

May 18, 2008
The Altoona Mirror
In our seven seasons of having the privilege of owning the Curve, I have never taken issue with the Mirror’s superb coverage of the franchise.

I may not always agree with the occasional criticisms lobbed our way but respect the fact that folks can reasonably disagree from time to time, especially when it comes to something we all care so deeply about. However, Cory Giger’s column last Sunday was so irresponsible and misleading that I feel I must respond.

Cory knew, from his conversation with Parney [General Manager Todd Parnell] and subsequent discussion with me, that the last thing in the world Parney was doing was ‘‘telling people how to spend their money.” Instead, Parney was simply saying that after 10 years it would be easy to take anything, even something as wonderful as the Curve, for granted, and that all of us in the Curve family — the front office and the community should continue to appreciate what a special thing we have together and do everything possible to keep the Curve experience from becoming ordinary.

What we have accomplished together is remarkable and the stuff of legend around the country, and we all would be doing a great disservice to the legacy we have built together if we allowed that to be lost while we were not looking.

Ironically, Neil Rudel made essentially the same point in his column in the Mirror on the eve of the season.

As Parney said to Cory, as an organization, we appreciate the relationship with and support from our fans more than ever, and are completely committed, and re-energized, to doing everything possible to keep the magic going.

Second, for Cory to write that we are ‘‘out of touch’’ with our fans or uncaring about economic conditions is just plain absurd. Twelve months a year, our staff speaks with over 700 fans each day, soliciting their input and maintaining an active line of communication that to my knowledge is unmatched by any other sports franchise in the country.

Thanks to our fans’ input, this year for the first time we have held a dollar ticket night and dime a degree night; we have a season-long series of dollar hot dog and half-price Curve burger nights; we have added multiple new family discount programs and expanded the already unequalled program of discounts offered to our season ticket holders, all while almost completely holding the line on food prices despite soaring costs of supply.

Are these really the actions of a front office out of touch with its fans or with economic adversity?

Cory’s column was unfair, misleading and inaccurate. Curve fans — and the Curve — deserve better.

Chuck Greenberg

President and Managing Partner

Altoona Curve

Money driving Curve

Recently there has been a lot of crying going on at Blair County Ballpark.

First, the attendance being down, then the field being too wet to play because they failed to check it before 3,000 people showed up for the game.

What about the people that used a tank of gas to come and hear the Curve big wheels say we didn’t check the field? What is the ground crew getting paid to do?

I got a laugh from the Curve selling their hot dogs for $1 and burgers for half price. Hot dogs shouldn’t be more than a buck at any given time and the burgers should be half what is regularly charged. The Curve would still be making a good profit.

The whole concept is about making big money. Yes, bills have to be paid, payrolls have to be met, and upkeep must also be considered, but in the end most of it is franchise money and the rich get richer.

If it isn’t all about money, why can’t people bring their own snacks with them instead of paying an arm and a leg after entering the park?

Consider a family bringing their kids with them, paying for their transportation, paying for tickets and then paying for snacks. This can run into a sizeable amount.

If you think attendance is bad now, wait until the drag strip through Lakemont is finished. Good luck!

The Curve should keep the tears flowing. It won’t dry their field, but it might get them some pity.

Lenny Metz


Parney, Curve huge assets

Todd Parnell, general manager of the Altoona Curve, is a good guy. No one works harder or is more productive than Parney. Todd has made the Curve an institution in central Pennsylvania and the envy of many throughout the baseball world.

Not only is the Curve an entertainment and social resource, but a major local economic engine. Besides the ballplayers, who live here and spend money for five months, the Curve employ many area residents, support many local businesses and provide substantial fundraising opportunities for many community charities.

Parney’s Curve organization is a class act and offers much to our community.

Anyone with the good fortune to know him knows he wears his heart on his shirt sleeve. His friends know he would give you that shirt in a heartbeat if you asked or needed it.

Parney is the best. See you at the ballpark.

Tom Kopriva


Sacrifices worth team support

I could not feel heartbroken after reading the article concerning Curve General Manager Todd Parnell.

I do not know Parnell that well, but from I know of him, he is a very genuine person. I often see him coming into the Summit Tennis and Athletic Club when I am there, and he always greets everyone he sees walking back to the locker room with either a handshake, smile or wave.

I believe we have the success of the Altoona Curve mainly in part of him.

Parnell wants to deliver a product he believes in to central Pennsylvania. I live in Portage and work nights. If I could get season tickets to see the Curve play, I would. However, when I am off and the Curve are in town, you can bet I will be calling the ticket office reserving my seats.

Every trip to Blair County Ballpark is never a wasted trip. It is money well spent. I do not care how well the Curve does; Curve baseball is part of our summer. I do not want to know what the summers in central Pennsylvania would be like without the Curve.

So let’s get our priorities straight: I know money is tight right now for everyone. We all have to sacrifice. We have a beautiful ballpark with something for all ages at every home game. Do not let a sacrifice be our Altoona Curve/Blair County Ballpark. Let’s make one of our priorities this summer one of Altoona’s great institutions, the Altoona Curve.

We all can forgo something of expense that week to buy a ticket or two and keep the Curve here.

Parnell should keep up the good work.

Tyler T. Hazlett


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