PRESS RELEASE – Grand Strand fans flocked to TicketReturn.Com Field at Pelicans Ballpark at an impressive pace that ranked Myrtle Beach fifth in average attendance nationwide among the 30 Class A-Advanced Minor League Baseball teams in 2012. Over the 67 home dates, an average of 3,288 spectators cheered on the Texas Rangers’ affiliate to its second consecutive playoff appearance totaling 220,273.
Of the 11 games when the Pelicans sold out of seats, five dates reached the admissions cap of 6,599. The five full capacity crowds represent the most in any single season in franchise history. The home average attendance reached its highest level in four seasons and increased over the year prior for the first time since 2009.
In balloting among the team owners, executives and field managers, the Carolina League bestowed general manager Scott Brown with the 2012 Calvin Fallwell “Executive of the Year” Award it was announced today by league president John Hopkins. The Falwell award was named in 2006 for the man who had been president of the Lynchburg club since that city joined the league in 1966. Calvin Falwell died at 90 on August 20, 2011.
Brown, a Carolina Forest resident, joined the Pelicans in March of 2010. Before moving to Myrtle Beach, he spent five years as the GM of the Binghamton (NY) Mets for whom he was honored as the Eastern League’s version of the same award in 2005. Dating back to high school, 2012 marked the 31st season of working in baseball for the 47-year-old at the major and minor league levels. Previous stops included the Baltimore Orioles, St. Lucie Mets, New York Mets and the Binghamton Mets.
“We enjoyed a tremendous season in the grandstand and on the field this past season,” remarked Brown. “First and foremost we commend our fans and sponsors for continuing to prove that Pelicans baseball is the best entertainment value in Myrtle Beach. Our staff, both full-time and game day, works tirelessly to make the fan experience the best possible, and their dedication allows me to share this recognition from the Carolina League with them.”
The off-season leading up to 2012 represented a busy period for the Pelicans starting with hosting the Minor League Baseball Promotional Seminar in late September of 2011. The team also worked in concert with the City of Myrtle Beach & Horry County in overseeing a complete field re-construction project including updated draining, irrigation, subsurface and the installation of a new turf surface that decreased the number of rainouts. A new stadium naming rights partnership with TicketReturn began before Opening Day. Significant upgrades in the concessions operation, including the grand opening of the Ring of Fire Grille, provided the fans with even higher quality and more food options at games. Finally, the team supervised the replacement of the original 21st Avenue North marquee sign replacing it with a full-color, animated Daktronics message center.
The Executive of the Year award is the second significant post-season accolade to be earned by the Pelicans in 2012. In August, Sports Turf Manager Corey Russell led the effort that resulted in the Carolina League’s “Field of the Year” Award presented by the Sports Turf Managers Association.