The phenomenal success story that is the Dawgs dates back to 2007 when the club relocated from Calgary to Okotoks, a thriving community nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains just 20 miles south of Calgary. Relying almost exclusively on private donations, the Dawgs built a $16 Million, state of the art, facility in beautiful Seaman Stadium.
Since 2007, again with the help of its supporters, the Dawgs have added additional facilities creating an MLB spring training like complex, including Tourmaline Field, (a 2nd stadium serving as the home park of the the Dawgs Youth Program), the Duvernay Fieldhouse, (a year round, full infield sized indoor training center) along with Conrad and Riverside Youth Fields.
From the first ever Opening Night on June 8, 2007, the Dawgs have attracted fans in astounding numbers. This past season the club is averaging in excess of 3,100 fans per game and is on pace to shatter all previous season attendance records. In fact, on Canada Day 2015, the Dawgs drew their largest crowd ever, packing both berms, filling temporary bleacher seating and all in all welcoming 5,028 fans into Seaman Stadium.
As part of the Canada Day festivities, which included pregame musical entertainment, all sorts of fun activities for Dawgs fans of all ages, and a wild post game fireworks display, the club honored long time season ticket holder, Wendy Lawnsdale, who was the 500,000th fans to enter through the gates at Seaman Stadium. An on field ceremony celebrated each of the previous milestones with the 100,000th fan, the 200,000th fan, the 300,000th fan and the 400,000th fan all being introduced to the sellout crowd before welcoming Ms.Lawnsdale as the latest member of that exclusive club. Ms. Lawnsdale was presented with a commemorative home plate as well as a Dawgs jersey sporting the number, what else, 500,000! (see attached photo with Wendy Lawnsdale, fan 500,000, surrounded by Laure Hartwell, fan 400,000 and Peter Ricchichi, fan 300,000.)
The day’s events represented another remarkable demonstration of community support for the Dawgs and served to showcase the phenomenal impact the Dawgs and Seaman Stadium have had in Okotoks and the greater Calgary area. Among the celebrants were Member of Parliament, John Barlow, who threw out the 1st pitch, Don Seaman, principal donor to the stadium that bears his family name, John Ircandia, founding and managing director of the Dawgs and volunteer project manager of all facilities within the Seaman Stadium Complex, Hans Hoffman of Hoffman Architects of Park City, Utah, who designed the facilities and is currently designing an expansion, and Michael Rose, CEO of Tourmaline Oil Corp., principal donor behind Tourmaline Field, a $3 million facility that serves as the Dawgs 2nd stadium and home to its highly successful, youth program.
And it has not just been about the baseball….Dawgs have partnered with literally 1000s of local charities and community groups to raise funds in support of a number of worthy causes. The highlights include over $200,000 now raised for Breast Cancer research, $100,000 raised in partnership with the Toronto Blue Jays Care Foundation, $65,000 raised for local flood relief, together with thousands more raised in support of Autism, Prostate Cancer and Cystic Fibrosis.
And by the way, a baseball game broke out and the Dawgs rewarded the hometown fans with their 10th win over the past 12 games, a 7-1 victory over the visiting Moose Jaw Miller Express.