Clark County's new amateur minor league baseball team, the Champion City Kings, will open its season Wednesday night at Carleton Davidson Stadium in Springfield against the Chillicothe Paints. The franchise is expected to pump more than $2 million into the local economy.
Springfield resident and former pro player Rick White is the general manager of the Kings. He says the Champion City Kings will offer fans a good time that's not hard on the wallet.
"It would be cheaper to bring a family of four to our baseball game and watch the game and get entertained and eat then it would be to go to watch a movie," White said. "The whole league's main push is fun, friendly, family entertainment at a low cost."
The Kings' roster will be made up of collegiate players from around the country who want to showcase their talent for professional teams. White thinks that will bring a competitive product to Springfield which should put more fans in the seats.
"There's a lot of scouts that have already called about wanting to come and watch these kids play. For the most part I would say our whole team has legitimate prospects for the pros," he said.
Leann Castillo of the National Trail Parks and Recreation District in Clark County says the team will give the Springfield area its own version of the popular fan-friendly Dayton Dragons while bringing in millions of dollars in tourism revenue.
"We saw this as a win-win for our community and as we saw recently that tourism has gone up in Clark County and we hope to contribute to that even more," Castillo said.
The team and the city hope to see a return on their investment after spending over $200,000 to make improvements to the ballpark.
Weather permitting, the first pitch for the Champion City Kings is scheduled for 7 p.m.