With opening day in the Western Canadian Baseball League only 16 days away, the Swift Current 57’s have plenty of off-field work to do to prepare for a return to the field.
The 57’s haven’t been able to do much fundraising over the past two years and they are hoping that the community will offer their continued support.
“We’re really going to rely on sponsorships. Right now we’ve got a sponsorship committee, a very small group, but we’re getting out into the community. We’re trying to generate dollars to go towards our budget,” said President Brad Woods.
“Our game days are 100 percent volunteer driven. What we’re looking to do is generate some revenue from our player sponsors, game day sponsors. We have 28 games. If we could sponsor even half of those that goes a long way toward meeting our fundraising budget.”
Anyone interested in sponsorship of the 57’s can contact Brad Woods at 306-772-0471.
The other way the 57’s are looking to increase revenues is through their two patios at Mitchell Field.
“Patios bring revenue to the park. They generate revenues through secondary sales like food and beverage. We’ve got two patios that we’d love to have booming each game,” said Woods.
Rental pricing on both patios, including the skyline deck, remains the same as 2019.
The skyline deck is a private patio atop the clubhouse on the third-base side of Mitchell Field. “It gives you the opportunity to host a private function up there. You have your own private bartender, your own seat, a great view overlooking the park. I think it’s something new that we were trying some people out in 2019. That’s a premium deck and we’d love to have that filled.”
Woods, Bruce Deg and Cory Boutin are currently in the midst of a sponsorship blitz.
“We’ve always had good support from the community and I hope that continues over this next two to three weeks when we’re trying to bring some money and businesses and excitment back to the park.”
The other pressing issue for the ball club is finding billet families to host the players.
“Billets is a concern and is always a concern,” said Woods, who noted that other Swift Current teams that require billets have recently faced similar challenges.
“We’re critical right now. We’ve got nine beds. We need 28. We have to have a place for these kids to stay. They are coming from across Western Canada and from the United States and we need beds for them in homes here in the community.”
“Part of what makes playing in Swift Current so awesome for these kids is that we are a small community and when billet families bring those kids into their homes it’s a real buy in.”
Woods noted that they have increased their billet rate to $400 per month to help offset some of the rising costs of living expenses.
“I know covid has scared some people and covid has probably changed the way people look at the summer and stuff too, looking at different activities. We have to put these kids in houses and right now we’re not even close.”
Woods said that he was billeted as a hockey player and remains in touch with some of those family members 35 years later.
“It might seem like a scary thing initially, but I think anybody that has ever billeted would tell you that it’s a rewarding experience and it’s something that the kids and everybody within that family benefit from down the road,” said Woods.
For more information on billeting contact Billet Coordinator Jodie Hyswick at 306-741-0119.