The Frisco franchise was recently granted a temporary expansion team in the Texas Collegiate League and will take the field as the RoughRiders next month with fans in the stands.
“Everybody that we've spoken to has been excited about the opportunity to get back out to enjoy the outdoors and to spend time with family and friends,” RoughRiders President and General Manager Andy Milovich said. “It's a short season, [and] they'll start soon, but we feel really good about our chances to provide some great, affordable family fun that’s consistent with what we've historically done.”
The team’s 30-game season will include 15 home games at Dr Pepper Ballpark played throughout July and into the first weekend of August. Milovich said state guidelines will cap attendance at 50% capacity with social distancing measures in place. For Dr Pepper Ballpark, that will translate to maximum crowds of 4,000-4,500 fans, he said.
“We have a pretty thorough plan for how we'll monitor the social distancing [to] make sure that we continue to meet the expectations of the community and ensure people's health and safety,” Milovich said.
That plan includes making aisle seats and every other row of seats unavailable, he said.
The Texas Collegiate League is a summer wood bat league that has expanded to 10 teams for the 2020 season. The rosters for each team will consist of up to 35 active collegiate players. For the RoughRiders’ roster, Milovich said the team is looking at college players from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
“Our primary focus is trying to help kids that are from the metroplex, and have friends and families that would like to see them play and that don't have to relocate here for a short season,” he said. “Our roster is being developed, but we have four kids from [Texas Christian University], kids from Dallas Baptist [University] and then a handful of kids that are playing elsewhere but are from the area.”
Four other Minor League Baseball franchises are also joining the collegiate league this season—Round Rock, Tulsa, San Antonio and Amarillo, which will be fielding two teams in the league.
Milovich said ticket prices for the RoughRiders' games range from $6 to $12, and fireworks displays are planned after home games on Friday and Saturday nights.
“It'll be a great opportunity for people to get outdoors and enjoy some family fun and take a break from the chaotic news cycle we've all been engrossed in for the last three months,” Milovich said. “The chance to hear the crack of the bat and see kids out there playing the game and families enjoying it is something we're all looking forward to.”
The Frisco RoughRiders’ regular Minor League Baseball season has been indefinitely delayed while negotiations continue on a plan to start the Major League Baseball season. The Frisco team reported 455,765 fans at home games last year and finished first in attendance among all 30 Double-A teams in Minor League Baseball for the 15th year in a row.
In the news release announcing its expansion team, the RoughRiders said team officials would make accommodations to host both the Texas Collegiate League and Minor League Baseball games, should an agreement be reached to start the regular season.