Eye on KELOLAND: A Model New Birdcage

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — After advancing to the American Association championship collection in 2020, the Sioux Falls Canaries stumbled to a fifth place end final season.

This spring, the Birds want to bounce again with the assistance of a brand new roster of gamers, made doable by a serious renovation at Sioux Falls Stadium.

A 12 months in the past, the Sioux Falls Canaries’ new possession shocked followers with a half-million-dollar improve to their video board.

“It’s a process, right, and we want to earn the right with the fans to deliver that world-class experience when you come out to the ballpark with your family or friends to have a good time,” Canaries Owner Brian Slipka stated.

This season, the Canaries have added padded seats behind dwelling plate and new concessions, together with an in-house chef. The crew now has eleven full-time workers, in comparison with two 14 months in the past.

“We’re trying to bring a unique message to the community that we’re here, we’re here to stay, we’re putting our money where our mouth is, and most importantly we’re creating a better experience,” Slipka stated.

The greatest enchancment will profit each followers and gamers.

“The field was in disrepair. I mean there’s a lot of high school fields, my son plays high school baseball, and there’s a lot of high school fields that are in better shape than the Birdcage,” Slipka stated.

“When I first got here in 2017, it was like a whole bunch of holes and rabbits running around, it was a bad situation to be playing on it,” Canaries Hitting Coach Jabari Henry stated.

Now, you’ll nonetheless see a duck or two, however the Canaries have spent the previous six weeks putting in a brand new turf infield and the gamers are impressed.

“You should have seen their faces. They were all smiling, like this can’t be the Birdcage. We were like this is it, this is the new Birdcage, get used to it because it’s going to be here for awhile,” Henry stated.

“It’s been spectacular watching the process, coming out every day seeing a little more added to it, watching them sew it together. It changes the look of the stadium,” Canaries Manager Mike Meyer stated.

Canaries Manager Mike Meyer says the turf has caught the attention of gamers throughout baseball.

“It’s been a huge impact for me and my recruitment,” Meyer stated.

Especially in terms of pitchers and infielders.

“Having this artificial surface that’s going to play true every day, day in and day out, it’s been much easier for me to land some of those quality arms that we’ve been lacking in the past,” Meyer stated.

“Now, the pitchers are more confident to give the ground balls so our infielders can turn double plays and not just try to get strikeouts, so it’s been amazing,” Henry stated.

“When you have a double play ball and you have to play on your heels because it’s like trying to field a super ball bouncing on a parking garage and you don’t know which way it’s bouncing you have to stay on your heels. We may get the out at second, we don’t turn the double play which turns the lineup over one more time and then we give up that big swing,” Meyer stated.

The significance of those tasks extends past wins and losses.

“It just shows my guys in the clubhouse that Brian and Twan care about them and they want them to have a good experience and they want to give them the resources to not only help us win now but to help them become better players and better versions of themselves so they can get out of here and hopefully get to the big leagues,” Meyer stated.

The lengthy listing of upgrades doesn’t imply possession has deserted the thought of in the future taking part in in a brand new stadium.

“We’re going to be at the Birdcage at least another few years and so all of these improvements and changes will undoubtedly help the fan experience and create that world class experience. But, certainly, we are looking at a long-term solution of having a brand new stadium for fans to really get excited about,” Slipka stated.

A downtown stadium has lengthy been mentioned, however…

“There’s a lot of conversations, it could go a lot of different directions. I will say this, I think the community will have a better idea by the end of this year and that’s really, really exciting,” Slipka stated.

As for this season, renovations on and off the sphere are respiration new life into the group.

“Guys just want to be here, they want to work, they want to play. They want to be in the clubhouse and be around because it’s fun and it’s nice and we have new things,” Meyer stated.

Now, it’s time to play ball.

“It’s going to be so much different than any other opening day. I think a lot of it is because it’s going to be the first time we’re actually on the field,” Meyer stated. “There’s no better place to be in the summer than out here on a nice warm summer night at the Birdcage,” Meyer added.

After spending the primary week of the common season on the street, the Canaries open the house portion of their schedule Friday night time towards Milwaukee. First pitch is about for 7:05.

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