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What is the future of the Johnson City Cardinals?

Tanner Cook • Apr 30, 2018 at 11:51 AM

The future for the Johnson City Cardinals looks bright and will be a little bit more comfortable as the Appalachian League season begins in June. 

The Cardinals will have some new reserved seats in the first few rows of TVA Credit Union Ballpark to help upgrade what was already voted the best stadium on the rookie-league level for Minor League Baseball.

The previous bleacher flooring underneath the reserved field-level seats will be removed and replaced with new concrete flooring. Due to the brand new seats at the ballpark, quantities are very limited.

The new field-level seats can be reserved for just $165 per seat with a minimum deposit of $20. The construction will take place as soon as the Science Hill baseball season has concluded.

Yet another upgrade is coming to the stadium, as the city unanimously approved funding of $555,300 for a new lighting system provided by Musco Sports Lighting.

The existing lights at the ballpark will be transitioned to a new LED system with the six wooden poles and several existing fixtures being replaced with galvanized steel poles and 88 luminaries.

The new lighting system will bring TVA Credit Union Ballpark up to compliance with the lighting standards set by Minor League Baseball. These lights have already been installed and have shown brightly several times this year along Legion Street. 

The Cardinals blew by the Appalachian League single-season attendance record last season, welcoming over 65,000 fans to the park to watch the Redbirds play.

With the new additions to the park, it looks as if the Cardinals are making the fan experience better both on and off the field. The Cards will also have a new look in the dugout this summer, as Zac Clark will be at the helm. He takes the place of Tyler Parsons after he took the same position with the Lansing Lugnuts.

“It is a surreal feeling to finally realize my dream of being a general manager in Minor League Baseball,” Clark said earlier last year. “I can't imagine coming into a better opportunity by being able to come back to a community that I love in Johnson City.”

The Cardinals stumbled down the stretch of the season last year, losing seven consecutive games and failing to make the playoffs after winning the league in 2016. The now-defunct Greeneville Astros took second place and eventually lost to eventual league champion Elizabethton.

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