Despite record, Syracuse Chiefs enjoy successful season
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Monday was a perfect day for baseball but believe it or not, it was the last Syracuse Chiefs game of the season.
"The boys didn't enjoy the most success on the field, but the fun and the promotions and the customer service have helped us get even more fans inside of historic NBT Bank Stadium," Chiefs GM Jason Smorol said.
Smorol says that atmosphere helped attendance increase for the 4th straight season.
Chiefs fan Reinhart Meyers says it's absolutely the reason he brings his family here 20-30 times a year, even though he lives an hour and a half away.
"It's getting more family oriented. They've got a better, fun park. They put the pavilion out in the outfield. They made it more successful for the Bark in the Park nights where you bring your dog," Meyers said.
It's the same story for the Ecke family. The little things, like Monday's season finale back-to-school lunch box giveaway, make all the difference.
"For the younger crowd that comes in here, it's really nice to watch. We were just sitting up there watching a kid with a lunch box. The smile on his face reminded me of when he was little," Vinny Ecke said.
"I like spending time with the family when we come. It's a good family bonding time," Vinny's son Brett said.
But that doesn't mean things can't be improved upon. Fans have demands. Yes, they want more wins, but more so they demand those events, more promotions, those celebrity/athlete guest appearances.
The Chiefs know they can't get complacent.
"We're never going to rest. We're going to put a cap on this season. We're going to take a little breath here. We're going to roll up our sleeves and go back to work to make 2018 what I'm sure it's going to be, a special season for the Syracuse Chiefs," Smorol said.
One popular thing that definitely moved the needle this year happened again Monday—the Chiefs once again became the Salt Potatoes.
Smorol isn't yet sure if that will be a part of 2018, but it's been a hit with players and fans, especially at the gift shop. They've made it clear: they love it.
Smorol says the management team will meet with other minor league teams to share ideas. They'll discuss what works, what doesn't and perhaps come up with some new promotions to 'wow' fans.