Baton Rouge summer collegiate baseball team gears up for inaugural season

    The Baton Rouge Rougarou, the newest baseball franchise of the Texas Collegiate League, is gearing up to start some $100,000 worth of renovations to Pete Goldsby Field in north Baton Rouge before its May 31 home season opener.

    Uri Geva, founder and co-owner of the Clutch Entertainment Group that runs the six-team league in Texas and Louisiana, says they’re just waiting on the final approval from BREC to move forward with construction, which he expects to be completed in time for the first game, though he admits the schedule is tighter than initially planned.

    Renovation costs, he says, will be covered from dollars generated through corporate sponsorships, which is expected to generate 42% of team revenue, as well as funds from Clutch Entertainment Group.

    “We believe in the ballpark, the community and that this is going to be something great for the long-run,” Geva says.

    Among the team’s corporate sponsors, he says, are ExxonMobil, Louisiana Lottery, Angelle Materials and Party Time. While saying the team was more than halfway toward reaching its corporate sponsorship goal, Geva declined to say how much money has been secured or the amount of the team’s projected goal. Also unknown is how much of the corporate involvement is in cash or trade. (Disclosure: Business Report is a media sponsor through a trade arrangement.)

    As far as ticket sales go, the team has sold 70% of its “Home Plate Club” season tickets, though Geva was unable to provide exact numbers, and season ticket sales for grandstand seats are expected to surpass sales for the Brazos Valley Bombers, the first team the league founded.

    Currently, the team’s biggest challenge is finding local families to host the players over the summer, Geva says.

    “A lot of people don’t realize the variety of costs that are involved with a baseball game,” Geva says, noting costs of game balls and wooden bats start to add up. “There’s a lot of moving pieces, and it’s important because, without the support of the business community and other leaders, we couldn’t do this.”

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