The River Cats organization spent much of last week hyping up a big announcement scheduled for Saturday, August 2.
— River Cats (@RiverCats) July 29, 2014
Given the mysterious nature of the team’s affiliation with the A’s after 2014, some thought the announcement would have to do with changing affiliations, say to the Giants for instance. Rules set in place by MLB and MiLB prohibit such announcements during the season. Teams aren’t even allowed to formally seek out new PDC’s (player development contracts) until mid-September, after the minor league season ends. Naturally, River Cats management refused to answer questions about the situation, so nothing new on that front.
What did they announce, then? A new 5,000 square foot, air conditioned club, named the Western Health Advantage Legacy Club. Open to all season ticket holders, the WHALC will also be available for special events. The air conditioning is a key point, since that sets it apart from other spaces within the park. The club will be an extension of the suite level down the left field line, above the beer garden.
The River Cats are finding themselves competing with the resurgent (at least off the court) Kings, whose downtown arena is scheduled to be completed in time for the 2016 season (2017 as a fallback). A ceremonial demolition ceremony at the mall where the arena will sit was held over the weekend. It’s better for the River Cats to make such amenities available before the new arena opens, the better to lock in sponsor and entice business-type season ticket holders whose eyes may already be wandering downtown.
As for that affiliation announcement? We’ll have to wait until September.