Let’s play ball– and more– in Blues’ 3rd season

By LISA CAPOBIANCO

STAFF WRITER

The historic Muzzy Field will soon be buzzing with more entertainment, as the Bristol Blues gear up for their third season.

This year, the elite level collegiate baseball team is looking to take the baseball experience to the next level as it works toward incorporating short and long-term plans to further broaden the appeal of game day offerings. The goal is to exhilarate with sport while serving more people with more entertainment, more connection, and more food and drink.

With this new vision comes a newly designed sponsorship booklet for area organizations and companies.

Cindy Policki and Mark Walerysiak Jr. of Maxx 5 LLC, which has teamed up with the Blues for marketing and business development efforts, are helping the team take its third season to the next level.

The new sponsorship booklet not only clearly defines what the sponsor packages entail, but also captures what the total Blues’ entertainment experience looks like.

“We want folks to understand that they’re partnering in on a vision. We see the potential of where this can go, and baseball, obviously is the heart of it, but we feel very strongly that we can build an audience for them as well,” said Walerysiak.

The hope also is to bring more than just a baseball game to community. From food trucks and pop up restaurants to a party deck and vendor booths to fundraising nights for charitable organizations, the Blues’ prospective plan—which is subject to change— includes a variety of ideas on how to attract not only baseball aficionados, but also those who may not have attended a ball game before.

“It’s cost effective for families. It’s geared towards kids, adults, and everybody, so we want to bring pieces of different experiences to different age groups,” said Policki, adding how Muzzy Field itself can appeal to folks of all ages.

“We feel that we can fill the gap for those types of experiences that may not experience right now in Bristol,” said Walerysiak.

Policki added how this vision could help build the league itself, especially when attracting strong players.

“You want to have a winning team, but it helps also to build the strength of the league to draw better players…that want to come and play in this kind of experience,” said Policki, who has seen the Blues grow from the beginning.

Made up of players from New England and around the country, the Bristol Blues made the Mum City its home in late 2014. During the Blues’ inaugural season, the team saw an average of 1,300 fans per game. By 2016, the attendance grew to 1,600 per game.

Of the over 600 summer league teams nationwide, the Blues ranked 28th in attendance during the 2016 season.

On May 28, the Blues are planning to kick off the 2017 season with FanFest, featuring a variety of food, drink, vendors and entertainment at Muzzy. The Bristol Blues-themed festival will take place just a few days before the team plays against the Nashua Silver Knights in the home opening game on June 1.

Policki said the idea is to get fans excited about the Blues’ third season.

“The players are just coming in at that time. It would be a good opportunity to get the players that can come to start introducing them to the fan base,” said Policki.

Both born and raised in Bristol where they have been actively involved with the community, Policki and Walerysiak were ecstatic to collaborate with the Blues.

“To see Bristol get a team that it can really root for…there’s an excitement about it,” said Walerysiak, the former brand and marketing manager for Bristol All Heart.

“There’s nothing more gratifying than trying to develop something great for the community.”

For Policki, working with the Blues means an opportunity to build on something that could be an anchor for Bristol for years to come.

“We really need something like that,” said Policki, who has served as president of Shepard Meadows Therapeutic Riding Center.

Anyone interested in 2017 sponsorship opportunities for the Bristol Blues can contact Walerysiak at (860) 583-4373 or by e-mail, sponsor@bristolbluesbaseball.com.

For more information about the Bristol Blues, visit bristolblues.pointstreaksites.com/view/bristolblues.