BELOIT, Wis. (WTVO) — A new era of Beloit baseball begins Tuesday night. After nearly 40 years at Pohlman Field, the Snappers will play their first game at the new ABC Supply Stadium.
The new venue is expected to bring fans and new business to downtown.
“What a great place to be, downtown,” said Chic and Unique Clothing and Furniture Boutique owner, Megan Warntjes. “Get candy from the candy store, pick up a great cup of coffee, grab a meal, go see the game… I think it’s a family friendly opportunity.”
ABC Supply Stadium is located in the heart of downtown Beloit, at 217 Shirland Avenue.
Warntjes says she’s excited about the opportunities it will bring.
“Since Beloit has up and come over the last few years, there’s been some amazing stores and restaurants coming in. I think the Snappers are just going to be an additional, wonderful thing for the downtown,” she said.
Hatley’s Pub opened at 435 E Grand Avenue last year, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We got opened and we shut it right back down,” said bar manager Ondrea Aumann. “We’re very much looking forward to [the opening of the new stadium]. We think it’s going to be great for all the business downtown and bring more people down our way.”
The new stadium brings with it free downtown parking.
Nikki Chadwick, owner of Walnut Creek Apparel and Gifts, at408 E Grand Avenue, says she initially had some hesitation.
“I’m a little nervous about the parking situation, but I think it will be fine and the weather is going to be nice and people will want to park further away to get their steps in, to walk to the stadium, and they’ll pass by a lot of cool stores along the way,” she said.
The Beloit Snappers say they wanted to help increase foot traffic to local business.
“It’s a win-win for both of us,” said Maria Valentyn, Vice President of Marketing and Strategy for the Snappers. “We aren’t trying to take away from their business. We’re trying to help their business, as much as they’re helping our business. It’s a team effort here, tonight.”
Warntjes added, “I’m hoping this will attract extra customers that will come and support local ‘Shop Local’. We support our local community by giving back to the local community, so it’s a win-win situation.”
The Snappers are expecting 3,000 attendees to the first game, and officials say tickets for future games are selling out fast.