HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - The Rocket City Trash Pandas won’t play for another 18 months, but the team is already breaking records. Merchandise sales have beat out past Minor League Baseball records, and the team has garnered the attention of major league executives.
Ralph Nelson, the teams owner, says the El Paso Chihuahuas held a record for selling 1,022 items in three months. Monday, the Trash Pandas hit 3,000 items sold in just 6 weeks. “We’re 18 months away from the first pitch. Who in baseball has generated the kind of revenue that we’ve generated," Nelson questioned.
Total sales and provision have surpassed $500,000. The record was $300,000 in three months.
“I am so excited. I used to go to the baseball games in Huntsville with my dad when I was a kid and I’m so excited to have them back," Hannah Meyer said. She was shopping for Christmas gifts in the teams shop at Bridge Street Town Center.
Nelson credits the teams early financial success to community support of their brand. “It’s kind of the perfect storm that’s worked out, and we’re very, very happy," Nelson said.
The support doesn’t stop at the merchandise. More than 500 season tickets have been sold. Nelson says it’s best to enter a season with 30% of the seats sold to season ticket holders. That number would be around 1,200 for the new Madison stadium. He believes they are well on their way to achieving that goal.
“I’m not concerned about keeping the momentum going. This community is so fabulous. They’ve done such a great job supporting us....I’m not really all that concerned about it," Nelson proclaimed.
The store may close December 30. Although, brand leaders are discussing an extension based on its popularity.
Nelson says team jerseys will be revealed in the spring and sells will begin shortly after.
Copyright 2018 WAFF. All rights reserved.
Trash Pandas, Blue Wahoos games canceled for Saturday and Sunday
MADISON, Ala. — Saturday and Sunday night’s games at Toyota Field between the Rocket City Trash Pandas and Pensacola Blue Wahoos have been canceled due to COVID-19.
The canceled games bring an end to the Trash Pandas’ inaugural season, finishing with a 54-56 record.
Despite the cancellation, fans are still encouraged to come to Toyota Field to watch the Auburn vs. Penn State football game on the video board with live music before the game and fireworks during halftime.
“We adhered to Major League Baseball’s health and safety protocols, and it was determined the best course of action for the safety of players and coaches was a cancellation of the remaining games,” the team said in a statement.
Tickets for the games from September 16 through 19 may be exchanged for a ticket of equal or lesser value for any Trash Pandas home game in April or May 2022, excluding opening day, once single game tickets become available.
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Rocket City Trash Pandas
Minor League Baseball team in Alabama
Minor League Baseball team
The Rocket City Trash Pandas are a Minor League Baseball team of the Double-A South and the Double-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels. They are located in Madison, Alabama, and play their home games at Toyota Field.
In November 2017, BallCorps LLC purchased the Southern League's Mobile BayBears from owners Michael Savit and HWS Group for the purpose of relocating the team to Madison, Alabama, in 2020. Upon relocation, the team was renamed the Rocket City Trash Pandas. The name is a reference to both the area's association with the space industry, namely from Huntsville, and the determination and ingenuity of raccoons. In December 2019, Rocket City announced that it had sold more than $2 million in merchandise in just over 13 months since announcing its branding.
The Trash Pandas were to begin their inaugural season on the road playing against the Birmingham Barons on April 9, 2020, and play their first home game on April 15; however, the start of the 2020 season was postponed before getting canceled on June 30 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, pushing back their inaugural season by a year. In conjunction with Major League Baseball's restructuring of Minor League Baseball in 2021, the Southern League disbanded and the Trash Pandas were organized into the eight-team Double-A South. Their scheduled May 4, 2021, road opener was postponed due to inclement weather, so they played their first game the next night against the Chattanooga Lookouts at AT&T Field in Chattanooga, Tennessee, losing 6–1.
- ^"Jay Bell Named Rocket City Trash Pandas First Manager". Rocket City Trash Pandas. Minor League Baseball. January 7, 2020. Retrieved January 22, 2020.
- ^"Rocket City Trash Pandas Name Garrett Fahrmann VP & General Manager". Rocket City Trash Pandas. Minor League Baseball. August 8, 2019. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
- ^ abGattis, Paul (August 1, 2019). "Trash Pandas release 2020 schedule, opening vs. Braves". AL.com. Retrieved September 5, 2019.
- ^Stephenson, Creg (November 9, 2017). "Mobile BayBears confirm sale, will play 2018 season at Hank Aaron Stadium". AL.com. Retrieved November 10, 2017.
- ^"MiLB Approves Mobile BayBears Move to Madison". Ballpark Digest. August Publications. May 30, 2018. Retrieved May 30, 2018.
- ^ abAry, Patrick (September 5, 2018). "Rocket City Trash Pandas chosen as new Madison baseball team's name". WHNT-TV. Retrieved September 5, 2018.
- ^"Rocket City Trash Pandas Pass $2M Mark in Licensed Merchandise Sales". Rocket City Trash Pandas. Minor League Baseball. December 23, 2019. Retrieved January 25, 2020.
- ^"2020 Minor League Baseball Season Shelved". Minor League Baseball. June 30, 2020. Retrieved September 29, 2020.
- ^Mayo, Jonathan (February 12, 2021). "MLB Announces New Minors Teams, Leagues". Major League Baseball. Retrieved February 12, 2021.
- ^"Trash Pandas Season Opener Rained Out". Rocket City Trash Pandas. Minor League Baseball. May 4, 2021. Retrieved May 5, 2021.
- ^"Trash Pandas vs. Lookouts Box Score 05/05/21". Minor League Baseball. May 5, 2021. Retrieved May 5, 2021.
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