Hickory Crawdads

The Background

For over 20 summers, the Hickory (NC) Crawdads minor league baseball team has given hundreds of thousands of fans great action at a great value, producing several talents that have made impacts in the majors like Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen and Toronto Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista.

Like most sports venues, their home park -- L.P. Frans Stadium -- needed some major renovations to modernize the fan experience after 20 years of use. Opened in 1993 (the same year the Crawdads debuted), the stadium was set to roll out a new VIP section, three new Party Patios, a new Picnic Pavilion, and upgrades to several concession areas, concourses, and cafes following the 2013 season.

In an effort to match a revamped team branding initiative with the newly revamped park, the ‘Dads (as they are affectionately known) turned to AMI Graphics, Minor League Baseball’s trusted signage partner, to help create the perfect experience for their fans.

The Work

After a site survey, the AMI team worked with the ‘Dads front office to understand more about the rebranding, and what it meant for the team’s next 20+ years. AMI’s experience working with other sports franchises and facilities helped give insight on where to add signage, what kinds of signage might work, and what the best applications would be.

To ensure everything was done on time, AMI worked around construction crews to install new custom banners and signage throughout the stadium. Knowing the timeline and how to work with the restructuring logistics were a must as ongoing construction can change space restrictions and expected outcomes in an instant.

The Results

The entire project lasted eight weeks, stayed within budget and met the Crawdads' needs for the right visuals that paired perfectly with the relaunch of the franchise’s home field. The team ended up with new custom banners, wayfinding signage, ticket window signage, a standings board, sponsor-ready custom pole banners, a Hall of Fame, and more.

In 2014, the Crawdads set a six-year high in attendance, welcoming 148,417 into the stadium, and AMI Graphics is proud to be part of helping make their game experience that much better.