Erin Elrod, director of special projects for the Rome Braves, gave members of the Greater Rome Chamber of Commerce Economic Development committee a tour of the ballpark Friday.
Elrod said that everything about State Mutual Stadium, built through a special purpose, local option sales tax, features the same playing surface and dimensions as Turner Field in Atlanta.
The team lost to Asheville 6-2 Friday night and will play Asheville again today in Asheville, N.C.
Elrod said she is not aware of any data that might indicate how much the Rome Braves and State Mutual Stadium have contributed to the local economy during the years but did say the organization does do occasional parking lot surveys of attendance and that the team does draw well from many of the north metro counties, particularly Cobb, Cherokee and Paulding.
Anecdotally, the committee learned nearly a quarter of a million hot dogs are sold at the stadium each year.
The Braves averaged between 2,400 and 2,500 in ticket sales for home dates this year, putting the team in the middle of the South Atlanta League. In terms of population, Rome remains the smallest market in the SAL.
Adam Isabel, one of the Rome Braves batboys, was named Bat Person of the Year for the South Atlantic League, a nice honor for a job that goes far beyond picking up bats. He becomes part of the crew that works well beyond the end of the game, making sure the dugouts are clean and equipment gets put up nightly.
The Rome Braves have 15 full time year-round employees, but during the season the club employs nearly 200 part-timers, many of whom have been with the team since the inaugural 2003 season.
Many of those part time employees are either teenagers, college students or senior citizens, two groups that have had increasing difficult finding jobs in the economic downtown of the last five years.