During our visits/research on minor league baseball franchises in East Tennessee, we noticed some common trends. It wasn’t until we saw the Tennessee Smokies and Johnson City Cardinals on the same day that it finally hit us: these franchises are owned and/or operated by the same group, Boyd Sports LLC. As of this season, Boyd Sports also assumed operation of the new Greeneville Reds, another Appalachian League franchise.
Boyd Sports is owned by Randy and Jenny Boyd with Randy currently running for the Republican nomination for governor of Tennessee. Randy and Jenny have built many successful companies and have used some of their earnings to reinvest in their state: to improve and enhance the communities of East Tennessee.
As visitors to Tennessee mainly for baseball, we were able to objectively evaluate these venues. Especially in comparison to other franchises in the state or league, we have been highly impressed with the marketing and promotions these Boyd Sports entities offer. It truly appears that Boyd sees baseball as we do...one of the best ways to bring a community together.
"They are committed to making baseball a great family fun experience for our community for generations to come and look forward to making continuous improvements in the ballpark and the fan experience." —Johnson City 2018 Program
Specifically on assuming operations for the Greeneville Reds this season, Boyd Sports knows the first and best way to handle business is to listen to the people.
“Boyd Sports officials already have an idea about things to focus on in Greeneville, which includes the concessions prices at Pioneer Park. Allen said that’s the issue he’s heard the most about in Greeneville. “We’ve got to drive [prices] down and make it more reasonable,” he said. “The No. 1 thing we have to do now is listen to the fanbase.” — The Greeneville Sun
Randy Boyd and staff will do whatever it takes to provide an affordable experience that people can enjoy. This was reaffirmed by our stop in Kodak with the AA Smokies. Look no farther than the ticket price. First row just past first base was $9.50. South Atlantic and Carolina League, one and two levels lower, are typically $4-$7 more expensive, depending on the venue.
Unfortunately for us, the Greeneville Reds were out of town during our visit to East Tennessee and our same day stops at the Smokies and Cardinals were on a Tuesday. Big promotions featured by Boyd Sports are “Dollar Monday” and “All You Can Eat Wednesdays”. This provides the community a more affordable experience at the ballpark and a reason to come together, possibly not as baseball fans, but as residents of Johnson City or Greeneville or Kodak/Sevierville/Pigeon Forge. This sense of family and value at the ball park is something we feature at Ballpark Adventures. We are, obviously, highly impressed with everything we have seen under the Boyd Sports umbrella.
This Saturday, August 4th, there is an event being dubbed “Boyd Sports Family Reunion” which will bring together all three Boyd franchises. The two Appalachian Rookie League teams will travel west on I-40 and square off at Smokies Stadium. This will be a special treat for the players and fans alike, for these two Rookie level teams to play in a stadium home to a team three levels above. For more information on this special attraction click here.
Lastly, for what its worth, I would like to endorse Randy Boyd for governor of Tennessee. The primary election is this Thursday, August 2nd. Mr. Boyd markets himself as a businessman, not a politician. He boasts that his companies employ hundreds and his expertise will help the state economy and attract jobs to the state. Another large plank on his platform is education. He has played a role in programs to give free community college and technical school training and plans to continue to make education a top priority. In what seems like genuine effort and not political speak, Mr. Boys simply wants to provide OPPORTUNITY to the residents of Tennessee. tennesseefuturefund.com
To Mr. Boyd: THANK YOU for making these ballparks great places to visit, and best of luck in the election this week. I hope you have a big reason to celebrate at the Family Reunion game Saturday night!