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    LOUISVILLE (Feb. 16, 2005) – Mayor Jerry Abramson and Louisville Bats President Gary Ulmer today announced several improvements taking shape at Louisville Slugger Field in time for the opening of the 2005 season.

    “These significant public improvements represent the continuing commitment to making this ballpark a one-of-a-kind baseball experience – whether you’re a visitor or call Louisville home,” Abramson said. “Slugger Field is one of the anchor attractions in our hometown and keeps getting better and better.”

    The most dramatic improvement will be in the lawn area in left field, known as the berm. The slope of the berm will be decreased, resulting in a flatter and more comfortable area for families to watch the games. Two new rows of seating will be added, with 125 new chairback seats to be installed at the top of the berm. New fescue grass also will be installed.

    On the other side of the field, the children’s playground area in right field will be doubled, with the installation of a second playground. It is ADA accessible and is designed for younger children, ages 2-5. Also, the Bats will donate $1 to Kosair Children’s Hospital for every ride on the carousel.

    Ulmer said, “It is exciting to be able to make improvements to the ballpark that will enhance the experience of our fans coming to baseball games. The left field berm and seating area will be much more comfortable and fan friendly and our very popular playground area will be able to accommodate many more children.”

    A third improvement for Bats fans will be a new ticket-scanning system in use at every turnstile upon entrance to the park. This new TicketMaster system will speed up lines entering into the stadium and will also give faster and more accurate attendance numbers for the season.

    The total cost of improvements is approximately $150,000. The berm improvements are expected to cost $80,000, funded jointly by Louisville Metro and the Bats. The additional improvements are funded by the Bats.

    Bats to host Major League exhibition April 2
    For the second time in four years, Louisville Slugger Field will host a Major League exhibition game. On Saturday, April 2, the Cincinnati Reds will face the Toronto Blue Jays at 1:05 p.m. The last Major League exhibition game was in 2002 when the Reds met the Baltimore Orioles. Tickets are currently available to Bats season ticket holders only, but will go on sale to the general public on March 1. For more information, please call 212-2287 or

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