The largest crowd in Spirit Communications Park history watched the Fireflies on Independence Day. There were 9,228 on hand for Monday’s game and the postgame fireworks show, and a total of 155,232 fans have passed through the gates to watch the inaugural season of Fireflies baseball.
On Tuesday night, Spirit Communications Park will host its 156,922nd fan, breaking the previous single-season record set by a Columbia professional baseball organization. In 1996, 156,921 patrons visited Capital City Stadium to watch the Capital City Bombers. The Fireflies will break that mark on Tuesday after just 40 home games; the club still has another 30 remaining in the 2016 season.
“This park was built for the community and by the community, and we are exhilarated to share it with everyone that attends a ballgame or any event at Spirit Communications Park,” Team President John Katz said. “Columbia and the entire Midlands region is the heart and soul of baseball country, and we thank each and every one of our loyal fans for supporting Fireflies baseball.”
Fan number 156,922 will receive a Fireflies Fan Experience package, which includes four tickets in the Club Level Lounge for an upcoming home game, an exclusive behind the scenes tour of Spirit Communications Park, an opportunity to toss a ceremonial first pitch and a chance to watch the Fireflies take batting practice from the field.
Groundbreaking for Spirit Communications Park was on January 6, 2015, and the multi-use park hosted its first baseball game on April 14, 2016 in front of a sellout crowd of 9,077. The Fireflies are the first professional baseball team in Columbia since the Bombers relocated to Greenville, South Carolina, following the 2004 season.
“This is classic, family-friendly entertainment,” Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin said about the park. “To see the people of Columbia respond so overwhelmingly to this, it’s great for our city. Watching the faces of people coming in, they realize this is their stadium, this is their park.”
The Fireflies host the Charleston RiverDogs (New York Yankees) Tuesday and Wednesday night before heading to Augusta for a weekend series. The boys of summer will be back again on July 12 for the start of a seven-game homestand at Spirit Communications Park.