New ENC baseball team looks to bring a positive economic impact

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – Baseball fans, get ready for the first home game for Greenville’s newest baseball team, the Yard Gnomes. While many fans are excited to sit under stadium lights, business owners are also hoping to see more customers.

Crews are working hard for Friday night’s game, the first one ever played by the Yard Gnomes at Guy Smith Stadium.

“We know that Greenville is a baseball hotbed and we feel like the team will be supported here so when we had the opportunity to bring a team down here, it was something we had to jump on,” said Michael Villafana, the Yard Gnomes General Manager.

Many improvements were made at the stadium for the new team.

“We created a first base concourse with concession stands, more bathrooms, additional seating, and new signage on the ballpark,” Villafana said.

While the baseball team hopes for a good turnout, Uptown Brewing Company also hopes to draw in some customers.

“Absolutely, I sure hope so,” said J.C. Gilbreath, Taproom Manager. “We have a lot of different places to go downtown. I mean, you could check out any of the spots around here but we definitely hope we’ll get some of that action.”

Gilbreath says anything new for people to do in Greenville is a plus.

“I’m very excited,” Gilbreath said. “Greenville is definitely a baseball town. People tend to get pretty excited for the season and having this going on during the summer and everything, I’m looking forward to it.”

Now, for all the ballpark food lovers, you’re in luck. Villafana said they would be serving things like hot dogs, hamburgers and popcorn, but they are also hoping to have a food truck at the stadium for a few games.

Tickets for the game start at $10 and go up to $12. They also play at home on Sunday and Monday of this upcoming week.