How About Those DockSpiders?


Jackie Drake, Editor

The Fond du Lac Dock Spiders called Marian University’s Herr-Baker Field home for their inaugural season from June to August, 2017. They are a baseball team within the Northwoods League, which just wrapped up its 24th season of providing collegiate baseball to Wisconsin and the surrounding areas. Herr-Baker field received an expansion and renovation to accommodate the Dock Spiders, so was that extra space worth it?  

The Northwoods League is an organization that preps and sends good players to the leagues in line with the Timber Rattlers, and most could say Timber Rattlers games are fun to attend; fireworks, dancing, golf cart races, theme nights, and cheaper tickets than the major leagues. The baseball is still baseball and the nachos are still nachos.   

The Dock Spiders did not disappoint either this year in the promotions department. Souvenir Sundays saw hundreds of spectators each game going home with free gifts. Themed Family Nights let kids meet with their favorite characters, including the ever-popular princesses. The more serious ball-watchers there were up-the-line seating options, from the standard bleachers to the VIP Suites, perfect for groups, and more.

Let’s finally break down some numbers, courtesy of Director of Tickets Chris Ward. Their home opener June 1 game, a 4-1 win against the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters, sold 1,431 tickets. Average attendance at most of the 36 home games balanced a bit under 1,000, but those are not all the numbers.

“We’re really excited on how our attendance saw an uptick during the second half of the year and how we had three sellouts during our last week of the season,” said General Manager Ryan Moede. “We are looking forward to carrying that over to next year and having an even better 2018 season.”  

A sellout day meant over 1,800 sold tickets. That’s comparatively the total of Marian’s student body coming to see a game, if many of them didn’t go moderate or long distances back home during the summer months. The Northwoods League operates during those months of the year to make it easier on their student athletes and the general community still enjoys a stadium more local than Appleton. The baseball is still baseball.  

Three sellouts at the end of the season assuredly shows the expanded Herr-Baker Field was worth the investment (on behalf of the team). If those increased ticket sales continue into next year, it may be a good idea to plan ahead when buying tickets.