Tag Archive | "Camaraderie"

Ballpark Village Announces PBR

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ST. LOUIS, MO (Thursday, February 14, 2013) – The St. Louis Cardinals, The Cordish Companies and PBR (Professional Bull Riders, Inc.) announced today that PBR St. Louis: A Cowboy Bar will open at Ballpark Village making it the eighth location across the United States.

From the toughest sport on dirt comes the fastest growing country concept in the nation, PBR.  PBR St. Louis will bring an authentic country experience to Ballpark Village. PBR has agreed that this will be their only venue within the St. Louis region.

Sean Gleason, Chief Operating Officer of the PBR, stated, “PBR wants to be in world-class districts within very special cities and there is no doubt that Ballpark Village in St. Louis fits the bill.  PBR is one of the fastest growing, most exciting and popular sports in the country, selling out arenas from Madison Square Garden to Las Vegas, as well as being nationally televised.  Our goal with the PBR club was to create a concept that captures both the electricity that is PBR as well as the warm camaraderie that exists between our patrons at our events. PBR club does both and does so in spectacular fashion. We’re excited to make this announcement as the PBR returns to St. Louis this weekend with the Built Ford Tough Series at Scottrade Center.”

“We appreciate PBR’s investment in St. Louis,” said Phyllis Young, Alderwoman, 7th Ward. “PBR St. Louis promises to be a happening place that will bring a lot of boots downtown.”

The first PBR location opened its doors in 2008 at the Power & Light District in Kansas City, MO and has since launched venues in Las Vegas, NV; Baltimore, MD; Houston, TX; Hampton, VA; Philadelphia, PA; and Louisville, KY making PBR one of the hottest and fastest growing concepts in the country. Each location of PBR features its own unique high-quality design, but with shared attractions including a large dance floor, a soft-seating lounge area, private outdoor balconies, multiple bars, and the world’s meanest mechanical bull as a show-piece element to the club. PBR St. Louis takes this design to a new level and promises to be an eclectic combination of “cowboy cool” meets “urban chic,” spanning 8,000 square feet.

Additionally, PBR has started a great live music tradition in its Hot Country Night’s concert series, with past national acts including Gretchen Wilson, Luke Bryan, The Band Perry, Justin Moore, Dierks Bentley, Jason Aldean and numerous other all-star country artists. PBR St. Louis will host live performances throughout the year and is powered by a state-of-the-art sound and light system equipped for both live entertainment and dancing nightly.  PBR St. Louis will also feature an expansive beer and bourbon list as well as a southwestern inspired food menu.

“The Cordish Companies and the St. Louis Cardinals are committed to bringing best-in-class concepts to Ballpark Village and with PBR we have done just that,” said Blake Cordish, Vice President of The Cordish Companies. “We are thrilled to welcome PBR to St. Louis and we are confident that it will be an anchor attraction for years to come.”

Bill DeWitt, President of The St Louis Cardinals, stated, “PBR is a perfect addition to Ballpark Village.  We are focused on making Ballpark Village the premier entertainment destination for the region and for our fans and PBR will help us accomplish that goal.”

PBR’s announcement at Ballpark Village coincides with the return of the PBR’s elite Built Ford Tough Series to St. Louis. On Feb. 15 -17, the world’s Top 35 bull riders ride into Scottrade Center for the Cooper Tires presents  Kawasaki Invitational.  It’s the 16th time the PBR has visited St. Louis.

“St. Louis has always been a great market for the PBR,” said Gleason. “The fans are enthusiastic and the city always buzzes with excitement about the event.  We’re looking forward to our return to the Scottrade Center.”

About the Professional Bull Riders, Inc.

The PBR is the world’s premier bull riding organization. More than 100 million viewers annually watch over 400 hours of primetime PBR programming on VERSUS, NBC, CBS and networks around the world. The PBR has awarded over $100 million in prize money and 20 riders have earned over $1 million, including Justin McBride with $5.5 million – the most of any western-sports athlete in history. The PBR was nominated as 2010 Sports League of the Year at the Sports Business Journal Sports Business Awards, alongside the National Football League, National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball.  Nearly 2 million fans attend Built Ford Tough Series and Touring Pro Division events each year. For more information on the PBR, visit www.pbr.com.

St. Louis is the seventh stop of 26 across18 states for the 2013 Built Ford Tough Series.  The season culminates at the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals in Las Vegas, October 22-27, at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center.  The series’ best bull riders will compete to claim the ultimate prize, the PBR World Champion’s title, $1 million dollar bonus, a new Ford truck from the series’ title sponsor, and the coveted PBR World Champion buckle.

The PBR is celebrating 20 years of competition in 2013.  Its Built Ford Tough Series is televised every week on CBS, CBS Sports Network and networks around the world. BFTS telecasts are produced for the PBR under a multi-year agreement with David Neal Productions, a Los Angeles-based production company led by 34-time Emmy® Award winner and Peabody Award winner David Neal, who serves as executive producer.

Tickets for the Kawasaki Invitational are available now at the Scottrade Center box office, online at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling (800) 745 3000.

About Ballpark Village

The construction of Ballpark Village represents the next step in the Cardinals’ vision for their investment in downtown St. Louis that began with the opening of the privately financed $411 Busch Stadium in 2006.  Ballpark Village is a mixed-use retail, entertainment, office, and residential district being developed in partnership by the St. Louis Cardinals and the Cordish Companies. Spanning seven city blocks on the 10-acre site just north of Busch Stadium, Ballpark Village will be the country’s first fully integrated mixed-use development designed to deliver the excitement and energy of the game day experience to a new neighborhood outside the stadium walls.

About The Cordish Companies

The Cordish Companies (www.cordish.com), now in its fourth generation of family ownership, is an international collection of businesses including one of the leading real estate development companies, entertainment and gaming companies in the United States. The Company has diverse development expertise with divisions focused on Entertainment & Mixed-Use, Gaming & Lodging, Sports Anchored Districts, Shopping & Lifestyle Retail, Office and Residential. The Cordish Companies also owns and manages a diverse group of operating businesses, ranging from gaming, restaurants/clubs to live music promotion and film/media distribution. The Company values itself on the quality of its operations, its long-term relationships, and high level of integrity in all of its endeavors.

The Cordish Companies is the largest and most successful developer of entertainment districts and concepts in the United States. In particular, the company has unparalleled experience in creating and revitalizing high-profile destinations in urban core locations. Many of The Cordish Companies’ projects involve public/private partnerships and are of unique significance to the cities in which they are located. Prime examples are the company’s prominent role in the redevelopment of Baltimore’s world-famous Inner Harbor; Atlantic City, NJ; Hollywood, FL; Charleston, SC; Houston, TX; Louisville, KY; Tampa, FL, Kansas City, MO; and Towson, MD.

The Cordish Companies has received the highest possible national awards in its various areas of expertise. In real estate, The Cordish Companies has received an unprecedented seven Urban Land Institute Awards of Excellence.

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Holland Expects To Lead Improved Pen

Minus the venerable veteran Joakim Soria, the Kansas City Royals bullpen had to have felt about like a college pitching staff last season. The primary contributors ranged in age from 21 to 25.

Whether by choice or by default, the Royals stocked their bullpen with rookies and rolled the dice last season. The results were mixed, but the experience gained gives KC much to be excited about going into 2012.

Greg Holland was the most effective setup man of the bunch.

“It was just a lot of fun,” Holland said of being part of such a young bullpen. “I think with being a young team we have a lot of camaraderie that I don’t know if a lot of other teams have.”

Holland leads a group of relievers, including Crow, Louis Coleman, Tim Collins, Blake Wood and Nate Adcock, who were barely old enough to buy a beer to celebrate victories last season. He said the group’s experience winning together at the minor league level could help them be successful in KC.

“We’ve been through highs and lows, all the way from the time we were drafted to being on the same (minor league) teams all the way up to the major league season.

“We’re young, but we expect to win,” Holland said at a recent Royals caravan stop. “I think being young, we’re ready to go out there and raise the bar.”

And no young reliever is generating more enthusiasm than Holland. While Aaron Crow got the most publicity and the all-star invitation, Holland quietly impressed those who know pitching best.

None other than Jeff Montgomery, media analyst and former Royals all-star, is singing Holland’s praises.

“He certainly has proven to himself, and to his teammates and to the organization, that he has the stuff to do whatever they want him to do as a major league pitcher,” Montgomery said recently, stating that Holland has all the makings of a big league closer.

A rocky big league baptism in 2010 forced Holland to begin last season in Omaha, but a promotion wasn’t long in coming.

While the other rookies ran hot and cold, Holland was consistent and effective from the moment he was promoted in May. In 60 innings, Holland surrendered just a .933 WHIP and struck out 74. His 1.80 ERA was by far the best of any Royal with more than 15 innings pitched.

Strikeouts have always been a part of Holland’s game. Unfortunately, so have control issues. Holland credits his ability to get ahead of hitters for the improvement.

“I got my first call-up in 2010, and my problem was not getting ahead in counts,” Holland said. “I was falling behind and then having to be too predictable. You know, 2-0 fastballs are a lot easier to hit than 0-2 fastballs.

“I knew, and the coaches knew, and the front office knew, that I had the stuff to be good. It was just how long is it going to take me to figure out how to get ahead. I really worked on it and got better at it and was able to do it for pretty much the whole year.”

Holland said he might have had more success than his bullpen mates because he learned to control his thoughts on the mound.

“I don’t have it all figured out, but I know I was able to control myself,” Holland said. “When things start going bad, it’s always better to give up one run than two runs. And you’re going to give up runs. So you’ve got to stay calm so that you don’t compound those mistakes.

“You see guys get amped up in those situations and then you walk a guy and that leads to an extra run. Being able to control your emotions helps a lot.”

Montgomery points to mechanics when describing Holland’s closer-type stuff.

“Everything he throws is going downhill,” Montgomery said. “Whether it’s from the arm angle or if its from the velocity, or the lack of, and the movement of the baseball, if things are going down, you have a chance to get hitters out. And that’s what I saw from Greg Holland from day one last year.

“He reminds me a lot of myself, because he’s a guy who wasn’t a high draft choice, wasn’t a guy who was expected to be closer someday. But he’s got the stuff to do it.”

Taken in the 10th round as a 21-year-old out of Western Carolina University, Holland needed four-plus years of development in the minors to get him ready to succeed in the big leagues at age 26.

Montgomery, also a former collegian, was drafted in the 9th round and didn’t become a full-time big leaguer until he was 26.

Montgomery spent a couple of years in the set up role before amassing 304 saves as a closer. Holland may well be on a similar career path. He saved four games last year, while also notching five wins in relief.

Holland so impressed the league that his name has come up in trade rumors this winter. But to this point, the Royals seem determined to hold onto him.

With Soria and newcomer Jonathan Broxton the likely candidates to close games this season, Holland’s role remains to be seen. But he says he doesn’t mind that KC added Broxton to the mix.

“He’s an all-star, and he’s proven he can close, so that was a really big move,” Holland said. “I feel like we’ve got four or five guys down there who are legitimate closers.”

Holland believes his bullpen mates will be more than just a year older this season. He foresees dramatic progress as a whole.

“We expect to do better than last year. If everyone stays healthy, you’ve got Broxton and Soria who are all-star caliber closers. And then Crow who was an all-star last year. Timmy (Collins) had some walk issues, but has electric stuff. We’ve all seen that. I think we have a really good chance of being a top-notch bullpen.”

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2012 Anticipation

“Same old Royals.” “Another pointless September.” “Time to trade off our stars.” Those are the statements that you’ll hear from casual Royals fans every fall. Pessimism is normally at an all-time high, everyone is more focused on football, and nobody cares about making it out to Kauffman for a “meaningless” baseball game.

Things have been different this time around.

The hope and optimism surrounding “The K” during the current homestand hasn’t been higher since 2003 (the Royals last winning season). Fans are finally believing that the Royals are close to being a legitimate contender.

Right now, the Royals are 20 games under .500, 22.5 games back in the division, and way past being eliminated from playoff contention. It’s hard to see any fanbase in professional sports rallying behind a team with those numbers, but Royals fans did it during the past week. Kauffman Stadium attendance from last week (September 13th-18th) averaged out to 24,621 people per game. Last season during the same time period, attendance was at 16,952 people per game. The 2010 Royals had about the same record as the 2011 Royals (2010: 61-91, 2011:67-87) and both teams were eliminated from the playoffs right around the start of September.

The difference this year is that the players are still having a ton of fun on the diamond, which makes going to games much more exciting. The players on the Royals’ current roster genuinely love playing the game. Not only do they love playing the game, but they love winning, and they love winning together. They are a group of kids who really like each other and want to bring a winning team to Kansas City.

Does anyone think that Jose Guillen really liked playing for the Royals? How about Mike Jacobs? Ross Gload?

Doubtful.

And has any Royals team since 2003 been this excited about winning games in September?

Doubtful.

Has any Royals team had as much camaraderie and chemistry as this team besides in the ‘70’s or ‘80’s?

Highly doubtful.

Everyone on the roster is excited to be playing for this team in Kansas City. There’s no doubt that they are disappointed about how this season went, but you can sense that they are all anxious for 2012 to be here. The excitement on the field has brought excitement to the seats inside Kauffman Stadium. Expect the excitement to multiply in 2012.

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