Trash Pandas lead Southern League in attendance

Trash Pandas lead attendance for third straight season
For the third straight season, the Rocket City Trash Pandas lead the Southern League in attendance.
Updated: Sep. 20, 2023 at 9:30 AM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - An exciting 2023 Rocket City Trash Pandas season has reached its conclusion. The third season in team history saw the Trash Pandas continue to expand their role in the local community, along with countless highlights both on and off the field throughout the year.

For the third consecutive season since starting play, the Trash Pandas led the Southern League in attendance with 314,306 fans coming through the Toyota Field gates over 64 home openings for an average of 4,911 per game. That average outdrew other large market teams including Memphis, Birmingham, San Antonio, Omaha, Sugar Land, and Springfield.

Through the first three seasons of Trash Pandas baseball, over 920,000 fans have attended a Trash Pandas game, averaging more than 5,100 fans per home game at Toyota Field.

“The Trash Pandas would like to thank everyone that has come out to support us throughout the 2023 season,” Trash Pandas Executive Vice President and General Manager Garrett Fahrmann said. “Full preparations are already underway for next season, and we are already counting down the days until Opening Night at Toyota Field in 2024.”

While the Trash Pandas finished third in the North Division, there were tremendous signs of development on the field. Many of the Los Angeles Angels top prospects took the field in Rocket City in 2023, and 11 former Trash Pandas went on to make their MLB debut for the Angels. Eight of those 11 were promoted directly to the Angels from Rocket City. In addition, 13 members of the 2023 Trash Pandas are now with Triple-A Salt Lake, providing the foundation for the future for the Angels organization.

“It’s been a unique year for us here, but a very rewarding year with a lot of growth at the same time,” Trash Pandas Manager Andy Schatzley said. “When you can have a hand in accounting for that many Major League players over the course of the season, I think it’s a massive success for the team and the organization.”

Off the field, the 2023 season was the first with The Rocket City Trash Pandas Foundation in full operation. The team raised more than $80,000 for local nonprofit organizations by holding collection drives, clubhouse memorabilia sales, dog days, and jersey auctions. For the third straight season, the Trash Pandas hosted their youth baseball camp in June. Over the two sessions, players taught baseball fundamentals to over 100 local children at Toyota Field.

“We are very proud of the work that the Rocket City Trash Pandas Foundation was able to accomplish during the 2023 season,” Trash Pandas Community Relations Director Maddison Kendrick said. “This could not be possible without the support of everyone in the local community and we look forward to continuing and expanding our work in 2024.”

Players and coaches were also out in the community. On July 7, players visited the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Unit at Huntsville Hospital ahead of Strike Out Cancer night at Toyota Field. Players also visited local schools to read to children, among other appearances.

Outside Toyota Field, the Trash Pandas opened a new retail location at Hughes Road in Madison, expanding their footprint in Madison with the opening of the biggest Trash Pandas Team Store to date. Trash Pandas merchandise has continued to be some of the most popular in Minor League Baseball. Since 2018, Trash Pandas merchandise has been shipped to all 50 United States and more than 30 different countries across the world, as well as every continent besides Antarctica.

Trash Pandas baseball returns in 2024 with the season opening on the road at Tennessee on Friday, April 5. The fourth home opener at Toyota Field is scheduled for Tuesday, April 9 against the Birmingham Barons.

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