Another week means a couple more announcements that have Jeff Eiseman excited for the 2018 season.
Eiseman, the Augusta GreenJackets president, spoke Wednesday at the MVP Community Awards luncheon at the Legends Club. Walton Options for Independent Living presented the awards, which are based on the spirit and ideals of inclusion as set out in the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The head of the GreenJackets spoke on how his group prides itself on inclusion and updated those in attendance on the latest from SRP Park, the team’s riverfront stadium set to open in 2018.
“We have lots of ADA folks work for us and they’re family to us,” Eiseman said. “They uphold all our values and we wouldn’t want it any other way. This venue is advanced in ways that go well beyond what Lake Olmstead could offer, not just for our fans but for our employees. For us being here today, it’s a way to share that this venue is just as much theirs as anybody’s.”
Eiseman said the entire upper level of the new ballpark is now sold out for the 2018 season. It was previously announced that individual sections of the club and suite seating were sold out, and the team has now secured season ticket sales for the entire level.
GreenJackets staff can turn much of its attention to the lower bowl, specifically the sections behind home plate, while the framework of the ballpark continues to rise next to the Savannah River in North Augusta.
“We believed given the opportunity to move into a state-of-the-art venue and having the ability to have the amenities that we’ve been lacking for 30 years would prove out that was the missing link,” Eiseman said. “We’re starting to see that now. We’re being rewarded for sticking with it and we are seeing that the public support is validating what we’ve always believed.”
Another announcement came Wednesday that the GreenJackets and San Francisco Giants agreed on a three-year extension on their player development contract, securing the two in a partnership through 2020.
San Francisco’s affiliation with Augusta will mark 14 years in 2018, making it the longest-lasting partnership with an affiliate in GreenJackets franchise history. The new contract could be especially notable if the Giants restock their minor league system over the next few years and provide Augusta with high-upside talent.
“This could be a benefit for Augusta right now,” Eiseman said. “Not that I’m rooting for the parent club not to jam, but if they start making moves to get younger and more competitive in that region, it’s only going to benefit the farm system. They could restock it in a hurry and we could see some tremendous talent come through here in the next few years.”