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An Open Letter to the New Management of the Alexandria Aces Baseball Team: To Whom It May Concern: My name is Lamar White, Jr, and I am a local real estate developer and avid baseball fan who is very encouraged by the return of the Aces baseball team to our community. I am also an acquaintance of [.......] family in [.........]. Mr. [.....] is the owner of both the [.......] and the [.......], a minor league feeder team located in the suburbs of [.......] Two years ago, Mr. [....]'s minor league team actually made more money than his major league team. I am writing to share my advice on minor league success (based almost exclusively on my interactions with the senior management of the [.......]). Some of this so-called advice is very simple, and I hope that you will excuse my proclivity to state the obvious: 1. Minor league baseball is NEVER about the game; it's about the experience. Players rotate in and out of the roster very regularly, and therefore, it is important that fans are not overly invested in the individual players. In other words, you can't build a good minor league franchise with good minor league players; you have to build it on a good experience. 2. A "good experience" means that fans will have the ability to participate and interact with entertainment other than the game: fireworks shows, live music, good food, contests, and comedy. These are all tried and true parts of any minor league franchise, but in order to make the franchise sustainable, it must be the central part of the experience. For example, the Frisco Roughriders, another minor league team based outside of Dallas, have two stages near the bullpens for live music. Bands play during the breaks between innings. If the Aces are able to attract a thousand or so people per game, it seems likely that good local bands would clamor for the exposure this gig could bring. 3. Corporate box seats must be able to offer services that would otherwise be lacking. Better seats (or simply better materials used for the seats), constant service, the ability to "rent" out the park even after the game has commenced. 4. That said, the experience of the game should be so lucrative that businesses will want to rent the park out as a destination. Many minor league teams allow businesses to rent the park out for corporate picnics and movie nights. 5. Although the game should be the secondary experience, it is also important to include fans on certain events during the game, like home runs. For example, pass around a hat for donations after a player hits a homer. Players don't make much money in minor league ball, and this is an small gesture that involves the audience and creates a performance incentive for players. I should disclose that I have attended numerous Aces games, and my family once owned box seats for several seasons. I know the past paradigm for success, and though it touches on some of the themes I have discussed, it typically put the players and the league standings BEFORE the experience of the game. As a result, Aces fans were more invested in the players and the game (and thus more prone to seasonal mood swings) than of the family-oriented fun of the experience.