Eau Claire (WQOW) – The Express enter the Northwoods League All-Star break at the bottom of the standings, but Eau Claire continues to be among the league's top teams in attendance.
So what continues to bring over two-thousand fans to Carson Park every night?
"The kids will dictate where the parents have to go every night. I'm a parent, so I know where I have to go and what I have to do and where my kids want to go," says Dale Varsho, the Director of Operations and manager for the Express.
"You show me another place where a family of four can come, get their tickets and eat for 40-bucks -- and be entertained. I think you'd be hard-pressed to find that," adds Paul Schommer, Eau Claire's Director of Public Relations.
Even though the Express have struggled to compete in the standings, the team says fans continue to return each night for family fun at the ball park.
"We try to have those fans leave with a smile on their face. And if we do that, they are more likely to return regardless of what the on-field product is like," says Schommer.
"If we're not winning on the field, then we just have to do our jobs better to make sure they still come," adds Express General Manager Andy Neborak.
That responsibility falls on the roughly 70 game day employees, many of whom begin their days at 9:00 a.m.
"That's what the layperson doesn't realize. They don't realize all the work behind the scenes that takes place to put that product out on the field for a three hour game," says Schommer.
"It is a year-round job, which a lot of people don't understand," adds Neborak. "It takes a lot of planning for it. There's a lot behind the scenes."
And that work has paid off, as fans continue to roll in to Carson Park this season. Because, as the Express will tell you, success is measured by more than the final score. Which keeps many of the longtime employees coming back every summer.
"It's something where I could grow old doing this if they still want me," says Varsho. "It's great, it's a great ride. And a way for me to have my family around me at all time."
"It's a great job to have," adds Schommer. "The worst day at the ballpark is better than the best day at work. I know that sounds cliché, but if you're a baseball fan, it really is a treat to come to a place like Carson Park and say I'm going to work."
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