Charleston West Virginia Economic Development

Discussions on Economic and Community Development in West Virginia and the Charleston MSA as well as issues of the Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The West Virginia Power announced a fantastic deal this week. The team is now a Pittsburgh Pirates affiliate after a long relationship with the Brewers. The partnership with the Brewers has been great for Charleston, but now the Power can identify more closely with many fans in the region. The team is an imporant part of revitalizing Charleston's downtown, so if this development attracts more fans, it's great news for everyone. The story below comes from WOWK-TV.

Power Fans Pumped Over Pirate Partnership

Charleston franchise will affiliate with Pittsburgh, not Milwaukee, next season

Story by Sara Gavin
CHARLESTON -- For West Virginia Power players, the trip up to the big leagues might soon seem a bit shorter.

Next season the Single-A team will switch farm systems from the Milwaukee Brewers - located about ten hours from Charleston - to the Pittsburgh Pirates, who play a little more than three hours to the north.

"I think it's a good thing probably for the team because of the proximity of Pittsburgh. Maybe it will generate some more interest," said Charleston resident Jeremy Brown.

The announcement also brings back fond memories for many fans of the old Charleston Charlies - the Triple-A Pirates farm team from the 1970s.

"We go back to the days of Dave Parker, Richie Zisk back to the glory days of the Charlies at Watt Powell Park so I think it's terrific," said Sam Femia of South Charleston.

Power officials are hoping the new affiliation with the Pittsburgh Pirates will help put more fans in the seats by next spring for the team's fifth season.

2008 saw the lowest average attendance at Power Park since it opened in 2004.

But leaders say Pittsburgh could help create more faithful followers.

"As the pirates kinda build their farm system and build themselves into a winner now you'll have an opportunity to see our guys up close and personal at PNC Park," said Andy Milovich, the Power's Executive Vice President.

"It's really neat to watch them in their developmental stages and then seeing them on the Bigscreen and in the Big Leagues," said St. Albans resident and Power season ticket-holder Matt Crouch.

Next season Power fans find out for sure whether the Pittsburgh partnership will prove to be a homerun. The contract between the two teams is good for at least the next two seasons.


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