Published DateLACONIA — As the Laconia Muskrats ready to open their fourth season by hosting the Plymouth (Mass.) Pilgrims at Robbie Mills Field tomorrow evening, general manager Noah Crane has again shelved plans to offer beer for sale at the ballpark.
Originally Crane intended to build a deck atop and behind the replica of the Fenway Park's Green Monster in left field where the Parks and Recreation Commission agreed beer could be served, but reluctantly abandoned the project last month after failing to enlist a corporate sponsor to share the construction cost.
Instead, he decided to approach the Parks and Recreation Commission this week to request permission to offer beer at a smaller deck, 16 feet wide and 50 feet long enclosed by railings, placed on the paved area reserved for bus parking beyond the bleachers along the left field line. However, he said yesterday that he decided to drop the alternative plan on learning that the building code required that concrete footings would have to be poured to secure the deck. "It would have doubled the cost," said Crane, who withdrew his proposal from the agenda of the Parks and Recreation Commission this week.
Crane believes that offering beer during games will increase the gate by attracting more young adults as well as augment revenue from ticket sales to strengthen the financial position of the franchise in the New England Collegiate Baseball League. He said that without beer sales he expects attendance, which reached a total of 8,500 last year, to rise "incrementally," but added "I'd really like to see stronger growth."