First National Bank commits $100k for ballpark-naming rights"Welcome to First National Bank of River Falls Field at Hoffman Park." Those are the words that will greet people before the first pitch at the new community ballpark when it is completed as soon as next summer.
By: Bob Burrows, River Falls Journal
"Welcome to First National Bank of River Falls Field at Hoffman Park." Those are the words that will greet people before the first pitch at the new community ballpark when it is completed as soon as next summer.
The board of directors and ownership group of First National Bank of River Falls made sure of that last week when President and CEO Jeff Johnson announced the bank is committing $100,000 to the ballpark project for naming rights for the new field.
“We’re very excited about it,” Johnson said. “It’s always been very important for the board and the ownership group and the Smith family to give back to the community. We’re all excited about the potential impact we’ll be able to make, and this reaffirms our long term commitment to being in River Falls and the community.”
River Falls Baseball Council President Josh Eidem confirmed the new ballpark will be called First National Bank of River Falls Field at Hoffman Park.
Eidem said First National’s commitment brings the RFBC substantially closer to breaking ground on the project, increasing the amount raised to $257,000. The group hopes to raise $300,000 before ground can be broken and continues to seek partners to fund other aspects of the project, including dugouts, light poles, the donor's plaza, press box, and grandstand.
Johnson said he hopes the commitment from First National will spur other businesses to jump on board.
“What we’re hoping is, that by us being a major part of this we’ll see other local businesses who want to be a part of it,” he said.
According to Johnson, the bank’s decision to partner with the RFBC dates back to a philosophy embraced by former president David Smith and continuing with his family.
First National Bank of River Falls has a long history of philanthropy in River Falls, including helping to fund numerous civic projects such as the hospital and public library buildings, and giving to UW-River Falls Ramer Field renovation among others.
“We do what we can, and we emphasize to our employees to give time back to the community, whether it’s through coaching youth teams, volunteering, or working with service groups,” he said.
Johnson said he’s looking forward to bringing his children to the ballpark when it opens.
“I’ve always thought that was one of the things River Falls was missing -- a very nice ballpark. And I think it will be a destination point for people looking for some summer entertainment.”
According to Eidem, community members can help support the project by purchasing engraved paver bricks or seat nameplates. The engraved paver bricks will be installed in the ballpark’s donor’s plaza, near the entrance to the park between the grandstand and concession stand, while seat nameplates will be attached to each of the 250-300 stadium-style seats in the covered grandstand. Bricks and seat nameplates are available for $200 each, or $300 for both.
Paver bricks, seat sponsorships and advertising pledge forms can be found on the group’s website at www.riverfallsbaseball.org, or by contacting Eidem directly at 651-335-0030.
Other sponsorship opportunities at the ballpark, include the dugouts, press box, light poles and donor’s plaza. Interested individuals or companies should contact RFBC board member Curt Bruns, head of the ballpark's capital fundraising effort, at 715-426-4952.
The RFBC is also seeking advertisers for the ballpark's outfield fence. Those interested in outfield signage should contact board member Dave Dintemann, RFBC head of marketing, at 651-233-8532.
See the June 21 print edition of the River Falls Journal for the complete story.
Get more information at the website of the River Falls Baseball Council: