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Cleveland Indians Holds Kent State Day at Ballpark, May 7

Posted Apr, 26, 2010

Members of the Kent State University community have a chance to experience a special evening at Progressive Field to watch the Cleveland Indians take on the Detroit Tigers while also supporting the Kent State Hospitality Management program at the same time. Friday, May 7, will be “KSU Hospitality Management Day” at the ballpark. Students from the program will be showcasing their skills and talents as they run the Bud Light Party Deck of Progressive Field.

“We have never had a school or a group of students operate a part of the ballpark for the day,” Brendan Kelly, niche market account executive of the Cleveland Indians, who is working closely with the hospitality students. “This is a Cleveland Indians first.”

Students have Dan Smith to thank for calling them up to the Major Leagues and making the KSU Hospitality Management Day happen. Smith is a member of the Cleveland Indians front office, serving as vice president of food and beverage. He also is a Kent State alumnus who thought it was important to support the program in a way that gives the hospitality students a real-world experience and brings attention to the Kent State Hospitality Management program.

“We will be responsible for everything involved once you enter the party deck,” explained Ashley Randles, a Kent State student in the program. “We hope to have 400 Kent State students, faculty, alumni and friends of the university fill this area of Progressive Field and have a wonderful time at the ballpark.”

The baseball team also has invited three Kent State sport and recreation management students to shadow its production team on May 7 for a behind-the-scenes taste of working a day at Major League Baseball. The students will get to spend the evening observing and assisting the scoreboard and video operator, the production manager and the in-game host.

“This is a great learning experience for our students and a wonderful opportunity to showcase our program,” said Rob Heiman, assistant professor of hospitality management and faculty advisor. “Kent State and the program will get a lot of exposure and visibility from this special day at the ballpark. We are very thankful to Dan Smith for this.”

The Cleveland Indians organization is providing the university with several high-profile opportunities during the game, including throwing out the ceremonial first pitch, having Kent State ROTC Color Guard present the colors for the national anthem, holding two contests from the party deck with the in-game host that are shown on the ballpark’s scoreboard, and having the Kent State students lead in singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the seventh inning stretch.

In addition, there will be special appearances by Kent State’s own Flash and Indians mascot Slider, along with the stars of the Hot Dog Derby – Ketchup, Onion and Mustard – in the party deck. Heiman also will be talking about the program with the Cleveland Indians radio broadcast team. The Kent State hospitality students will host a raffle for all in attendance. Those wearing a Kent State T-shirt will be entered into a drawing for a goodie basked filled with various prizes. A fireworks show will follow the game.

Hospitality students are now selling tickets to the May 7 game. The tickets cost $60 each with $20 going back to the Kent State Hospitality Management program. The ticket includes entrance to the Bud Light Party Deck, great seats to the game and a full buffet meal from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. A private cash bar is available up to the seventh inning. To get tickets, contact hospitality students Ashley Randles at 330-703-7555 or arandles@kent.edu; Jen Inman at 440-823-8287 or jinman@kent.edu; or Sarah Panasiti at 330-697-5152 or spanasit@kent.edu.

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Media Contacts:
Rob Heiman, rheiman@kent.edu, 330-672-2075
Emily Vincent, evincen2@kent.edu, 330-672-8595