SABR: Brockton Rox wind down another Can-Am League season
Sep 13, 2011
Courtesy of Society for American Baseball Research
As another Can-Am League season winds down, many fans will look back and remember the fun and sense of community they shared this summer at the ballpark. Whether you are a youngster who had an opportunity to run the bases, got to meet a team mascot, enjoyed singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” or you just enjoyed the action on the field, fun was had by all ages.
Fans of Can-Am League baseball have come to expect that a day at the ballpark will offer the whole family an affordable and enjoyable experience. At Campanelli Stadium, home of the Brockton Rox, these expectations are in full force. From Friday Night Fireworks to Celebrity Saturdays, there is always something special happening at the ballpark.
Hoffman Wolff, one of Brockton’s assistant general managers, said, “We put on a party for thousands of people, 54 times a summer.” In Brockton the hard work, dedication and commitment of the organization to its fans and community — from the ushers down to the players on the field — is evident at every game. While the paychecks might be meager, Wolff said that “a rocking atmosphere at the ballpark is immensely rewarding. … There's something about what we do that seems to bring a lot of us back, season after season.”
For Wolff, there is much more to be concerned with from day to day than just that game’s promotions or special events. The life of an assistant general manager in the Can-Am League involves working on sales and marketing issues, meeting with clients, “looking a day, week or a month ahead … (even) to ensuring that hotel rooms are taken care of for visiting teams.”
Still, excellent preparation and hard work can sometimes fall prey to economic woes out of the team's control. Across the Can-Am League, attendance was down in 2010 and Brockton was forced to make staff reductions and cost-cutting measures across all aspects of the business to make ends meet. Nevertheless, Wolff said he was “enormously proud of what we were able to accomplish this season with a very reduced budget and staff.”
Wolff, the son of Miles Wolff, one of minor league baseball’s pre-eminent innovators, has been around the game all his life. When asked what he thought of Brockton’s long-term viability in the crowded Boston market, Wolff replied that he is “absolutely convinced that this is a viable market for professional baseball.” Moreover, he is confident that both the Brockton Rox and the league will “weather the current economic storm.”
A supportive fan base, a great facility in Campanelli Stadium and a “competent but fiscally disciplined operation” bode well for the team’s future in the Hub.
For Wolff, the end of another season offers him a chance to catch his breath and consider new challenges that lie ahead. Soon enough, he will begin working on 2012 season ticket plans, sales initiatives and promotions, and will again be working tirelessly to make sure that the 2012 team will live up to the Rox motto, “Fun is Good.”
Paul Edwards is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research. Learn more by visiting http://sabr.org.