M-Braves and businesses prepare for big game - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

M-Braves and businesses prepare for big game

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PEARL, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Stretching and batting practice are a few ways minor league Braves All-Stars are getting ready to battle against their MLB Atlanta Braves counterparts.

Meanwhile, the Mississippi Braves staff is making sure the field is ready, along with stadium maintenance and cleaning.

"We're kind of used to it," said M-Braves General Manager Steve DeSalvo.

He says the staff is preparing just as they would for the opening day of any season. It helps Trustmark Park has hosted big games before but never a major league team. Now he's coaching new employees to step up to the plate.

"When you got a lot of new people working and you have to train people, and all of the sudden you are throwing them right into the fire of having a huge, huge crowd...rather than allowing them to work their way into it," explained DeSalvo.

Saturday's game is expected to draw nearly 8,000 and lines are predicted to be long, that's one reason fans should arrive well before the first pitch. Whether you're looking to pick-up tickets at the Will Call booth or looking for a hotdog at the concession stand.

"This is a park, like most minor league parks, that are set up to service and serve a number of people based on a number of seats and we have really less than 6,000 fixed seats but when you combine all the areas, it gets you closer to 8,000.You're gonna have long lines. There's nothing you can do about it. You hope that everybody's patient and you hope people come early," said DeSalvo.

The M-Braves says it is prepared for what could be one of the largest crowds ever at the ballpark.

Across the street at the Holiday Inn, staff believe some fans will make the game a weekend trip to the Metro. The hotel regularly runs specials to go along with M-Braves games, usually with discounted tickets. The hotel says it catches a large portion of its business fans and visiting teams during the regular season.

"This weekend we've got numerous bookings that are coming from out of town, specifically because the game. During the week we don't see as much on a Tuesday night or a Wednesday night, but on the weekends we do. We run some packages where you happen to buy a room and some tickets and we've seen some success out of that also," said Holiday Inn General Manager Shawn Cochran.

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