The Publisher's Desk

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>In defense of the Twisters

with 5 comments

>When a businessperson decides to make a new investment in Torrington, what can or should the community, city government and business leaders do to welcome it?
What if that investment was in the downtown, where investment is sorely needed?
What if that investment had the potential to spin off additional business for downtown restaurants and shops by bringing more people into the city for an afternoon or evening of entertainment?
No, I’m not talking about the Warner Theatre, although there’s certainly some parallels considering the grumbling that has taken place recently about its tax-exempt status and its growing downtown footprint.
I’m talking about the Torrington Twisters, its new ownership, and its decision to raise ticket prices this summer.
The Twisters were in desperate need of the energy and businessperson’s approach that new owner Robin Wadsworth has brought to the organization.
If NECBL baseball is going to work in Torrington, it needs to be financially viable. Do the math. It’s a wonder that the team didn’t just shut down years ago with $3 ticket prices.
Charging $6 isn’t going to make anyone money. It’s going to, maybe, keep the team afloat and provide some baseline of funding to reinvest into making Twisters baseball in Torrington a better-known and bigger regional draw for the downtown.
And $6 is still less than the price of a movie, less than most value meals at McDonald’s, less than a beer at Yankee Stadium, less than two gallons of gas, less than a pack of cigarettes.
Yet we have politicians proposing to pull part-time police protection for Twisters games from the Recreation Department budget because the team has the gall to put the ticket price up to a bigger fraction of what it’s worth … and still far below what it would likely take to pay the team’s costs.
Sometimes, while bemoaning the deficit of good things coming to Torrington, we don’t do enough to appreciate and invest in the good things that we already have going for us.
Let’s hope that, in spite of this, the Twisters find a way to make it work in Torrington before another community, say Bristol, Middletown, Westport, or numerous other communities inside Connecticut and elsewhere in New England, realizes the benefit an NECBL baseball team could be to their downtown.


Written by mattderienzo

May 22, 2008 at 4:00 am

5 Responses

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  1. >Very nice SPIN on the Twisters situation.I agree that when business comes to town we should make them feel welcome THOUGH do not the center plaza have to pay for their police presence?We all, including me , have stated how great the Twisters are for our town.BUT if we need to cut our school budgets as well as the total fire and police budgets ( for SERVICES to the taxpayers) I am all in favor for the Twister to pay JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER—- FOR PROFIT BUSINESS—— in town.I do understand the Register Citizen is probably a HUGE Sponsor, expects to make money off adds ran for the team but again, remember they are a FOR PROFIT business,period and should be treated as one. as the Bing said, we are hurting in Torrington,CT and America, should the Twister not hurt a little as well or should the taxpayers pay for police? your turn to comment!

  2. >Great comment.We are actually proud to be a sponsor of the Twisters.Can’t say that we are profiting off them, though. But wouldn’t it be great if we could?Wouldn’t it be great if every downtown business could profit from the Twisters’ success?Wouldn’t it be great if every downtown restaurant profited from organizations like the Twisters and the Warner Theatre, and for more restaurants and retail shops to open downtown?What kind of downtown revitalization do we expect without “for-profit” businesses?Why wouldn’t we want to help them get off the ground and be successful, especially when it’s something as high-profile as the Twisters, something that has a unique potential to help everyone else’s business?

    Matt DeRienzo

    May 22, 2008 at 6:45 pm

  3. >Matt, I respect you.Though I do feel this, in your post you state that how could they have been making any money to begin with at the 3 buck figure or something of that nature,correct?think about it, would a couple of OUT OF TOWNERS, come in for no reason IF the organization was not making money to begin with?And, the team has now been in T-Town since 1996 , that is 12 years, not that unique now and why should we bring in downtown revi to the realm of this blog as the twisters will have little if any to do with that as they are here for less than 24 home games and then the park is locked up from October till April?Think about it because IF the Register Citizen and or any downtown merchant has to rely on the Twisters to do anything for their business they are sure to fail.I sure hope MORE people with LOTS more knowledge than I can add to your topic, you are an asset to the paper as is THE TORRINGTON GUY and his opinion he wrote a few days on his blog.

    Just Joe again

    May 22, 2008 at 7:34 pm

  4. >Curious to hear whether you and/or others have a vision of what the Twisters could be and what they could do for the city beyond the scope that they’ve had the past 12 years?

    Matt DeRienzo

    May 22, 2008 at 7:46 pm

  5. >Honestly, as we watched that park get done over, if you really want my honest feeling it is what the Park can and could do more for us Torrington taxpayers than the Twisters. While the cost of the lights, as we know, have gone up,the park has so much more potential than even the Twisters themselves! Gone are the days when the park hosted 20 events it does not today.From gold-rush scavenger days for the kids,(years ago it was a week packed filled with kid oriented things in August alone ) from ESPN sporting televised events,concerts,car shows,taste of Torrington’s to name only a few.I could name 20 more things back to the days they flooded the park for ice skaters of all ages to enjoy under the lights,think about it?and yes, people would spend money as well at the restaurants and so on IF the merchants were even open?How many times have we heard that complaint from visitors to town?Mr. Derienzo, these events above are just some of things that took place since 1990 that are no more because the field and Twisters come first.In Torrington, we can always support something or some event only to have it taken away due to politics and such. It took a Mayor loosing office, to change just to get the holiday lights put back the day after Turkey day even though 1000 people wanted it changed earlier!Your comments and concern for the city and the park are noted though the Twisters are not the dream they were in 1996.The attendance is less than half what it was back then and will only dwindle more with the raise in tix prices.Time will tell if, as you said, a politician wanting change on the paid police by the city will change or not. Sure hope it does not take away from the bigger issues at hand that being keeping down the taxes and the reval.That in itself, could prevent certain people from having the 6 clams to see a game?Then again, we can always watch the P-38’s,Tri State and four other local and city teams play for free and still eat at the local restaurants and delis?Thank you for your time and have a great weekend.

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