The first pitch of the Columbia Fireflies' 2022 season will be thrown out on the evening of April 8, adding to the list of sporting events Gamecock students will have the opportunity to attend this spring.
The Fireflies are a Low-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals that play just a few miles from campus at Segra Park and host games from April until September.
With low-cost tickets, specialty promo nights and game days where you can bring your dog, the atmosphere at Segra park is enjoyable for everyone. Director of Marketing for the Fireflies, Ashlie DeCarlo, emphasized how positive the environment at the park is.
“People come to the ballpark to have fun, to escape reality,” DeCarlo said.
DeCarlo said the Fireflies' atmosphere will allow fans to enjoy their night, despite the outcome of the game.
“For the Fireflies, you’re coming to see the product off the field. You’re just coming for the fun fan experience,” DeCarlo explained.
The Fireflies not only promote their games to the residents of the Columbia area but also have a partnership with USC, which allows students to easily attend games and have an off-campus activity to enjoy.
As part of its Thursday After Dark program, Gamecock Entertainment has “Nights at the Fireflies,” where students can attend the games for free just by showing their CarolinaCards.
Through this event, students can catch free shuttle rides from the Horseshoe to Segra Park and are then given a ticket to sit on the “Berm,” relaxed grass seating located in the outfield, where they can enjoy a fun night of baseball with fellow students and Fireflies fans.
“It’s a great way to, kind of, chill out. You know, get away from all the stress of school and those kind of things,” Brad Shank, the Fireflies Team President, said.
This upcoming season, on specific nights, fans will be able to enjoy new aspects of the game, as they will be to listen to either a live band perform throughout the innings or participate in trivia. These additional experiences make the games a good time for anyone, despite whether or not you are an actual baseball fan.
Another exciting aspect at every Fireflies game a student might attend is the Fireflies' very own “Fly Guys.”
The Fly Guys are male members of the Fireflies front office staff that perform dances to popular tunes at the end of the 6th inning, as they drag the infield, at every home game.
Their routine is set to songs such as “Single Ladies” and “Call Me Maybe." They are also choreographed to match theme nights such as a “Star Wars” or a superhero routine, where costumes also could be involved.
“It’s just an entertaining thing that I think fans get a kick out of and laugh at,” Shank said.
With springtime upon us, Fireflies games offer students a fun outdoor activity six out of seven nights of the week throughout the spring.
Not only do students have the opportunity to attend through the university, but they also can go at their leisure to relax and enjoy a fun night out, as that is the mission of the Fireflies organization.
Senior sport and entertainment management student and Gamecock Entertainment Intern, Teagan Domurat, expressed both Gamecock Entertainment's and her own support of Fireflies games and why the games are such a great activity for students.
“It’s a staple of Columbia that has nothing to do with the school and you’re getting involved with the community … so that’s like our favorite part,” Domurat said.