Dragons home to become Day Air Ballpark

A rendering of the new Day Air Ballpark main board, courtesy of the Dayton Dragons
Caption
A rendering of the new Day Air Ballpark main board, courtesy of the Dayton Dragons

The Dayton Dragons Wednesday announced a new naming rights agreement with Day Air Credit Union, rebranding the stadium as Day Air Ballpark.

Fifth Third Bank had naming rights to the stadium since 2000 when the team became affiliated with the Cincinnati Reds and launched a stadium sell-out streak that continues to this day.

The team says it has had 1,385 straight sold-out games since April 2000, with 11.5 million fans watching games at Fifth Third Field in that time.

“We are extremely proud that one of the true landmarks of Dayton will now will be called Day Air Ballpark,” said Bill Burke, president of Day Air Credit Union. “Together, the Dragons and Day Air Credit Union, will uphold the outstanding tradition at the ballpark and look forward to new experiences and programs to impact and engage the community, fans, members and associates.”

The credit union, headquartered in Kettering, has $413 million in assets and more than 45,500 members, according to the National Credit Union Administration. The credit union has operated in the Dayton area for 75 years.

Burke said the naming rights should help the credit union boost name recognition and, leaders hope, membership numbers.

“We want to serve more people in the Miami Valley,” Burke said.

Financial terms of the agreement were not revealed, but it is a 10-year agreement.

Phil Parker, president and chief executive of the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce, called the agreement a smart business move for both the team and the credit union.

“I think it’s very prudent of the (credit union) board,” Parker said. “It’s very forward-thinking of the board to put this together.”

The team says it has invested over $12.1 million in capital improvements and over $3.1 million in maintenance at the facility since 2000. Total investment by Dragons ownership, including construction, has been more than $22.8 million.

Dayton government has invested about $16.2 million in total project and construction costs for the field, the team has said.

The team has proposed seeking $15.1 million in government funding to “sustain the life of Fifth Third Field and keep this a community asset affecting the downtown economy and quality of life for years to come,” in an application to the most recent Dayton Development Coalition’s annual “PDAC” (Priority Development and Advocacy Committee) process, which determines priorities for local state and federal government lobbying efforts.

In its PDAC application, the team said its impact on the regional economy is estimated at nearly 300 permanent jobs, $27.6 million in sales, $10.5 million in labor income about $342,000 in state and local sales and income tax revenues.

Entering its 21st year of operation, the field is owned by Dayton city government.

The Dragons’ first game this coming season will be April 9 against the Great Lakes Loons.