All Pro Freight Stadium to Host 2012-14 MAC Baseball Tournaments

Updated 6/30/2011

CLEVELAND - The Mid-American Conference announced today that All Pro Freight Stadium, the home of the Frontier League Lake Erie Crushers, will serve as the host site for the 2012-14 MAC Baseball Tournaments. The move to All Pro Freight Stadium in Avon, Ohio will mark the third neutral site venue to host the MAC Baseball Tournament since 1982. In conjunction with the move, the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission will assist in the marketing and promotion of the MAC Baseball Tournament. The 2012 MAC Baseball Tournament will be held May 23-26.

"This decision was reached after a good deal of contemplation by our coaches and administrators," said MAC Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher. "Our membership is appreciative of this opportunity, presented through the efforts of the Lake Erie Crushers with a hand from the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission. This will provide our student-athletes and fans a venue that will provide a great championship experience for all involved. I cannot wait for the first pitch of next year's championship!"

"We are thrilled that the 2012 MAC Baseball Tournament will be held in Northeast Ohio and look forward to working with the Mid-American Conference team in hosting a successful event. It has truly been a pleasure working with the MAC and this is another example of how our partnership is essential in hosting future sporting events in our region," stated David Gilbert, President and CEO of the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission.

All Pro Freight Stadium has numerous amenities that set it apart from other ballparks around the Midwest. All Pro Freight Stadium, located in Avon, Ohio, has a field made up of artificial turf, Tiger Turf, with the exception of the pitcher's mound, batter's box and bullpens. All Pro Freight Stadium has a total capacity of 5,000 plus. The stadium has 2,600 fixed seats, two club level party areas, 11 private suites and a picnic plaza on the 3rd base line that holds 400. Various colleges and high schools across the state have rented out the stadium, including Notre Dame College, St. Ignatius High School and Shaker Heights High School. In 2010, All Pro Freight Stadium was also a stop for country music star Alan Jackson, which brought in over 7,000 people to the facility.

"We are ecstatic to be hosting a tournament of such prestige," said Lake Erie Crushers Managing Partner Steven Edelson. "One of our goals is to bring teams from all over to represent the MAC in to the city of Avon, and Lorain County. The Crushers staff will bend over backwards to make this the best tournament the MAC has had, and send a true champion on to the NCAA tournament."

"We look forward to helping facilitate the continued growth of the MAC and the championship institutions involved," said Daniel Helm, Vice President of Business Operations for the Lake Erie Crushers. "We believe this partnership will be beneficial to all parties involved."

The move to All Pro Freight Stadium will mark the third time in league history that the MAC baseball tournament will be held at a neutral site. The tournament was held in 1982 at Trautman Field in Columbus, Ohio and then for the past four seasons (2008-11) at VA Memorial Stadium in Chillicothe, Ohio.

Founded in 1946, the Mid-American Conference is an NCAA Division I, 12 full-member conference that sponsors 23 championships and is one of 11 members of the Football Bowl Subdivison (FBS). With total enrollment of nearly 300,000 students, the league represents institutions of higher learning in seven (7) states - Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New York, and Ohio. In addition, two universities - Temple University in Philadelphia, Pa., and the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Mass. -- are members for football only. The conference office is based in Cleveland, Ohio.

The Greater Cleveland Sports Commission prides itself on being one of the most distinguished Sports Commissions in the country, effectively leveraging sports events and activities to further economic development in Northeast Ohio. The philosophy of the Sports Commission sets it apart from others by operating as an economic and community development organization utilizing sports as a vehicle to forward other community agendas. The organization takes the unique approach of becoming a management and financial partner in each event with the goal of producing events that are more successful in Cleveland than other cities in which they have been held. Since 2000, the Sports Commission has been responsible for attracting over 100 sporting events, contributing to more than $300 million in economic activity. For more information, visit www.clevelandsports.org.

More information on the Lake Erie Crushers organization and All Pro Freight Stadium can be accessed at the web site at lakeeriecrushers.com