Rapids begin corporate look

Watertown Rapids general manager Nick Czerno announces sponsorships from Toyota and State Farm on Friday. The field will now be known as Toyota Field at Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds. Jonathon Wheeler/Watertown Daily Times

WATERTOWN — The Watertown Rapids of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League announced new home uniforms as well as a new name for the ballpark located at the Watertown Fairgrounds on Friday at the newly named field.

The field will now be named after one of their sponsors Upstate New York Toyota Dealers with the name being “Toyota Field at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds.”

“As we continue to build our future as the Rapids, a big point of what we do is to honor the history that’s before us,” Rapids general manager Rapids Nick Czerno said. “So today I take great pride in welcoming you to the new Toyota Field at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds.”

Barry Waite from Waite Toyota said he is “very proud to be a part of this community, and a part of the Rapids.”

The new home uniforms are sponsored by Laura D. Whitney from State Farm, whose office is located across the Fairgrounds on Coffeen Street.

The new jerseys are black in color, with “Rapids” in blue across the chest and the number on the left side of the jersey. On the back, near the collar is the State Farm logo with Laura Whitney’s name under the logo.

The two “premier sponsors,” as Czerno said, are extremely important to the team, and he said the sponsors make the fan experience just that much better.

“We’re able to have fireworks again, I think 2019 is probably the last time we had those, because of COVID, and then last year was just such a late start,” he said.

Tickets for Opening Night on June 2 at Toyota Field will be available for free for those interested in attending. A fireworks display will take place over the Fourth of July weekend.

“Because of Toyota’s sponsorship with us we’re able to give those away so more people can experience the Rapids product that might not otherwise be able to,” Czerno said.

Opening Night tickets can be found in pocket schedules, gas stations, restaurants, bank offices, as well as Waite Toyota, and during today’s Armed Forces Day Parade.

Czerno said that having these sponsors adds “legitimacy,” while adding that the park looks better with having the colors of the sponsors splattered throughout the park.

“The park looks so much better with signage all around and pretty colors here and there,” he said. “We got Toyota in four or five different spots right now and we actually have two more signs coming as part of Toyota Field, same with State Farm. She has the Good Neigh-Bear that she brings around, so just having them as partners gives kids something to take photos with.”

Czerno said the team don’t have a mascot, though Wazoo will be making some appearances.

Whitney said that “it’s an unbelievable feeling” to be able to partner with the Watertown Rapids this year.

“I just feel at home,” she said. “We’re going to have a phenomenal season this year, and I’m so excited.”

Starting time for Opening Night at Toyota Field is at 6:30, with gates opening at 5:30.

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