DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Warm summer nights, hot dogs, ice cream, popcorn, and an umpire yelling ‘Play Ball,’ are just some of the exciting sights and sounds returning as the Dayton Dragons begin their 2022 season.

Dayton Dragons President Robert Murphy said he and his team are thrilled to welcome back fans. “What we do here is fun. It’s fun for people that are senior citizens, grandmas and grandpas coming to the game. To mom and dad and kids. So I think that when you look at this being a true entertainment experience we really fit that bill,” said Murphy.

Dayton Dragons Executive Vice President Eric Deutsch said he also hopes Day Air Ballpark and the Dayton Dragons team can leave a long-lasting and positive mark on children coming to their games.

“I think it’s kinda building those memories that will probably last a lifetime. You might remember when your grandad or dad took you to your first game, and how you walked in the building and you had your ticket in your hand. You smelled the fresh-cut grass and all the food. You got to sit for 9 innings and watch the team play. So, I think there’s memories that are made like that in families that’ll probably last forever. So, we hope to build those memories here in Dayton,” said Deutsch.

Murphy also assured fans that the events planned for the 2022 season won’t disappoint. “One of the things that we’re going to be doing in conjunction with minor league baseball is a marvel night at the ballpark. We also have fireworks that are going to be going off this year, about six of those performances. We have visiting entertainment acts like Team Zoom, Birdzerk, and the Zooperstars.”

The hope is that this summer’s experiences won’t only just impact children, but also leave an impact on the Dragons players too. “Our players at this stage of their careers really enjoy working with kids meeting with kids, meeting kids, interfacing with them because they are getting to know and understand they are the role models in sports. So, they really get excited our players do, when they see little league teams here and kids that are falling in love with the sport of baseball. They like to be a part of that,” said Murphy.

Murphy also reassured fans that putting families and children first isn’t a new concept for the Dayton Dragons. “Going back to the very beginning of Dayton baseball, this is really the vision of the city bringing minor baseball to Dayton. They wanted to have an entertainment type of program to induce families to come back downtown. So, combining that with our company, which is also an entertainment company, we decided this would be a perfect match. Family entertainment, minor league baseball, and the city of Dayton.”

The Dayton Dragons’ first game of the season kicks off Friday, April 8 at Day Air Ballpark on the Dayton’s CW.

For all Dayton Dragons coverage, click here.