Fayetteville, meet your Woodpeckers!
After 2 and a half years of talk, the Houston Astros Class A affiliate – the Fayetteville Woodpeckers – is officially a team ready to take the field. The 2019 roster was introduced to the media Wednesday night at a press conference at the Airborne & Special Operations Museum.
The season begins today for the Woodpeckers, as they travel to Virginia to play the Potomac Nationals. But most of the talk Wednesday night was about the activity going on right across the train tracks. Segra Stadium is set to open as the Woodpeckers new home on April 18th.
“It’s exciting to be the players who get to come in and start this off right,” said first baseman and outfielder Seth Beer. “We’ll always be remembered as the first guys to play on this new field and we’re honored to do that. This community has already embraced us so much, it will be great to get on the field and show our appreciation.”
We're getting our first look at our @WoodpeckersNC team right now! #VisitFayNC pic.twitter.com/qXNBenrNTC— Fayetteville, NC CVB (@VisitFayNC) April 3, 2019
For many on the Woodpeckers roster, this is not their first experience in the area with this Astros affiliate. The team played for the last two years as the Buies Creek Astros, just up the road at Campbell University while Segra Stadium was being built. That two year experience came with a little history, as the tiny town saw its temporary team hoist the Mills Cup as Carolina League champions in 2018.
“A lot of these guys got to experience that championship season, and we’re excited about the chemistry they’ll bring us this year,” first-year manager Nate Shaver said. “We’ll look to bring that down here to Fayetteville and put just as competitive a team on the field.”
Shaver was on the staff last year at Buies Creek, where fans were few and far between for home games. But the expectations for a better experience in Fayetteville are high.
“There’s so much more excitement for a player when there’s a group of fans out there cheering them on,” Shaver said. “With a new stadium, a new town, and a new team, it should be a great experience for everyone.”
Here is your Fayetteville Woodpeckers 2019 Roster! pic.twitter.com/pOkuStDFg7— JimArpNC (@JimArpNC) April 3, 2019
General Manager David Lane said construction on Segra Stadium is coming along nicely and the crews are working 24 hours a day to get it ready for Opening Day on April 18.
“The grass is all down now and settling in. Seats are being installed. Everything is getting close,” Lane said. “After 2 and a half years, we’re excited to finally just get things going.”
Fans will get their first peek at Segra Stadium on April 13, when the City of Fayetteville hosts it’s Fans First event. More information is available on the City of Fayetteville’s website.
Brandon Plotnick is the Digital Programming Director for Beasley Media Group in Fayetteville.