EUGENE, Ore. — The Ducks’ run in the post-season is something to be celebrated, but it’s also causing some complications over at PK Park.
The Ducks and the Eugene Emeralds share the park, and both sides say it’s a great partnership.
But neither organization is used to the Ducks playing this late in the year.
The Super Regional could last until June 11. The Ems’ opening day is June 15.
It’s a little different doing business when you’re buried in boxes.
“Allan’s office is full of about six-thousand hats,” said Ems Assistant GM Sarah Heth.
Those are just a few of the hundreds of boxes full of merchandise, giveaways and food supplies in the Emeralds offices–things the Ems staff planned to move into PK park last week. But their park-mates, who usually finish their season around Memorial Day, are staying at least another week.
Heth says they are thrilled for the Ducks, but it just complicates their team’s pre-season prep.
“It shortens our move-in time drastically. Instead of two weeks, we have about two days,” Heth said.
And there’s a lot more to swap out than just the team colors.
“We change our outfield wall. We change the banners around the score board,” Heth said. “We change the banners on the concourse, on the dugout top.”
“We have our own concession stands, our own grill kiosks,” said Eugene Emeralds Food and Beverage Director Kelly Hallquest. “Every day that they’re here loses one more day for us, so it’s just going to be a tight squeeze.”
Not only does she have to worry about stocking all the kitchens and concession stands, but she has 60-plus employees to train.
“It’s hard to find time. When can I train my employees so we can have great customer service, when opening day comes and everybody knows what they’re doing,” Hallquest said.
Heth, Hallquest and the other staff know it’s going to be chaotic, but they’re confident.
“It’ll just be long hours and a lot of sugar (laughs) and caffeine to keep us awake, but we’ll get it done,” Hallquest said.
Post-season play is new for the Ducks this year, but Coach Horton plans on it being a staple in the team’s season.
Heth says the Ems recognize that and will try to learn all they can this year for what likely could be a similar turnaround for many seasons to come.