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PLU night at the Tacoma Rainiers

March 24, 2011

PLU night at the Tacoma Rainiers

August is one of the most beautiful months in the Pacific Northwest. August evenings provide beautiful sunsets, warm temperatures and Tacoma Rainiers baseball. PLU Night at the Rainiers started several years ago as a way to celebrate our PLU community and the end of summer. In 2010, 250 Lutes enjoyed an evening at the ballpark.
August 12 marks the date of this year’s end-of-summer bash, PLU Night at the Rainiers. For only $10 a person, participants will enjoy admission to the game, a hotdog, soda, chips and viewing of fireworks after the game. Perhaps more exciting than the fireworks, is the total renovation of Cheney Stadium.“The fact that 250 students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends all came out for the game in 2010 was a big hint to us,” said Sumerlin Larsen ’01, associate director for Alumni and Constituent Relations. “There’s opportunity to get even more of our PLU community involved.”

In preparation for this event, a partnership has been forged between the Office of Alumni and Constituent Relations, Student Involvement and Leadership, Student Athletic Advisory Council and the Administrative Staff Council. The goal? To connect our current students, incoming students, alumni, faculty and staff in one big end of summer bash.

This year PLU Night at the Rainiers is dedicated to showcasing PLU. There will be a PLU hospitality tent with lots of Lute mementos, PLU information and friendly smiles will be accessible to all attendees, and the entire evening’s program will represent PLU and the best the university has to offer. Everything from the National Anthem to the first pitch and the on-field games between innings will feature Lute talent, participants and programs.

“The Rainiers are thrilled to partner with one of the long standing pillars of the Tacoma community, Pacific Lutheran University. We look forward to engaging the students, faculty, staff and alumni in an environment full of tradition and excitement,” said Shane Santman, director of ticket sales for the Tacoma Rainiers.

“This is a really exciting way to continue to be out in our community, participating in a favorite Tacoma pastime and showcasing the great things PLU is doing,” Allison Stephens, director of student engagement, Student Involvement and Leadership said.

“We’re excited to connect with our incoming first-year and transfer students several weeks before we’d typically meet them on campus for orientation,” Stephens said. “What a great way for them to kickoff their PLU experience: mixing with alumni, faculty and current students before they come to campus to start classes.”

With all the festivities already associated with the newly remodeled Cheney Stadium, what would have already been a great event will only get better with a planned 500 Lutes in attendance.

“With opening day rapidly approaching on April 15, the new Cheney Stadium is anxiously awaiting its $30 million dollar debut,” Santman said. “Featuring amenities that you will find at some of baseball’s best ballparks, Cheney Stadium is poised to become the crown jewel of the Northwest for all fans to enjoy.”

While PLU Night at the Rainiers is an annual program, it has never been programmed or publicized to this extent. Rich Hines, director of annual giving for the Office of Development attended the game for the first time last summer. He signed up to participate in the salmon toss competition with Andrew Eisentrout ’07. When asked about his experience Hines recounted, “We got a total of eight catches, winning that evening’s competition.

The bounty was some fun prizes – Apple iPod Nanos – and the not-too-badly bruised fish, which grilled up nicely.

But most of all, it was fun to just be part of the PLU community on a night when the Lutes won the salmon toss and the Rainiers won the game.”

Five hundred tickets are available to the PLU community to watch the Tacoma Rainiers take on the Iowa Cubs. Ticket sales will begin May 1. Tickets can be purchased from the Office of Alumni and Constituent Relations for $10 or by calling 253-535-7415.