John Bollinger Named NWL Executive of the Year, Bismarck Larks Voted Top Organization of 2017
BISMARCK, ND – Although the Bismarck Larks’ inaugural season ended in August, their success is still being recognized. The Bismarck Larks were honored as the Northwoods League Organization of the Year after an incredibly successful first season. Out of 36 home games at Bismarck Municipal Ballpark, home of Dakota Community Bank and Trust Field, 27 games were sold out thanks to the support from the Bismarck/Mandan community. In total, 54,600 fans came to the ballpark this past season with an average attendance of 1,517. Those numbers gave the Larks the 6th highest average attendance in the entire Northwoods League (20 teams) and the 3rd highest in the North Division.
“It’s a great honor to be recognized by our peers in the Northwoods League for a special inaugural season, but the true credit goes to our front office team for all their hard work, and most importantly, to our fans whom we couldn’t have done it without,” said General Manager of the Larks, John Bollinger.
The Northwoods League also announced John Bollinger as the 2017 Northwoods League Executive of the Year. The award, which was decided by a vote of team officials at the League’s annual fall meetings last week in Willmar, MN is given annually to the League’s outstanding executive.
Of this award, Bollinger said, “I don’t take too much credit in individual awards, but it means a lot to see our vision here is working. I am so blessed to have people around me who not only see the vision, but also help make it happen.”
Bollinger is entering his fifth season in the Northwoods League and second as General Manager in Bismarck. He previously served as the General Manager of the Kalamazoo Growlers. Prior to coming to the Northwoods League he worked for two years as the Assistant General Manager of the Southern Ohio Copperheads, a summer collegiate baseball team in the Great Lakes League, where he oversaw sponsorship sales, servicing and business operations. Before that he worked in ticket sales with the Springfield Cardinals, the AA affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals.
“The Bismarck Larks organization as a whole, and its outstanding General Manager John Bollinger, richly deserve the dual honor of Organization of the Year and Executive of the Year respectively, bestowed upon them by their Northwoods League peers this year,” said Northwoods League President Gary Hoover. “The wonderful alchemy of a great community, talented leadership, and focused energetic teamwork, combined to create an amazing result. We congratulate the Bismarck team, John, and are truly grateful for their supportive fans in the region.”
While the 2017 season was one to remember, John Bollinger and the front office are excited to bring even more life to the 2018 season. Over 1,300 Scheels 7-Game Packs have already been renewed for next year, making it a hot commodity for Larks fans. Each pack includes tickets to the best games, all-inclusive ballpark food and drinks, no ticket wasted policy, guaranteed giveaways, and more. If fans want to guarantee seats before they’re sold out, they can check out the newly improved 2018 Scheels 7-Game Packs at larksbaseball.com.
The Bismarck Larks are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The 24-year old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 20 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 180 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champion Ben Zobrist (CHC) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (LAD) and Lucas Duda (TBR). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal.. For more information, visit www.larksbaseball.com or download the Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play, and set the Larks as your favorite team.