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Consol Energy to drop name from Washington Wild Things' ballpark

| Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015, 2:21 p.m.

Consol Energy Inc. will not renew a contract to keep its name on the Washington Wild Things' minor league baseball stadium when the 10-year deal expires in 2017.

The team said Tuesday it hired Detroit-based Apex Marketing Group to recruit a new partner and hopes to get several hundred thousand dollars a year for naming rights at Consol Energy Park in North Franklin.

Consol “made a strategic decision not to go forward with this,” said Stu Williams, owner of the Wild Things of the Frontier League, the Pennsylvania Rebellion professional women's softball team and the stadium, which opened beside Interstate 70 in 2002 as Falconi Field.

“We hope to do better than we did initially. The venue is strategically located,” he said, noting the addition of the softball team and more concerts to the schedule since Consol added its name in 2007. “We do much more every day, from March to the end of October.”

He said the deal benefitted the ballpark and Cecil-based Consol, which this year laid off workers and cut back operations because of low prices for the coal and natural gas it produces.

“It's been a great 10-year run, and we know the team and the venue are well-positioned for future success,” said Consol spokesman Brian Aiello.

After signing the initial deal with the Wild Things, Consol entered a larger and longer agreement with the Pittsburgh Penguins for Consol Energy Center, which opened Uptown in 2010 and gets major network exposure on TV.

That deal, the financial terms of which have not been disclosed, lasts through the 2029-30 season.

“Our partnership with the Penguins has and continues to be tremendously beneficial, both from a brand awareness and a recruiting standpoint,” Aiello said.

The stadium seats 4,000 people for sporting events and as many as 12,000 for festivals, and sits within view of 10 million vehicles per year on the highway, the team said.

David Conti is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5802 or dconti@tribweb.com.

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