The Greensboro Grasshoppers are offering free tickets and a food voucher to anyone with a valid New York driver’s license with a Syracuse address attending its April 11 minor league baseball game.
The invitation comes in response to comments made by Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim after his team lost its ACC tournament opener to Miami in Brooklyn on Wednesday.
“There’s no value in playing in Greensboro. None. It’s because the league’s been there and the office is there, and they have 150 people that the ACC needs. That’s why it’s there. It should not be there,” Boeheim said.
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Boeheim has been a proponent of playing the postseason tournament in larger cities in the league’s footprint — like Atlanta, Washington, D.C. and New York. He said those cities have more players and more media attention.
“Contrary to what Jim Boeheim thinks, Greensboro is a great place and we want to show off our city, our ballpark and our southern hospitality to our friends from Syracuse. We know that not all of them are whiners and grouches like their basketball coach,” said Grasshoppers president and general manager Donald Moore in a statement.
Fans with a valid New York driver’s license that has a Syracuse address will be given a free ticket, $20 in food and beverage vouchers, and a pregame meet and greet with Miss Babe Ruth, a retired Hall of Fame Bat Dog, for the Grasshoppers’ game against Delmarva Shorebirds on April 11, the team said in a statement.
The Grasshoppers open their 2017 season on April 6 against the Hickory Crawdads.
Boeheim’s comments got swift criticism on social media from the City of Greensboro, Governor Roy Cooper and other groups.