Tucson Padres look south to boost interest in baseball
Tucson, April 30, 2012
By Charlie De Mar for Arizona Cat’s Eye, University of Arizona
The crack of the bat and the roar of the crowd are sounds that every baseball fan understands; no matter where they’re from.
Francisco Gamez,, The Director of Hispanic Marketing for The Tucson Padres said, “Our Hispanic community mostly coming from Sonora and Sinaloa are baseball people.”
Gamez, a former major league pitcher has returned to the game he loves.
“It’s fun to be back in Baseball again,” Gamez said.
Recent U.S. Census data show that nearly 40 percent of the people living in Tucson are Hispanic. For this reason, Vice President and General Manager of the Tucson Padres, Mike Fader is working hard this season to bring Latino fans to the ballpark. “We have to figure out what we could do in Northern Sonora, what we could do in Nogales, what we could do in Tucson to make sure the Hispanic community knows we’re real about what we’re doing.
The Tucson Padres held the inaugural “Vamos a Tucson” Mexican baseball fiesta this past fall, bringing teams from south of the border to play in Tucson.
Emmanuel Campa, reporter for the Hermosillo, Sonora based newspaper El Imparcial said he likes the Tucson Padres efforts to target the Latino community, and how these effort puts border tensions to rest, at least on the field. “Problems are going to exist outside the park and baseball is probably not going to solve them, but perhaps inside the park it will be a different community among fans, Campa said.