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Dayton Dragons Bested By Stanley Cup Champ Bruins

For five years, the Sports Business Daily/Journal has conducted awards within the sports industry. Categories range from sports representation to media to Best Franchise. The Dayton Dragons garnered a nomination as Sports Team of the Year. The other nominees were the winning NHL’s Boston Bruins, Stewart-Haas Racing from NASCAR, Sporting Kansas City from the MLS and MLB’s Texas Rangers.

In the five years since the awards have been given, the Dragons are the first minor league franchise to be nominated in the Sports Team of the Year category. That should tell you about how the Dragons operate.

The Dragons received their nomination, in part, due to setting a record for most consecutive sellouts by any sports franchise…and it’s still ongoing, too. It is now at 869 and will undoubtedly move even higher. In the end, the pursuit of Lord Stanley’s Cup reigned over the others as the Boston Bruins took home the honor.

Upon the announcement of the Bruin’s getting the honor, Seth McClelland of the Dayton Daily News had a chance to get a few quotes from Dragons president Bob Murphy.

“I think we’re disappointed,” Dragons president Bob Murphy said after seeing his franchise beaten out Wednesday night by the 2010-11 NHL champion Boston Bruins for SportsBusiness Journal’s Professional Sports Team of the Year Award. “It would have been incredible to win this thing.”

From top to bottom, the Dragons staff has nothing to be ashamed of. If you have ever attended a game at Fifth-Third Field, you know all too well. It is truly a first class organization and there is always something happening during a game. They find the means to entertain their fans. In all of my prior experiences of attending Dragons games, I have never left the stadium and not enjoyed the evening. A Dragons win adds always adds to the event, but you simply cannot get enough of one of MiLB’s top parks. Never.

In showing that class, the Dragons offered their congratulations to the Bruins.

Murphy also adds this…

“The community and our corporate sponsors should be proud of where they have taken us,” Murphy said. “We were in a room with the best of the best within the entire sports industry.”

Who knows. Maybe after another string of sellouts, the Dragons will get their due. Although, I feel they already have.

From last July, Mike Lopresti of USA TODAY took a look at the Dragons. The article was in a build up to breaking the sellout out record previously held by the NBA’s Portland trail Blazers which was 814. I think the Dragons have passed that by a bit. I do suggest reading the entire piece. It will tell you even more of the class the organization has.

It doesn’t end there. MLB.com noticed the hard work going on in Dayton. Tony Meale adn Dragons GM Gary Mayse.

“There’s definitely a lot of emotions,” Mayse said. “I go back to when we opened the gates in April of 2000, and at that point, you’re just trying to get one game under your belt. But to know that 12 years later we’ve got the all-time sellout streak, it’s not only good for the Dayton Dragons — it’s good for the Dayton community.”

The Dragons were not always the Dragons and they weren’t always in Dayton. The franchise actually began in Rockford, Illinois as the Rockford Expos. The year was 1988. While in Rockford, the team held nicknames such as Royals, Cubbies and Reds before embarking on the trek to Dayton. I believe the trek was one well worth taking.

To the Dragons organization, on behalf of Blog Red Machine, I offer a hearty congratulations on the nomination. I’m sure many Reds fans do as well.

If you have never been to Dayton to attend a Dragons game, it’s time you do. Yes, tickets can be difficult to come by.

But that’s the beauty of this gem that calls the Gem City home.

A listing of all there were categories and nominations, go here. For a complete list of the winners, go here.

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Tags: Baseball Dayton Dragons Milb Sellout Record Sports Business Journal

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