After their first home game and win, the Hillsboro Hops minor league baseball team returned to practice Tuesday at the ballpark built just for them - and they weren't the only ones.
"It's real awe-inspiring, honestly, to be able to watch this go from a softball field to a stadium in a matter of months," said Dan Parsons, who commented on Hillsboro Stadium.
Parsons is not only impressed by the facility but the reach beyond baseball. He's the general manager of Impact Sign Company of Hillsboro. The small business not only installed the vinyl advertising banners in the outfield but created them, too. In fact, he said they made more than 50, and they can be found all over the stadium.
"This is a very big deal for us," said Parsons about the contract with the team. "It's one of the largest clients we've had."
The Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce said the Hops are making a point to hire local vendors.
"That's an absolute positive impact on this economy," said Parsons. "It's just great for us because in return, we can then turn around and support other local businesses."
Those businesses include the Front Row Bar and Grill nearby.
Waitress Taylor Zerull worked Monday night - the Hops home opener.
"The place was packed," said Zerull. "People were waiting for tables, and the whole bar was full."
It's a trend she and her colleagues hope will continue throughout the season.
"We're just really happy that the hops are here," said Zerull. "We can't wait for us to establish a great relationship [with fans]."
The relationship between the team and the surrounding area is still evolving, but many fans hope the team's presence will spark progress in the neighborhood.
"It's something I think everybody wants," said Ernie Paul, a baseball fan. "I think it's going to be a good thing."
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