Fresno Grizzlies win season opener

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The sweet sound of baseball is back in Downtown Fresno. Chukchansi Park opened its gates for a new season with new players, new staff and a new team affiliation.

Houston Astros fans, like Nate Tarazon, couldn't be happier with the changeover. Now he has a reason to wear his jersey at the Chuk. "I've liked the Grizzlies," he said. "But being part of the Giants, it's like eh. But now that they're the Astros I'm definitely a bigger fan now."

But, the Giants gear is still just about everywhere you look at these games. After all, the Grizzlies were linked to San Francisco for 17 seasons.

"Not crazy excited, but we're happy baseball in Fresno is still here," said Jennifer Tsuvoy. "We're still going to come out and support them. But Giants is our favorite, we'll miss them."

Outside the stadium, the Grizzlies are trying to draw crowds with a lot more to do before the first pitch. A vender fair started three hours before the game. There's plenty to buy, of course.

Inside the stadium there was more entertainment in the concourse. An improved Parker, the Grizzlies mascot, was flown in by Valley Children's Hospital just in time to pump up the crowd.

It's entertainment for longtime Grizzlies fan, like Jerry Baptista who is at the game with his grandson. They're hoping to watch more winning games this season. "I think we'll win a lot more games with the new affiliation," he said. "So I think that's going to be exciting."

The Grizzlies have been turning around its revenue stream the past few years. The city of Fresno is hoping to make the team more marketable to potential new owners. City Council considered Thursday cutting rent for the stadium in half, to $750,000 for the team's next owners. That decision was put on hold until April 30.

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