By Ryan Clarke • The Bulletin

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Hayesville at Bend

When: 6:35 p.m. Tuesday

On the field this season, the Bend Elks did not exactly boast impressive numbers. The team finished West Coast League play at 12-42 overall and wraps up its season Tuesday night with a nonleague home game against the Salem-based Hayesville Hammers.

But what about the numbers that do not appear in the dreaded box score? Kelsie Hirko, who is in charge of marketing and sales for the Elks, said there is a lot of work behind the scenes that keeps the franchise moving, whether it be a down year or championship season.

“We have a lot of staffers that come early, stay late and do all the prep work,” she said. “When fans come to games, they don’t always realize how much goes into it.”

Hirko estimated that, through July 23, Elks staffers worked more than 5,700 hours on game days. That number, along with a litany of other statistics that give insight to the team’s inner workings, was calculated after 21 of Bend’s 31 home games. (The final 10 games are not included in estimates used in this story.)

Maintaining the playing field was a time-consuming endeavor. More than 175 hours were spent watering the field and another 23 mowing it, according to Hirko. Forty-five cans of field paint and 30 bags of chalk — weighing in at 50 pounds each — were used for the foul lines and batters boxes.

Built in 1964, Vince Genna Stadium has all the rustic charm of an old baseball venue. It also has all the problems you would expect from an aging ballpark. Hirko said electrical issues are a constant worry, including a limited number of outlets and the occasional power outage.

In the kitchen, the outlet shortage slows down cooking time, Hirko said, adding hours to an already long day for concessions staffers. On busy nights, that can mean longer wait times for hungry Elks fans.

Food and drink sales are relatively consistent, but $2 Tuesdays and other special promotions always create a spike. In their first 21 games, according to Hirko’s figures, the Elks sold 1,905 burgers, 6,980 hot dogs, 1,971 chicken strips and 1,966 fountain drinks.

For those keeping score at home, that is an EBA (earned burger average) of 90.71 per game and an HDIP (hot dogs per innings pitched) of 36.93.

In a city with infinite craft beer options, Coors reigns supreme in alcohol sales at Elks games. Draft Coors and Coors Light edged out draft microbrews in total sales, 2,775 to 2,488. The margin is tightened when sales of canned beer is factored in, but the lower price likely keeps Coors in the lead.

It is hectic work for game-day staffers to consistently pump out food and drinks for fans, tasks that often go unnoticed. High school students, volunteers and other workers — many of them school employees taking jobs during summer break — keep stadium operations running smoothly.

The day-to-day grind is familiar to Elks players, who traveled 3,785 miles on the team bus on road trips through July 23 and spent countless hours training in addition to the games they played.

When the final out is recorded Tuesday night and Bend’s season comes to a close, the process of shutting down the stadium and preparing it for the winter begins.

Once that is taken care of, Hirko said she and her husband, Elks general manager Michael Hirko, will take their annual vacation.

“It’s nice to get away from baseball for a little while,” she said. “When we get back, the process starts up again.”

— Reporter: 541-383-0307, rclarke@bendbulletin.com

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