A record-setting day at Peoples Natural Gas Field Saturday paved the way for future Pittsburgh Pirates-related activities in Altoona.
Curve owner Bob Lozniak, Curve general manager Rob Egan, Pirates president Frank Coonelly and Pirates general manager Neal Huntington announced the Pirates and Curve have extended their player development contract to keep the Curve a Pirates affiliate through 2018.
"We are extremely pleased to continue our terrific, long-term partnership with the Curve," Coonelly said. "The Curve represent what we feel is the perfect minor league affiliation for the Pirates in many ways, including the strong ownership group, excellent management team, a great ballpark and most importantly, the best fans in all minor league baseball."
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle also spoke highly of the affiliation.
"The booster club has got to be one of the best in all of minor league baseball," Hurdle said. "The relationship they've developed with our players over the years, from giving rides to the airport, taking care of kids, there's nothing they won't do for our players."
By the end of the new contract, the Curve, who defeated the Pirates 8-6 in front of a record crowd of 10,116 fans Saturday, will have been affiliated with the Pirates for 20 consecutive seasons. The longest previous Pittsburgh minor league affiliation was with Lynchburg from 1995-2009.
"All-time record crowd, great turnout from the fan base and a great game for the affiliation," Hurdle said. "Got an extension on the club working agreement, so I'd say it's a good day for everyone."