High school football is a couple weeks into the season but there are still home runs being hit in Batavia.
A fall league is under way following a summer season that drew 2,151 visitors to the The Wifflot, a regulation Wiffle ball field created and built by Batavia teens Andy Martinez and Ryan Pawlowski.
The pair hoped to draw 1,500 visitors to the field off Hart Road in Batavia, which they beefed up with outfield advertising, two scoreboards, foul poles and an American flag.
"We're definitely proud of the numbers we had for this year," said Pawlowski, who graduated from Batavia High School in May, and whose parents own the land on which the field is built. "We didn't expect to be 600 over (our goal). It's fantastic."
The Wifflot has been in operation four seasons. The field, which started with a meager orange plastic fence as a backdrop, evolved through word-of-mouth and more than 700 people visited the field in 2012.
"We shot over that (1,500 estimate) big time," said Martinez, a Batavia High School senior. "I think people just want to get involved. Interest in the field just grew."
The high point for the season was a July 4 All-Star game in which attendance hit 151 people. The 2012 All-Star game drew 50 people.
Martinez said that in terms of revenue from ticket sales, The Wifflot became the most popular Wiffle ball field in the country. A field in Massachusetts called "Little Fenway," drew more spectators, but organizers there only accept donations for various charities for admission.
Martinez and Pawlowski offered season ticket plans or game tickets for $1. They are expecting 200 people to sign up for public leagues for four-person teams next year compared to 36 this past season and will start their 2014 season in April instead of June, as they did this year.
They plan to build fences down the first and third baselines for more advertising, for which they will charge $50 a banner for the season.
Despite exceeding the attendance goal, Pawlowski said The Wifflot could have made more money in terms of concession sales. Martinez said he wants to improve the public address system for next year. Games also will be nine innings instead of seven inning, he added.
"I would say 3,000 people would be great (for 2014)," Pawlowski said. "We can definitely get more than that, especially with 200 kids coming in and out of there. We're expecting to have a longer season from April to the end of September."
For information about 2014 leagues and field rentals, call (630) 632-1910, visit thewifflot.com or email email@example.com.