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DSM Forward Ask the Minor League Sports Experts

Minor League Sports Webinar

The Greater Des Moines Partnership DSM Forward webinar series offers insight on moving the Greater Des Moines (DSM) region forward in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. As plans are made and businesses reopen, The Partnership has put together resources for employers at DSMpartnership.com/DSMForward.

The Ask the Minor League Sports Experts webinar welcomed guest speakers: Ryan Grant, President of the Iowa Wolves; Todd Frederickson, President of the Iowa Wild; and Sam Bernabe, President of the Iowa Cubs.

Preparation for Post-Pandemic Sports

Sam explains how the rules of the game have changed. The focus must be on protecting fans and players in a new normal. Buildings will look different. Fan interaction will change. Much is yet to be determined. Ryan touches on the how the Wolves will follow the NBA’s requirements, as well as consider things such as the Kids Zone. Todd’s focus is getting the staff back into the office and following social distancing efforts. From a fan standpoint, Todd says promotions and ticketing will need to change. They are looking at ways to eliminate physical touchpoints. All three agree that the pandemic will expand technology capabilities, possibly even moving to a cashless system without ticket windows.

Changes to the Fan Experience

The fan experience will change due to social distancing guidelines. A few of the following will be impacted:

  • Interaction with Players (i.e. season ticket holder parties, etc.)
  • Courtside Seats
  • Technology in Sports
    • Connectivity through Zoom calls
    • Chalk Talks
    • Social Media
    • Digital Games (i.e. Iowa Cubs Sunday night games)


Sam explains how the Cubs would need a subsidy if fans are not allowed back, but the players can still play. Todd talks about the need to continue to develop their players and that the Wild would still play without spectators to ensure players continued to progress and possibly go on to play in the NHL.

Business Partnerships Within the DSM Community

Technology allows for new sponsorship opportunities. Todd says that when a new player is signed with the Wild, they can be introduced through a video call with VIP season ticket holders. The Wild will consider even more opportunities to incorporate sponsors in the future. He explains how having these conversations will lead to a larger audience and broader safety measures.

See the entire webinar below:



Find season updates for each of the webinar’s DSM sports teams below:

You can count on The Partnership to continue to share accurate and fact-based updates as well. See more on COVID-19 here.

Greater Des Moines Partnership

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the economic and community development organization that serves Greater Des Moines (DSM), Iowa. Together with 23 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce, more than 6,500 Regional Business Members and more than 400 Investors, The Partnership drives economic growth with one voice, one mission and as one region. Through innovation, strategic planning and global collaboration, The Partnership grows opportunity, helps create jobs and promotes DSM as the best place to build a business, a career and a future. Learn more at DSMpartnership.com.