The Rocket City Trash Pandas are feeling the love from their fans, and paying it forward by paying off all of their debts to the City of Madison.
It’s all due to a successful debut season after the 2020 season didn’t happen.
April was when the City of Madison was supposed to receive their minimum $1 million from BallCorps, LLC, the company that owns Trash Pandas. However, without a 2020 season, they didn't have all the funds to pay that debt.
They negotiated with the city to extend the timeline and paid off their remaining debt from 2020 around July. At that time, they still had not paid for the equipment in the stadium. That check wasn't due until December, but they were able to write it on Tuesday.
"They need to be supported. We need to keep them here and keep them happy, and they keep us happy," say season ticket holders Mike and Anne Kelley.
It's fans like them who have supported the Rocket City Trash Pandas throughout their first season, helping the team payoff their debts.
"That's always been our goal. You know we want to be able to pay our bills on time, I mean every company wants to be able to do that, right," says Lindsey Knupp, VP of marketing, promotions and entertainment for the Trash Pandas.
With their final $462,000 check, the Trash Pandas team paid off their debt to the City of Madison three months before it was due.
"We just wanted to prove to them like hey, we know that this is important, we know that we owe this to you, and we know that our relationship is strong. So let's just, here you go get this out of the way and now let's move forward," says Knupp.
A strong relationship is how both Knupp and the mayor of Madison describe their partnership.
"They've had an incredible season and they've made Madison whole. They've been a great partner and we're really appreciative of what they've done," says Mayor Paul Finley.
Mayor Finley is happy to have the money squared away, but even happier that the Trash Pandas had such a great first season.
"Money is one thing, and yes we need to pay for it, but it's a quality of life enhancer for not only Madison, but this entire Tennessee valley," explains Mayor Finley.
When it comes time for the city's revenue payment next April, Mayor Finley says, "We fully expect that while $1 million is the minimum, we're going to see more than that come next year."
The team hopes that will be the case as well.
"Hey, if we're making it we're going to be able to pay it, so that's a great problem to have so to speak, you know if we can pay more than that that's awesome," says Knupp.
The Trash Pandas are battling the Pensacola Blue Wahoos this week for their final regular season homestand.
WAAY is the Official Home of the Rocket City Trash Pandas, and you can see those games at on This TV/WAAY 31.6. (Details HERE)