Dave Heller
202-321-1855 (cell) dave@mainstreetbaseball.com
Dave Heller is the president and CEO of Main Street Baseball, LLC, and the majority owner and Managing Partner of four affiliated minor league baseball teams: the Quad Cities River Bandits (Midwest League, Single-A affiliate of the Houston Astros), the Wilmington Blue Rocks (Carolina League, Advanced-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals), the Billings Mustangs (Pioneer League, short-season affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds), and the Lowell Spinners (New York - Penn League, short-season affiliate of the Boston Red Sox). 
 In December, 2016, Main Street Baseball was awarded Ballpark Digest’s coveted “Minor League Baseball Organization of the Year” honor – one of the industry’s highest honors.
 Heller’s teams are known primarily for three things: fun, innovative promotions; making significant ballpark improvements benefiting both fans and players; and giving back generously to each club’s home community.
"Across Minor League Baseball, many ownership groups bring a level of quality to their operations year in and year out. Main Street Baseball has always been among the standout organizations, but took it to another level in 2016."
 -Ballpark Digest, November 18, 2016
In Iowa, the River Bandits sparked a stunning resurgence of baseball, winning three championships since 2011 (no other team has won two), setting (and then breaking) the all-time per-game attendance record in the Quad Cities (they’ve had pro baseball since 1931) and capturing numerous awards for their innovative promotions and ballpark improvements. Within a month of purchasing the team, Heller rebranded the club and sold ballpark naming rights to Modern Woodmen of America. Since then, Modern Woodmen Park has earned as many accolades as any ballpark in the country. It was voted “best minor league ballpark” by the readers of USA Today and 10Best.com and the Midwest League’s best ballpark by Baseball America. It earned a 5-star rating from Ballpark Digest and their readers voted it the best ballpark in Single-A baseball. It was also named one of the two most beautiful ballparks in the minors by USA Today, one of the top 10 by Parade Magazine, and “the #2 Coolest Minor League Ballpark” by Complex Magazine. Under Heller’s leadership, the River Bandits have added many fun new features to the ballpark, including a new outfield bar, picnic area, five concourse-level “loge boxes,” an 80-foot high-definition ribbon-board, a new 20’ x 36’ HD videoboard, a new playground, birthday room, concessions stand, triple suite, new sound system, and a corn field from where the players are introduced at the game’s outset (after all, it is Iowa)! The Bandits also built the Budweiser Champions Club, a large multi-purpose great room with glass garage doors that open/close based on the weather. Because of that room, the team regularly hosts nearly 200 non-baseball events each year. In 2014, the Bandits unveiled their biggest improvement – the addition of a new 105-foot tall Ferris wheel, the first in Minor League Baseball.
Dave announces his group's purchase of the Billings Mustangs.
Dave and his son Dylan, age 10.
In 2016, the team added a new 11,000 s.f. deck costing nearly $1 million; in 2017, the Bandits filled it with more than $1.5 million worth of new rides, including a spinning kids’ coaster, two new thrill rides, a kiddie train and Iowa’s first-ever double-decker carousel – with all of the proceeds from the latter four rides dedicated to local charities. The team has earned Ballpark Digest’s “Best Ballpark Improvement” award five times within ten years for its improvements. Heller and the River Bandits love giving back to the community; the team donated more than $1 million in the last two years to area charities and needy recipients and has won multiple Gold Awards from the U.S. Army for its community service. The team’s “Bandit Scholars” program, which pays an entire year’s college tuition for one area student, funds four such scholarships – one each for St. Ambrose University, Eastern Iowa Community Colleges, Black Hawk College and Augustana University – valued at nearly $85,000 annually. It has given $250,000 to the Genesis Foundation to fund neo-natal intensive care units and free flu vaccinations. Heller and the Bandits’ staff typically log more than 1200 hours of community volunteering. In 2015 and again in 2017, Ballpark Digest honored the River Bandits with an award for “Best Charity Work” in Minor League Baseball, the only team to win that prestigious distinction twice. In 2017, the Midwest League nominated the River Bandits for the John H. Johnson President’s Award, Minor League Baseball’s top honor, given to the team that best represents the best of Minor League Baseball. The Billings Mustangs have also been tremendously successful. In 2014, the team won the Pioneer League Championship, finished second in attendance. Since Heller purchased the club, it has consistently been first or second in Pioneer League attendance. In 2015, 2016, and again in 2017, the team saw increases in literally every area – from attendance to corporate sponsorships to concessions and merchandise sales to in-game promotions! The club also added a new 300-foot long zip-line, visible from home plate, to the ballpark – the first of its kind in Minor League Baseball! Heller recently completed negotiations on a new 10-year lease extension with the City of Billings, securing the Mustangs’ future through 2026. The team has also earned its share of honors. Its General Manager, Gary Roller, earned Pioneer League Executive of the Year honors in 2014. In 2016, the Mustangs were the league’s nominee for the John Henry Moss award for charitable work and Ballpark Digest voted the Mustangs’ home, Dehler Park, “the best minor league ballpark in Rookie Ball.” In 2017, the team won the Pioneer League’s award for best field. Heller’s third club, the Wilmington Blue Rocks, is regarded as one of the Carolina League’s premier franchises. Its ballpark, Frawley Stadium, in 2015 was voted best ballpark in Advanced-A baseball by readers of Ballpark Digest. That club is also consistently among the league leaders in attendance and sponsorships – and set new records for each in 2016. In 2015, the team won Ballpark Digest’s award for Best New Food Item. In 2016, Heller negotiated a five-year lease extension for the Blue Rocks. That year, the Blue Rocks won three (out of six) league-wide awards: Marketing & Promotions, Community Service and Female Executive of the Year. They have also improved their venue: In 2015, the Rocks replaced all of the seats in Frawley Stadium and made more than $500,000 worth of structural improvements to the park; since then, the team upgraded the concourse flooring, added dugout new flooring, and expanded the Batter’s Eye. This season, the team added extended netting and became the first Advanced-A ballpark to feature new energy-efficient LED field lights. The Blue Rocks also give back: in each of the four years Heller owned the club, it earned the prestigious Matt Minker Award from fellow Carolina League members for its charitable work within the Greater Wilmington region.
"All four Main Street Baseball teams are leaders in their leagues, and all four are distinguished by a commitment to providing the best fan experience possible.”
 -Ballpark Digest, November 18, 2016
Heller’s newest club is the Lowell Spinners, a Boston Red Sox affiliate based in Lowell, Mass. In 2017, Ballpark Digest voted its ballpark, LeLacheur Park, “best short-season minor league ballpark.” The Spinners draw nearly 4,000 fans per game, putting it among the league’s leaders in attendance. In 2016, Heller added new protective netting beyond the ends of the dugouts, a second batting tunnel and brought the first amusement ride to Lowell – a new swinging pirate ship. He improved the children’s play area and added a second ride in 2017. Heller negotiated a new 10-year lease extension in Lowell, reducing the team’s rent while adding $1.7 million in new improvements to LeLacheur Park. That ballpark is now the first short-season club to boast new LED field lights in addition to a new playing surface. A concourse expansion featuring a new two-tiered group area is in the works for 2018. Heller also partnered with a prominent regional developer to build a 20-story mixed use building in downtown Lowell.
Dave with MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred at Iowa's Field of Dreams
"The local baseball franchise never has been healthier and more vibrant than it is right now. Heller knows what he's doing." -Quad-City Times, November, 17, 2015
Dave at Opening Day in Lowell, 2016.
In addition to his work in baseball, Heller is one of the Democratic Party’s top media consultants and campaign strategists. As president of Main Street Communications, an award-winning political media firm, he has compiled the best won-loss record in the Democratic Party helping clients win election to Congress. His clients have won 15 out of 19 general election open seat races for Congress (open seats being the most contested races) and have repeatedly won re-election in the nation’s toughest districts, including now-U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) in 2010 and Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.), who in 2012 won in a newly redrawn R+13 district, and U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), who won in a district in which Hillary Clinton garnered just 31% of the vote – the nation’s “reddest” district to be won by a Democrat. Heller has also helped elect and re-elect a number of big city mayors, including Baltimore’s Catherine Pugh (D), Cleveland’s Frank Jackson (D), and Louisville’s Greg Fischer (D).
Heller graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with honors from Brown University and earned a Master's Degree in Politics from Oxford University (Nuffield College), where he was awarded an Overseas Research Scholarship. He went on to Yale University, where he completed his Master’s thesis and taught his own undergraduate seminar on 20th Century American politics, before moving to Washington, D.C. Born in Cleveland and raised in Baltimore, Heller and his wife June now live in Davenport, Iowa, with their two sons, Dylan (10) and Cade (7).
"Heller is well known in baseball circles. With the success he's had and the life he has breathed into his franchises, baseball is only too happy to have him."
 -Lowell Sun, June 11, 2016
Dave & Astros GM Jeff Luhnow announce the PDC extension in Quad Cities.
Dave is a frequent commentator on MSNBC.
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