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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Sea Dawgs 5th season is officially underway and fans all over the Cape Fear area came out to support their salty mutts in their first home game.

From first timers to those who don’t miss a game, the Wilmington Sea Dawgs attracted quite a crowd to their home opener game.

“The fans have grown,” said Julie Dorwort, who has been to almost every game. “There’s a lot more people coming every year. I think more and more people are finding out about the Sea Dawgs and about the good, clean, family fun, so we love it.”

Team owner Pete Gratale, says the good, clean, family fun doesn’t just have an impact on the fan base.

“There’s more and more people, more and more fans with regards to the tickets that we sell, concessions, how many people we bring into the Schwartz Center, and the exposure that Cape Fear Community College gets,” said Gratale.

Gratale says with the roster changing every year, it usually takes a while for the team to gel and fans to get used to new players. However, he says finding guys to play in the Port City is a cinch.

“We’ve got guys that will be aging out,” said Gratale. “We’ve brought some younger guys in. Wilmington is just a really easy place to recruit.”

There’s only four returning Sea Dawgs, but fans say they support anyone who plays for Wilmington.

Gratale says the game had the largest turnout for a home season openeer since the Dawgs started up.

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