I’m very happy to report that baseball season is now officially underway and the season has already had its fair share of drama with the newly implemented replay system. But we have bigger (tastier) things to talk about then statistics, scores, or records.
Every year whether it’s the end of April in Boston at Fenway or during the hot summer nights in Los Angeles at Chavez Ravine, I constantly find myself watching the game I love with some friends that don’t appreciate the game as much as I do. They walk into the stadium, fascinate over the fresh cut grass for five minutes, and zone out through the whole nine innings of play. By the time Sweet Caroline or the 7th Inning Stretch blasts through the speakers, they are ready to sneak out of the stadium as everyone gets up from their seats. And even when someone of David Ortiz’s stature comes up to the plate with the bases loaded and two out in the 4th inning, I can see my friends eyes darting away from the field and focusing on the concession salespeople as they toss a bag of peanuts down to the 2nd row.
With the average ballpark holding 48,000 people and 162 games in a season, that means there are lots of seats to be sold. If Major League Baseball tried to sell their tickets purely based on loyal baseball fans coming on a regular basis, they would have a lot of empty seats. That is why they put so much emphasis on a family environment, fan interaction during the game (the wave, kiss cam), and of course THE BALLPARK FOOD!!!
Your average ballpark meal includes hotdogs, nachos, peanuts, and ice cream. Based on my experience at ballparks, it seemed to be that those items were selling just fine.
Even with that much success, many major league ballparks decided to add drastic items to their menu.
Example A: Tampa Bay Rays Ballpark
“The Tampa Bay Rays aren’t just selling extreme food, they’re selling an experience. The Fan vs. Food challenge is this: polish off a 4-pound cheeseburger and a 1-pound side of fries, and you get two tickets to Tropicana Field.”
Example B: Chase Field in Arizona
“Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, will offer an 18-inch corn dog this season. Because sometimes a foot-long dog coated in fluffy cake batter just isn’t enough. The D-Bat will also be stuffed with bacon, cheese, and peppers, because for $25″
Example C: Texas Rangers Ballpark
“It’s nearly 1-inch thick strip of bacon on a stick.”
Example D: Detroit Tigers Park
“The Detroit Tigers’ Comerica Park is selling a hot dog topped with french fries, gravy, and cheese curds.”
There aren’t any particular numbers on how these specialty items are doing thus far since we are so early into the season but it’s definitely something that will be interesting to follow as the season goes on. And if it is ass successful as these ballparks predicted, what items can we expect to see next?