Nonetheless, I occasionally feel compelled to write about teams that have gone beyond the call of duty when it comes to providing the ol’ “bang for the buck”. Two such teams are the Trenton Thunder and the Lakewood BlueClaws, who announced yesterday that kids would eat free at the ballpark, all year long (in this case, “free” means recieving a voucher for a hot dog, soda, and bag of chips).
At the risk of composing something that read like a reconstituted press release, I wrote an article on this season-long promotion. It can be found here.
Now, I’m no economist, but “Kids Eat Free” seems like a risky proposition. The big question is this: Will the teams gain in increased ticket sales and positive PR what they are losing in concession stand revenue?
My numbers are probably way off here, but just go along with me: A hot dog, bag of chips, and a 12 oz. soda would cost approximately $6 otherwise. And if there are an average of 1,000 kids per game, and 70 home dates a year, that’s $420,000 of edible foodstuff that is going to be given away, gratis. Up in smoke, as it were.
Nonetheless, I am in support of these two brave New Jersey entities, as they are unequivocally sending out this message to their respective fanbases: “When it comes to affordable family entertainment, Minor League Baseball is unbeatable.” In these tough times, it is absolutely crucial that this sentiment is spread far and wide, and backed up by cold, hard fact.
It will be interesting to see if any other teams jump on board the “Kids Eat Free” ship. Will this be a nearly undetectable ripple in the Minor League ocean, or the beginning of a very large splash? Either way, I need to work on my metaphors.