SBD/September 25, 2013/Franchises

Delayed Rivera Bobbleheads Postpone Gate Opening, Create "Mayhem" At Yankee Stadium

Fans waited in lengthy lines to get hold of the Rivera bobbleheads
Transportation issues "resulted in late-arriving Mariano Rivera bobblehead dolls" at Yankee Stadium last night, which "caused mayhem" as thousands of fans waited in long lines to receive the promotion, according to Peter Botte of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS. The first 18,000 fans in attendance were "slated to receive the commemorative figurines," but the giveaways had not "arrived at the Stadium when the gates were due to open" at 5:00pm ET. The gates opened "more than 30 minutes later than usual, and the Yankees handed out vouchers instead." An announcement was made during the middle of the third inning that vouchers "could be redeemed from that point until 30 minutes after the game." Yankees Senior VP/Marketing Deborah Tymon said, "Of course, it would be the biggest bobblehead and giveaway of the year. ... It’s not ideal, but we will get through it." Some of the bobbleheads "showed up on eBay with a $250 asking price" before the game was over (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/25). In N.Y., Kerber & Martin write the promotion, which was sponsored by AT&T, "turned into a nightmare" as lines "wound throughout the Stadium all night, some fans getting on line on the lower level, heading to the upper deck and then back downstairs to get their bobbleheads." But the Yankees "defended the way they handled the mess" around the giveaway (N.Y. POST, 9/25). In Newark, Andy McCullough writes there was an "atmosphere of chaos at the ballpark, with fans locked out of the gates beforehand and herded in endless lines afterward, as they attempted to cash in vouchers for the bobbleheads." The Yankees "did not want to open their gates before the figurines arrived, which led to fans massing out on the concourse" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 9/25). ESPN's Keith Olbermann: "On top of everything else, the bobblehead looked more like Andruw Jones" ("Olbermann," ESPN2, 9/24).

TWITTER REAX: SI.com's Jimmy Traina wrote, "Riots breaking out at Yankee Stadium over a dumb bobblehead doll is the perfect ending to this embarrassing season." "The Dan Patrick Show" Exec Producer Paul Pabst wrote, "Makes sense that on Mo Rivera bobblehead night, the bobbleheads don't show up until the 9th inning." CBS Sports Radio's Jim Rome wrote, "Nothing like a bunch of adults freaking out over not getting a bobblehead. I'm sure the Yanks will make it right on Rivera foam finger nite."

WHAT, NO JOE SHLABOTNIK? In N.Y., Matt Flegenheimer notes the Yankees tonight will mark their "penultimate regular-season home game with an atypical giveaway for the first 18,000 fans who arrive: a bobblehead doll, honoring not one of its star-crossed players" but "Peanuts" character Charlie Brown. The team announced in August that Charlie Brown "would replace Snoopy on the 'promotional bobblehead roster' after several years of Snoopy-related giveaways" (N.Y. TIMES, 9/25).
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