SBJ/October 17-23, 2011/In Depth

Space crunch

The Philadelphia Phillies have sold out 204 consecutive games, yet maintain their long-held policy that when they offer a stadium giveaway, every fan gets the item.

So how did the Phillies handle a delivery of 50,000 bobbleheads that arrived on 80 refrigerator-sized pallets and, if stood side-by-side, would stretch from home plate to the center-field wall? Like most MLB ballparks, Citizens Bank Park has limited storage space, so the Phillies arranged for the items to be delivered directly to the stadium’s gates, while the team staff set them up on tables ready to be handed out the next day.

Minnesota Twins
Target Field’s storage space was filled with bobbleheads for an Aug. 5 promotion.
Other spaces of note:

■ The Cleveland Indians distributed 368,500 non-coupon items to fans this season, despite having only 1,600 square feet of space to store items.

■ The Los Angeles Angels led all teams with 832,000 items given away in 2011, including 120,000 bobbleheads, 185,000 hats and 80,000 shirts. The team’s ballpark has the advantage of four large storage areas.

■ Target Field has MLB’s smallest stadium footprint, so the Minnesota Twins use a warehouse off site and an on-site storage room that has 2,345 square feet of space. The team gave away about 460,000 items in 2011.

■ The Milwaukee Brewers doled out more bobbleheads than any other team in 2011 — 285,000. Miller Park has enough storage to hold the 45,000 bobbleheads given out every time. The main space crunch is at the gate. Tom Hecht, Brewers vice president of corporate marketing, said the team distributes items at five points of entry, but 60 percent of fans enter through the main gate. The club hires a local company to set up tents in front of the main gate, where the items can be given out while avoiding congestion inside the concourse.
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