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NHDSC Predicts Ballparks Will Serve More Than 21 Million Hot Dogs This Season

Thursday, April 1, 2010

(American Meat Institute)

Ballparks around the country will serve 21,378,064 hot dogs this season, enough to round the bases 29,691 times, according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council’s (NHDC) annual survey of Major League Baseball stadiums. 

Topping the list is Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, predicted to serve more than 1.67 million hot dogs during the 2010 season. In second place is the Chicago Cubs of Wrigley Field, where fans are expected to consume 1.54 million hot dogs this season. Rounding out the top three is the Philadelphia Phillies. Fans are expected to consume 1.45 million hot dogs at Citizens Bank Park this season.

Dodger Stadium finished fourth in the poll, with 1.2 million hot dogs projected, with Citi Field, home of the New York Mets, coming in fifth with 1.15 million in projected sales.

“There’s no question that hot dogs and sausages hit home runs year after year,” said Tom Super, spokesman for the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council. “Even with vast additions to stadiums’ menus, fans still relish the hot dog as their number one food choice at the ballpark.”

When it comes to hot dog’s close cousin the sausage, no one is in the same ballpark as the Milwaukee Brewers, home of the world-famous Klement’s Sausage Race in the sixth inning of each game. It is projected that 910,000 sausages will be served this year at Miller Park. Miller Park is the only stadium in Major League Baseball where sausages outsell hot dogs. In fact, the stadium sells more sausages than 22 teams sell hot dogs.

The New York Mets finished a distant runner-up to the Brewers, with approximately 376,650 sausages expected to be sold at Citi Field this year. Finishing third in the NHDSC’s second-annual sausage consumption survey is U.S. Cellular Field, home of the Chicago White Sox, with 325,000 projected in sausage sales.

Taste of Home

While rivalries abound in Major League Baseball, the annual poll shows that the hot dog brings both sides together, with stadiums striving to feature the regional flavors of their biggest competitors. Nationals Park in D.C., for example, is home to a Taste of the Majors stand that includes the D.C. Dog with chili, onions and mustard; the Philly Dog with cheese sauce, peppers and onions; the Sea Dog (Florida) which is a foot-long cod sandwich; the Atlanta Dog with chili and coleslaw; and the New York Dog topped with sauerkraut and mustard.

Ballpark Bargains

Enjoying a dog at the park doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg either. Many ballparks across the country are offering their own “stimulus packages” to hungry fans during tough economic times. Miller Park, for example, hosts “Spring Madness” every year, during which they sell hot dogs and small sodas for a dollar. The stadium typically sells around 110,000 hot dogs during three days. The Cincinnati Reds have two hot dog stands that offer dollar dogs all season long. Many other teams, too, offer $1 hot dog days, family packs or even all-you-can-eat specials throughout the season.

Lucky Phillies fans can get free hot dogs without even leaving their seats thanks to a one-of-a-kind hot dog launcher that shoots hot dogs into the stands between innings. The launcher is a collaborative effort between Hatfield Quality Meats and the Phillies to create a unique and memorable fan experience at the ballpark. 

Top Condiments

For the first time this year, the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council also polled ballparks on which condiments are most popular. While Miller Park dispenses 1,300 gallons of its “secret stadium sauce” a year, it is ketchup and mustard that top the overall poll in a landslide. For example, Progressive Field, home of the Cleveland Indians, dolls out 2,202 gallons of Heinz ketchup and 1,234 gallons of Berman’s Brown mustard a year.

While ketchup is fine for burgers and fries, the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council hopes these numbers do not reflect a larger trend — putting ketchup on hot dogs.  As many know, it is against hot dog etiquette rules to put ketchup on a hot dog after the age of 18.

“The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council is pleased to see large quantities of mustard and ketchup being dispensed in our nation’s ballparks, but it is our hope that it is children who are enjoying ketchup on their dogs, not adults,” says Janet Riley, NHDSC president and the Queen of Wien.  “Our ‘no ketchup after age 18’ rule is no April Fool’s joke. After all, rumor has it that within the city limits of Chicago you could be arrested for such an offense!”

For additional information, visit the Council online at http://www.hot-dog.org/.

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