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Sunday, June 16, 2024

A Look at the Charleston RiverDogs’ ‘Legalize Marinara’ Night

On the day some people celebrate a certain substance, the RiverDogs pulled a quick one with ‘Legalize Marinara’ night.

The Charleston RiverDogs hosted one of the tastiest promotions of the year with their ‘Legalize Marinara’ night on April 20th. Photo Courtesy of the Charleston RiverDogs.

When it comes to promotions in Minor League Baseball, no topic is safe. Such was the case on April 20, as the Charleston RiverDogs took on the Asheville Tourists. On the day some people celebrate a certain substance, the RiverDogs pulled a quick one with ‘Legalize Marinara’ night.

Nate Kurant, the RiverDogs’ Director of Promotions, said the promotion was a collaborative effort from the entire staff with multiple brainstorming sessions, meetings and casual conversations.

“Obviously, the awareness of the 4/20 date and what it means to certain people was part of the gag. However, the idea, like marinara, was organic,” said Kurant.


These efforts led to a night full of saucy games and a happy crowd.

Events for the night included: Bobbing for Meatballs, Father/Son Trivia that resulted in the sons winning and the dads getting marinara sauce poured on their heads, a Lady and the Tramp Kiss Cam and a game of Dizzy Bat that finished with marinara chugging.

According to Kurant, the tastiest contest was “Name that Food Item.” For this game, the staff put marinara sauce on various concessions items and blindfolded contestants had to guess what they were eating.

“You haven’t lived until you’ve had a vanilla milkshake with marinara mixed in!”

To really bring the night together, the RiverDogs handed out bags of oregano to the first 500 fans while a German Shepard and a staff member dressed in all black stood next to the table.

On the concourse, they placed a mountain of marinara for visual setting and photo opportunity and hired a local artist to paint murals using marinara.

There were even protestors holding signs that read “LEGALIZE MARINARA” and “GIVE SAUCE A CHANCE.”

And don’t think the fun stopped while the game was going on. One lucky intern had the honor of sitting in a kiddie pool behind home plate full of marinara. Whenever the team scored, a 108-ounce can of marinara was poured on his head. The RiverDogs won 4–3 that night.

When asked what the community thought of the promotion, Kurant said reactions were positive.

“The community reaction was largely positive. We got hundreds of first-hand impressions on social media leading up to the game and, once everyone was at the game, the reaction was even more positive. People saw the humor and enjoyed being a part of something fun.”

No word on whether or not marinara sales have increased since the promotion.

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