• Loading stock data...
Sunday, February 25, 2024
Rates for the 2024 Best Venue Awards increase this Sunday at 11:59 p.m. ET

Going Bananas: Barnstorming Baseball Team Proves Too Big For MLB Parks

  • Team draws more than 2 million entries into 2024 ticket lottery.
  • Franchise has quickly ascended to become a cultural phenomenon.
Bryon Houlgrave / USA TODAY NETWORK

Even a move to play in MLB stadiums isn’t nearly enough to satisfy fans’ intense demand for Savannah Bananas tickets.

The independent barnstorming baseball team said it received more than 2 million lottery entries for tickets to its 2024 Banana Ball World Tour. That tour will include six stops at MLB stadiums, including in Houston, Boston, Washington, Cleveland, Philadelphia, and Miami. That’s a quantum leap, given its history of playing solely in minor-league and college ballparks.

In several instances, the Bananas received more than 100,000 lottery entrants for tickets to games at stadiums that seat less than half that many people.

Houston, for example, saw 158,255 entries, whereas Minute Maid Park seats 41,000; and Boston received 145,080 entries for a game at the 37,755-seat Fenway Park.

The 2024 Banana World Tour starts Feb. 8 in Tampa and runs until October.

Cultural Phenomenon

Loosely described as baseball’s version of the Harlem Globetrotters, the Bananas became a cultural force in 2023, drawing more than 550,000 fans to games, building a ticket waiting list beyond 1 million names, and boosting its TikTok following past 7.8 million, surpassing even MLB’s official feed.

“Now the real hard work begins,” team owner Jesse Cole said in an Instagram post. “While over 1 million people will not be able to experience a show, we still will have 1 million fans and many first-timers … We have to deliver on that experience.”

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

WBD Touts Streaming Profit, Sports Alliance While Stock Is Hammered

TNT Sports parent sees tough reaction from Wall Street to latest earnings.

Despite Nike’s Efforts, MLB Uniform Controversy Isn’t Looking Good

Manufacturer touts product benefits but ignores complaints of see-through fabric.

‘Treated Like Children’: College Football Players Offered $600 to Be in Video Game, No Royalties

Players may be receiving lower than the industry standard with the video game’s return.
A Bundesliga camera operator during a match

Fan Power in European Soccer Grows As German Football Deal Scuttled 

Weeks of increasingly strident protests lead to end of proposed private equity deal.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

How the Negro Leagues Are Staying in the Game


Featured Today

Sham Gods: The Rapidly Growing World of Sports Impersonators on X

Fake Schefters and Wojs, fabricated trade demands, and borrowed profile pictures.
Sep 24, 2023; Oakland, California, USA; A general view of the Oakland Athletics dugout after the game against the Detroit Tigers at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
February 24, 2024

Murky Future: Everything You Need to Know About the A’s Move to Las Vegas

Breaking down one of the most drawn-out, multifaceted sagas in sports.
February 18, 2024

Sabrina-Steph Wasn’t the ‘Battle of the Sexes’—But It Was Part of the Bigger War

The competition could play a factor in increasing the WNBA’s media value.
NASCAR Cup Series driver Bubba Wallace (23), in a Star Wars rebel alliance X-wing fighter pilot-inspired race suit, motions to the crowd to get louder during the driver introductions for the Cup Series Championship race at Phoenix Raceway in Avondale on Nov. 5, 2023.
February 17, 2024

Celebrity Owners, International Ambitions, and $7B Media Deals: Welcome to the New NASCAR

NASCAR boldly keeps pace with the increasingly competitive sports and entertainment world.


Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Finance Manager
New York, NY
Senior Technical Artist - Sports Technology
EA Sports
Orlando, FL
Assistant Manager, Affiliate Operations
Portland, OR
Phoenix Suns
February 15, 2024

Suns Last NBA Team To Add a G League Squad

Mat Ishbia made his latest move a year into owning the Suns.
February 20, 2024

An About-Face in D.C. As Lerners Pull Nationals From the Market

MLB club no longer for sale as ownership family changes course.

Live Sports Are Now High-Tech Experiences

Oracle is leading the technology revolution happening in stadiums across the world.
February 13, 2024

Royals Trust Owner’s ‘Gut,’ Commit to Downtown K.C. Site for New Stadium

MLB club targets late-emerging location near downtown for ballpark development.
Chiefs andy reid
February 12, 2024

The Chiefs’ Biggest Offseason Deal Stands on the Sideline

Reid’s $12 million yearly salary is increasingly out of step with current NFL trends.
February 8, 2024

The Chiefs: Big in Germany. (But Does It Matter?)

Chiefs’ president on K.C.’s international ambitions.
Rob Manfred
February 8, 2024

Manfred’s Patience Wearing Thin? Commish Makes Stance on A’s Clear

Commissioner says he would be ‘disappointed’ if club misses 2028 target for Las Vegas ballpark.