Minor Leagues Get Creative to Bring in Fans

    • The Beloit Snappers, a minor league affiliate of the Miami Marlins, will auction off stadium naming rights to fans nightly.
    • Minor League teams have gotten creative to keep fans interested and engaged.

MLB teams sell their stadium rights for millions of dollars on multiyear contracts. The Beloit Snappers, a minor league affiliate of the Miami Marlins, will auction theirs.

But here’s the catch: They’ll auction the stadium rights to fans on a nightly basis. Bidding starts at $500 per night, with a “buy it now” option of $1,000 for weekday games and $1,500 for weekend games.

Names are vetted for appropriateness before going live, and proceeds will go to the Boys & Girls Club. Auction winners also get eight game tickets and the opportunity to lead the singing for the seventh-inning stretch.

Lean operations in normal times, minor league teams have had to get creative to engage fans and bring in revenue during the pandemic. 

  • The Pensacola Blue Wahoos once listed their ballpark on Airbnb as rental, and offered full access to field and clubhouse for $1,500 a night. Teams also have dog-friendly games, fireworks nights, and even themes like “Pirates and Princesses.”
  • Last week, the Danville Otterbots of the collegiate Appalachian League promised that their GM would get a tattoo of the team logo if the team’s Twitter reached 5,000 followers.

No team has gone as far as the Savannah Bananas of the collegiate Coastal Plain League. Players do coordinated dances, the owner always wears a yellow tuxedo, and the team has pioneered a more chaotic version of baseball called Banana Ball.