SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The Savannah Bananas have shown they are not afraid to try something new.
Which is why in 2020, the team will be doing something no one else is doing with their ballpark: the Bananas are going ad-free.
“We are going back to the history of the ballpark and we are eliminating all ads from the stadium,” Bananas owner Jesse Cole says. The team says Grayson Stadium will be the first known stadium to go completely advertisement-free.
“Every question we ask is what is the best fan experience? What does that look and how do we re-imagine what it looks like? And I don’t believe anyone comes to a ballpark to be advertised to,” Cole says. “I believe people come to the ball park to have fun, and to enjoy the time out with family and friends. So we’re going all in on this.”
The team says ticket prices and concession prices won’t be raised in order to make up for lost advertising dollars, and the decision was not made from disappointment in those advertising with the team.
“We’re thankful to the sponsors who supported us each and every year,” Bananas president Jared Orton said in a statement released by the team. “We’re thankful they understand the future of an ad-free ballpark.”
Cole, Orton, and operations director Jonathan Wood spent Monday afternoon taking down the advertising billboards off the outfield wall. Those will be replaced with a tribute to every team that has played at Grayson Stadium since it opened in 1926. A timeline will recognize each home team from the stadium’s past, beginning with the Savannah Indians.
But that’s not all. It wouldn’t be the Savannah Bananas if there wasn’t an element of fan participation.
Along with the historic timeline, the right field fence will feature the Fan Wall. Folks will be able to sign the Fan Wall before and after every Bananas’ home game in 2020.
“We’re giving it back to the fans,” Cole says. “This is phase one. We’re continually asking what is that best fan experience? We have some more ideas in the future of things we can do to make it a better experience.”
The Bananas have sold out 88 consecutive games over the past three seasons. The team’s first season begins May 28th with Savannah’s home opener against the rival Macon Bacon.