If you serve turkey testicles, they will come

Here is the most bizzare story of the day, from Ballpark Digest

The last two seasons should have been gravy time for the Sioux Falls Fighting Pheasants (independent; American Association) as the team set marks for wins. Instead, attendance is plunging after branding and concession changes. What can be done to stem the tide?

No doubt managing partner Gary Weckwerth thought he was opening a new chapter in Sioux Falls baseball after buying the team and changing the team name from Canaries to Fighting Pheasants. Along the way ballpark operations were overhauled, with Ovations brought in to run concessions, and manager Steve Shirley established a winning program on the field.

Instead of crowds swarming the Bird Cage, the opposite happened: attendance plummeted 35 percent last season to 1,922 per game, and it’s even lower this season, some 1,226 fans a game. (That number will rise in coming weeks after school lets out for the summer, though.) What went wrong?

Lots of little things, it seems. First, popular GM John Kuhn was let go. A former Goldklang Group employee and an indy-ball veteran, Kuhn brought many Veeckian touches to the ballpark, greeting fans at the gates and making his presence known throughout the game. He brought in some high-profile promotions along with some high-profile sponsors; he made headlines selling deep-fried turkey testicles, but did it with the backing of a major sponsor.

That can’t be good when you have to rely on turkey testicles to get people to come watch baseball.


As Pheasants struggle at gate, owners look for solutions (Ballpark Digest)


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