A Fan's Favorite Fare

Hot Dogs have long been associated with sports –– particulary baseball.

According to a national poll conducted June 11-15, 2008, by the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council:

  • Hot Dogs once again dominated fans’ favorite stadium fare.  Sixty-three percent of fans listed hot dogs as the one ballpark food they could not live without. Peanuts ranked second with 18 percent, followed by pizza, cotton candy and, finally, cracker jacks.  
     
  • Eighty-eight percent of those polled said they have eaten a hot dog at a sporting event in the past year, or will eat one at a sporting event this year.  
     
  • The Chicago and New York hot dog rivalry only intensified as Wrigley Field and Yankee Stadium tied for home of the best stadium hot dog. Rogers Centre, home of the Toronto Blue Jays, was the only MLB stadium to not receive a single vote. While Canada may be known for its bacon and ice hockey, hot dogs still reign in the USA.    
     
  • And….Babe Ruth was voted most likely to win a hot dog eating contest among current and former players. The Babe won handily with 42 percent of the vote, with John Kruk (17 percent) and Tommy LaSorda (15 percent) finishing second and third, respectively. Interestingly enough, Prince Fielder, a self-proclaimed vegetarian, took in 8 percent of the vote.   
     
  • Legend has it the Babe once ate 12 hot dogs and eight bottles of soda between games of a doubleheader.   

  • And… the Bambino reportedly gorged himself on a dozen to 18 hot dogs before blacking out on a train ride in April 1925. And a week later he was at St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York, undergoing surgery for an intestinal abscess. This desiccated hot dog (pictured, right), housed at The Baseball Reliquary in Monrovia, CA, was partially consumed during this eating binge. (Historians also remind us that Babe was fond of drinking a quart mixture of bourbon whiskey and ginger ale at breakfast.)1 

  • Americans eat 7 billion hot dogs during peak season, from Memorial Day to Labor Day. That's 818 hot dogs per second. Nearly 6,000 were consumed in the time it's taken you to read this far.2

  • A good chunk of those are consumed at major league baseball parks – we estimate that ballparks will sell 30 million hot dogs this season.3 

  • Hot dogs consumed at MLB ballparks during the 2008 season would round the bases 41,667 times – enough to stretch from Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. to AT&T Park in San Francisco.4

  • There is only one major league ballpark that sells more sausages than it does hot dogs – Miller Park in Milwaukee, WI.5 

  • An average baseball hot dog vendor sells an about 150 hot dogs per game and 10,000 12,000 hot dogs per season.6 

  • A vendor’s hot dog bin weighs approximately 40lbs fully loaded.7  

  • Hot dog vendors walk an average of 4-5 miles per game, up and down stairs, carrying that 40 lb bin.8 They work on commission and tips, so they move fast. 

  • In comparison, over 7 home football games last season, The University of Notre Dame sold 92,841 hot dogs – for an average of 13,263 per game. Their biggest game against USC sold 14,888 hot dogs.9 That’s comparable to the 15,000 sold on opening day at Citizen’s Bank Park in Philadelphia…but keep in mind Citizen’s Bank Park holds 43,500 fans, and Notre Dame Stadium 80,795!

     
  • For Speed Week of 2008 at Daytona International Speedway, climaxing with NASCAR’s Daytona 500, enough hot dogs were sold to circumvent the 2.5 mile racing oval almost three times if laid end to end. That would stretch over 7 miles and represent more than 10,000 lbs. of wienies.10

  • But the most exclusive spot to sell hot dogs isn’t in the ballpark, or football stadium, or at the racetrack. It’s outside of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art where Thomas Makkos pays $415,670 per year for the city’s top dog spot.11   

     
  • An average vendor’s cart is 9ft X 5ft, which means this 45 square foot space costs $9237.11 per sq. ft! That might well be the most expensive piece of real estate in the entire country. To put that into perspective, in Manhattan, one of the country’s most expensive rental markets, the average apartment rent is $48.33 per square foot.12   

 

Sources:

  1. http://www.baseballreliquary.org/ and photo courtesy of Larry Goren
  2. National Hot Dog & Sausage Council research and data
  3. National Hot Dog & Sausage Council 2008 MLB park survey
  4. Ibid
  5. Ibid
  6. Tom Morely, Aramark Vending Manager.  New York Times. May 5, 2007
  7. http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/articles/2006/09/20/selling_the_part/
  8. Ibid
  9. Hope Kaser, University of Notre Dame Stadium Concessions Manager
  10. Richard W. Smith, Director of Concessions, Americrown
  11. New York Daily News, June 1, 2008.
  12. National Association of Realtors and Citi Habitats

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