Don't be surprised if you see monkeys riding sheep-herding dogs at Santander Stadium this year.
It's just another day at the ballpark.
The York Revolution opened online sales Tuesday and unveiled a long list of new promotions team executives hope will fill the seats.
"It's our eighth season, and there's a certain amount of pressure to do things we haven't done before," said Paul Braverman, promotions and communications manager for the team.
For example, the monkeys riding sheep-herding dogs are "the most talked about act in minor league baseball" and have been featured on ESPN SportsCenter's Top 10, he said.
Team Ghost Riders — better known as the Cowboy Monkeys — will take the outfield between innings at the game on Thursday, June 26. The act will end with the Cowboy Monkeys herding the sheep at home plate.
"Their act is exploding in popularity. They sell out ballparks in other minor league stadiums and they're doing NFL stadiums now," Braverman said.
The Revs are hoping the act will help fill the 5,200-seat ballpark at 5 Brooks Robinson Way.
"Last year we didn't have quite the attendance we had in previous years," Braverman said.
Looking for a boost: Attendance is typically between 3,700 and 4,200 per game, but last year it was on the lower end compared to earlier seasons, he said.
Though last year was riddled with a lot of rain early in the season and a really hot July, weather is no excuse, Braverman said. To increase attendance, the games are starting a week later this year to compete with fewer school days and April showers, and the promotional schedule has been revamped.
"We're breaking the mold, and our office agrees this is the best, most-unique schedule we've ever done," Braverman said.
It's starts on opening day when the first 1,500 fans through the gate on Thursday, April 24, will receive a complimentary Magic 8-(Base)ball from Turkey Hill. It works like a Magic 8-Ball and looks like a baseball. Questions will be satisfied with Revolution-themed answers, such as "Cannonball Charlie says BOOM."
The day will also include a pre-game magic show with Eli The Illusionist.
NASCAR, too: On Wednesday, April 30, the stadium will host NASCAR Night, featuring Sprint Cup drivers Kasey Kahne and Jamie McMurray. They will be joined by additional NASCAR drivers, local media members and dignitaries for a celebrity softball game prior to the Revs game.
Three big promotions are planned for the following month: XPOGO, a group of extreme pogo jumpers, will perform between innings on Saturday, May 10; Willy Wonka and two Oompa Loompas will meet and take photos with fans on Friday, May 23; and on Saturday, May 24 there will be a challenge to break the world record for the largest amount of bubble wrap popped in one place.
"From NASCAR Night to Cowboy Rodeo, we feel we're giving people, who maybe only come to one or two games a year, another reason to come through the gates," Braverman said.
Individual tickets can be purchased now at YorkRevolution.com. On Saturday, March 8, they will also be available for purchase at the Apple Chevrolet Ticket Office at the stadium.
—Reach Candy Woodall at firstname.lastname@example.org.