George Leight said he wants to get families into his Springettsbury Township Fuddruckers franchise once it opens Monday. So he made a deal with the York Revolution.

Between innings at the team's baseball games, two ticket-holders selected at random will get a chance to don oversized Sumo-wrestling suits and go at each other. Everyone sitting in the winner's section will be able to get a free milkshake when they visit Fuddruckers.

"I'm looking to attract families, and I figure baseball games are a mostly family-oriented thing," Leight said.

When the York Revolution plays its first-ever game in York City's new Sovereign
Bank Stadium on June 15, the team will launch a summer's worth of promotions, giveaways and special events.

Almost every home game on the York Revolution calendar has been set aside for a special events, promotions that team spokesman Andy Frankel said increase the fun for families visiting the ballpark.

"Those are a huge, huge part of the whole minor-league baseball stadium experience," Frankel said.

Good for team, businesses: Frankel said the team is trying to attract different demographics and bring in new visitors, through events such as the Pops at the Ballpark concert by the York Symphony Orchestra on July 2 and the dog-friendly Bark in the Park evening July 22, when fans can take their dogs along to a Revolution game.

"Instead of cheering fans, you hear barking pets at the game." Frankel said. "We've always found that's a really successful one."

Other events are geared to promote area businesses and organizations that have signed on as sponsors, Frankel said. Giveaways will include sponsor logos, and sponsor names show up in promotional materials.

Some promotions will become regulars, said team assistant general manager Neil Fortier. Among the recurring events will be the Fuddruckers Sumo-wrestling contest and The K-Man, which gives ticketholders a chance to win free Pizza Hut breadsticks if a specific player on the opposing team strikes out.

The idea is to match the sponsor with an appropriate promotion, Fortier said. For example, York-based fuel-provider Shipley Energy is going to sponsor what will become the Shipley Energy Crew, an on-field gang that runs promotions and tries to keep spectators fired up.

"When we decide we want to do the 'YMCA,' they're the ones who get out on top of the dugout and start the 'YMCA,'" complete with a Shipley logo on the crew's jerseys, Fortier said.

Shipley retail energy sales manager Dorothy Koller said the company will use the sponsorship as much as possible to promote its new Bioheat fuel oil, which includes some plant-based biodiesel fuel. But she said the main reason for signing on as a sponsor was not to promote a new product, but to support the Revolution and the benefits the company expects professional baseball will bring to York, she said.

"This is really our way to give back to the community where our company was founded in 1929," Koller said.

--Reach Daina Klimanis at 505-5439 or dklimanis@yorkdispatch.com.