ESPN Honors Bandits with Veeckie Award
Team earns national accolades for second consecutive season with recognition of Tattoo Night.
The Quad Cities River Bandits’ perpetual pursuit of the most exciting, unique and attention-getting promotions has succeeded in turning a lot of heads over the past two seasons. In the latest issue of ESPN: The Magazine, the world leader in sports news and entertainment took notice.
For the second consecutive season the River Bandits were honored with a Veeckie Award, the magazine’s annual list of best minor league promotions, named after noted owner and showman Bill Veeck. This year, it was for the second annual Tattoo Night, in which 47 fans received free permanent River Bandits tattoos that will assure them free entry to games in 2010.
“Being hand-picked by ESPN for hosting one of the most unique and successful promotions in all of Minor League Baseball is a tremendous honor,” said team owner Dave Heller. “We constantly strive to provide our fans with the best entertainment possible. People in the sports industry across the country have come to know that the River Bandits put on a great show, and that’s very flattering. But what’s really important is that our fans know that every night at our ballpark comes with an opportunity to see something unique, fun and unexpected – for a great price.”
After introducing Tattoo Night to the Quad Cities in 2008, the River Bandits brought back the popular promotion in 2009. Four tattoo artists from Bill’s Garage Tattoo Emporium in Davenport inked 47 different people with a River Bandits logo, blowing away the 28 tattoos provided in 2008. Not only did the eager fans receive a free tattoo, but they will be able to display their personal piece of permanent art at the Box Office in 2010 to receive free admission onto the berm. The promotion was touted by ESPN: The Magazine as the “Best Pain for Gain” on page 30 of the September 21 issue.
“Tattoo Night is one of those promotions that has taken off and become something far greater than we could have hoped for,” said Vice President and General Manager Kirk Goodman. “To have 75 fans get River Bandits tattoos over the last two seasons, including 47 more this year, is a pretty amazing thing when you take a step back and look at it. We’re proud that our fans have responded so positively to this promotion and look forward to hosting even zanier and more outrageous events in 2010.”
In 2008 the River Bandits received the franchise’s first Veeckie Award for Lose Your Blues Night, which was honored as the “Best Rebranding Opportunity.” In that season-opening promotion, which took place shortly after the club was renamed the River Bandits, the team offered free River Bandits “Back in Black” t-shirts to any fan that turned in an old piece of Swing of the Quad Cities apparel. At the end of the 2008 season, the inaugural Tattoo Night was honored by MinorLeagueBaseball.com as one of the top three promotions in all of Minor League Baseball.
UP NEXT: The 2010 schedule has already been released and fans can put down a deposit on season ticket and mini-plan packages right now by calling (563) 3-BANDIT. Over the off-season, Modern Woodmen Park will stay busy as a special events venue, providing the perfect atmosphere for holiday parties, corporate functions and more. The ballpark will also once again play host to the Field of Screams haunted house – the biggest haunted house in the Quad Cities – which will be open October 9-10, 16-17, 22-24, and 29-31 from 8:00-Midnight.
ABOUT THE BANDITS: The Quad Cities River Bandits set a new post-renovation mark for single-season attendance in 2009, as 236,401 fans passed through the turnstiles for an average of 3,694 fans per game. Both figures marked the highest since 1995, while the average attendance was the third highest in franchise history and the total attendance was the fifth highest all-time. The total attendance was up 14 percent over the 2008 season, continuing a 59 percent attendance increase since Main St. Iowa purchased the franchise following the 2007 season. Ticket sales, concessions, merchandise sales, sponsorships and even Kids’ Zone revenues were all up over 2008, which was one of the team’s best in history! Season ticket deposits for 2010 are already being taken!