Baseball season gets underway this week, and the cheering in the stands may be matched only by the cheering at something called the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, which is gleefully looking forward to the consumption of 18.5 million franks and another 4.2 million sausages at ball parks between now and the World Series.
The Council, part of something called the American Meat Institute, estimates season-long hot dog and sausage sales will rise about 6.5 percent at the nation’s 30 major league ballparks. And leading the way by a mile are fans in Los Angeles, where concessionaires are expected to sell 2.5 million of the park’s legendary Dodger Dogs. The 10-inch frank, which typically gets higher marks for nostalgia than culinary prowess, has a starting price of $5.50, and climbs from there with several variations, including the Brooklyn Dodger Dog with a snappy casing, and the chili- and jalapeno-topped Doyer Dog.
Fans of the Dodgers eat a million more hot dogs than the second-place New York Yankees, and outsell the sixth-placed Fenway Franks by 3-to-1. At the bottom of the pack is Kauffman Stadium (no relation) in Kansas City, where a barbecue pit and a smoker draw fans to cuisine the city is decidedly more famous for.
While the hot dog remains the staple of stadium fare, sausage sales are surprisingly plump at some ball parks, particularly in the Midwest. At Miller Park in Milwaukee, sausages actually outsell hot dogs, an indication of the marketing success of the stadium’s campy Sausage Race competition.
Below is a chart of estimated dog sales at all 30 parks.