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Savannah Bananas splits from the ticketing norm

The Savannah Bananas is a baseball team like no other…

Based in Savannah, Georgia in the US, the ‘fantastically and fanatically fan-centric’ team was founded in 2016 and has taken its quasi-abandoned home stadium to full houses through its baseball+entertainment offer. There have been multiple sell-out crowds across the years and records broken for attendances.

The team play more than just baseball in the Coastal Plain League (won twice by the Bananas) and perform dance routines to music from artists such as Britney Spears and Michael Jackson.

There are epic celebrations and a senior citizen dance team called The Banana Nanas, as well as the Man-Nanas, a dad cheerleading squad. Here’s a little taster of game day at a Bananas game before we get onto… ticketing!

Gameday is more than watching a baseball game and has been described as more like a “circus” with everyone in the audience participating, with thousands on the waiting list for tickets.


However, it was the problem of ticketing that became a bugbear for Bananas owner, Jesse Cole.

He says on LinkedIn: “Six years ago, we had to find a ticket partner for the Savannah Bananas. We talked with Ticketmaster, TicketReturn and all the big ticket companies. Unfortunately, we heard the same thing over and over again. We and our fans would be charged ‘convenience fees’ and ‘service fees’ to every ticket sold.”

Putting the fans first is at the heart of everything Cole does, as is reflected by the name of his company, Fans First Entertainment, that operates the Savannah Bananas.

Eventually, a start-up company – iSportsTix – was found, which would mean the club could print its own tickets and pay a set yearly fee. This also meant that no matter how many tickets were sold, there would be no extra fees for the club or the fans.

“As we grew, unfortunately the platform could not handle our demand,” wrote Cole. “Whenever we launched tickets, the whole ticketing platform would shut down. This was not fans first.

“So our president Jared Orton came up with a crazy idea. He came to me and asked what if we bought the company? After four months of working through details, we acquired iSportsTix. We renamed it Fans First Tickets.”

Cole noted that testing started in recent weeks and for the first time, the management had used its own platform to launch Bananas tickets and it did not crash from the volume of fans trying to purchase the coveted product.

“Were there some issues?” added Cole. “Yes, the waiting room backed up more than we would have liked and we had to offer other buying options a couple of times. But we sold 20,000 tickets through our new platform.”


Tickets for the club are all inclusive at Grayson Stadium and include entry to the game, all-you-can-eat hamburgers, hotdogs, sandwiches, chips, popcorn, testers and drinks. The club’s ballpark is also ad-free and merchandise is sold all over the world.

The Savannah Bananas are also set to go on tour this year, visiting multiple states across the US.

The club created its own version of baseball and launched it in 2020 – it was named ‘Banana Ball’ and introduced new rules, including making the game shorter, to make baseball even more entertaining for fans. A Banana Ball series was added in spring last year.

Images/Videos: Savannah Bananas