When the Arizona Diamondbacks started selling the D-Bat Dog, an 18-inch corn dog stuffed with cheddar cheese, jalapenos and bacon on a bed of french fries, team president and CEO Derrick Hall was cautious about how well it would sell.
"This was the antithesis of what we were doing," Hall said. "We have value items like $4 14-ounce beers and $1.50 kids items. We know our fans want affordable things to buy at the ballpark."
But the team, which debuted the item devised by Levy executive chef Michael Snoke this season, also found that fans were willing to pay top dollar for an outrageous food item.
The Diamondbacks conservatively projected they would sell 500 D-Bat Dogs on the season. Hall said the team sold 9,517 of them at $25 apiece.
"Everyone wanted it, including all the visiting broadcast teams," Hall said. "We've had these 'wow' items for some time, and most of the time they don't stick. This one caught fire. It's going to be hard to top this one"
As the D-Bat got more popular, the Diamondbacks had to adjust.
"We didn't have enough room in our fryers," Hall said. "We had to buy three new ones. And we weren't the only ones scrambling. The local company where we got the hot dogs from, we were running them ragged."
The Texas Rangers were the first team to sell a hot dog for at least $25. The team reportedly sold more than 20,000 of their two-foot long "Boomsticks" in the 2012 season.