A sophisticated, analytical ranking of the Charlotte Knights’ 2016 season promotions
March is here, which means spring training is in full swing and the players that will fill out the roster for our beloved Charlotte Knights are hard at work at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Arizona.
In just a few short weeks they’ll make their way back to the Queen City to start another great year of Knights baseball.
Two years ago, the buzz around the Knights concerned christening their beautiful brand new stadium in Uptown. This past year, Charlotteans figured out the best way to fit the Knights into their summertime schedules (Thursdays for the beer enthusiasts, Sundays for the families).
Based on this year’s promotions, I get the feeling the focus is all about making attending a Knights game an unforgettable experience. Delightfully quirky promotions are part of what make minor league baseball great, and we will not be disappointed.
So which ones should you shoot to attend? I took the liberty of analyzing 11 of what I determined to be the best promotions and ranking them based on a number of criteria including:
- Awesomeness of Theme: This is where the rubber meets the road. Which promotion is best?
- Time of Year: No matter the promotion, being outside in a muggy Charlotte summer can take its toll. I’d love to meet the Soup Nazi, but I’m not sure it’s worth the flood of sweat emanating from my kneepits.
- Quality of Giveaway: It’s always nice to come away from a game feeling like your ticket bought more than just the right to buy a beer inside stadium.
- Quality of Guest: Last year I met Jeff and Matt Hardy. They were super nice. Meeting a delightfully obscure celebrity is a great bonus and if that guest is Muggsy Bogues then you’ve got yourself an unbeatable Charlotte keepsake.
- Fireworks: Automatic 5 point booster for any game that features fireworks after the game. Fireworks rule.
To the rankings!
(11) Nickelodeon Day, Sunday, July 10
The teams are wearing special Nickelodeon-themed jerseys and there’s an as-yet-to-be-determined guest that will undoubtedly be wearing some sort of felt costume under the sweltering July afternoon sun.
(10) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Appearance, Sunday, April 17
There’s a new TMNT movie coming out this spring, and the Keepers of the Ooze will be out and about promoting it. Wild horses couldn’t have kept a 7-year-old TrolleyWalk from attending a baseball game where the Ninja Turtles would be appearing. My two favorite things all mashed up into a delightful Sunday afternoon.
(9) Back to School Night, Wednesday, August 10
This is in the middle of the week and it’s going to be hot and gross outside, but if you’re between the ages of 29 and 37, the opportunity to get a picture with Mr. Belding from “Saved by the Bell” is just too good to pass up. I wonder if there’s anyone who is unfamiliar with “Saved by the Bell” but is fired up about seeing Dennis Haskins because of his character on this episode of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.”
(8) “Festivus in July” Night, Monday, July 18
I support any and all Seinfeld-themed events in the greater Charlotte area. For me the Soup Nazi character rates somewhere beneath Franklin Delano Romanowski and just above Red Golf in the pantheon of Seinfeld characters, but that won’t stop me from showing up to get a picture of me fake-ordering a mulligatawny soup.
(7) 2 Annual Caddyshack Night, Wednesday, June 15
This is a great theme that should be celebrated. If you haven’t seen this movie and don’t understand why it warrants its own AAA baseball theme night, I insist you watch it tonight. I love that there is enough demand for an Al Czervik impersonator that whoever this enterprising gentleman is can make a career out of it.
(6) Princess Day, Sunday, May 15
This is the week after Mother’s Day, but I feel like this is a win/win for any baseball fan dads with daughters. Give Mom the afternoon off, take your daughter(s) to see the Enchanted Elegance Princess Entertainers at the ballpark, and take in the ballgame. You’re going to need a life raft to stay afloat on top of all the brownie points you’ll accumulate. TW Parenting Tip: use this opportunity to teach your daughter how to keep score at the game.
(5) 11 Annual Pink Knights, Saturday, May 14
The players will be wearing pink jerseys that will be auctioned off after the game with proceeds to benefit Carolinas Breast Cancer Fund. You can’t beat that cause, and the first 2,500 women through the turnstiles get a special edition pink Knights baseball.
(4) Earth Day Seedling Giveaway, Friday, April 22
This promotion is so perfect for so many reasons. First, it’s on Earth Day, which is great. Second, it’s presented by Trees Charlotte, an organization that every citizen of Charlotte has a personal stake in whether they realize it or not. Third, you get a tree just for showing up! That’s awesome! Also: Fireworks.
(3) Space Jam Night, Sunday, August 21
2016 is the 20 anniversary of the movie Space Jam*, which is a horrifying reminder of our inevitable march to the grave, but it’s worth celebrating nonetheless. Charlotte has a special connection with Space Jam as both the movie’s star, Michael Jordan, and a lovable supporting actor, Muggsy Bogues both having strong ties to the area. Muggsy himself will be the special guest at this event and available for autographs and pictures. If that doesn’t get you pumped, you’re just not Charlotte enough.
(2) 4 of July Skyshow 2016, Monday, July 4
I head out of town for July 4 every year, but if you’re in town, this is the place to be. Well, here or the Whitewater Center. You can’t go wrong. But it’s baseball. In Uptown. In the summer. With fireworks. In America. Heck yeah. Just be aware that the game could go long and the fireworks could be pushed back.
(1) Star Wars Knight, Tuesday, May 3
This takes the crown as the Best Promotion of 2016. Early May is probably the best time of year to catch a game, weather-wise. Star Wars is awesome. The Knights will be wearing super cool Star Wars-themed jerseys. The first 3,000 fans will receive a Matt Davidson Jedi Knight Bobblehead. It’s also Twitter Tuesday. The only thing that could make this better is if Mark Hamill was the guest or something.
See you all out at the ballpark!
*make sure to click on that link and be swept away back to what the Internet was like in 1996
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