A new trend is coming through in American sports culture: bringing your dog to the game!
So far, it has only occurred in baseball, and more and more teams are catching on to this new trend and holding it annually. There are often contests and parades, and even presents for your dog, and ticket sales often are given to charities. Most of these events are limited and sell out quickly, so if you are interested, make sure to pay attention to the ticket sales!
The Florida Marlins hosted the Bark in the Park event on April 24 at Dolphin Stadium. Over 1,000 dogs showed up and socialized, many of them dressed in Marlins gear. Dogs were everywhere in the stadium.
San Francisco held The Dog Days of Summer, which is an annual event for the Giants that has been going on for 13 years. It occurred on August 1st, and there was a pre-game parade and costume contest. Every dog got a complimentary Giants leash. Tickets cost $56, but the proceeds went to the San Francisco SPCA. Dogs were allowed to sit with their owners in dog-friendly sections.
The Atlanta Braves also held a Bark in the Park event on May 3rd. Tickets were $25, and included admission for dog and for human. Proceeds went to animal charities. This event has occurred annually since 2006 at Turner Park, and over 5,200 Braves fans and 2,400 dogs have come ever since. For those of you who will be in Atlanta, there will be another Bark in the Park event on September 6th.
The Oakland Athletics held their fourth annual Dog Day in the Park on July 17 at the Coliseum. There was a pre-game Pup Rally, in which dogs and people watched and participated in various contests, including the World’s Ugliest Dog. These contests were followed by a Pup Parade, and each dog got a complimentary Athletics Bandana and goody bag full of product samples. The Athletics sold 500 tickets for this event, and the proceeds were donated to Dogs4Diabetics, which is a charity for dogs to detect hypoglycemia in humans and then alert family members. The Athletics are planning to hold another Dog Day in the Park in 2010. To get an idea of how it went, visit their photo gallery!