Jerry Garcia Night Already A Big Success
CNBC Sports Business Reporter
SF Giants Host Jerry Garcia Tribute Night 8/15
All Living Grateful Dead Members Will Be Involved
Some Proceeds Will Got To The Rex Foundation
For the first couple years of the San Francisco Giantsnew ballpark, games sold out routinely. The Giants still fill AT&T Park to 89 percent capacity, but in a drive to pull in a greater crowd, they’ve started to gain momentum by hosting special nights that generate buzz unlike any other Major League team has.
Last year, they sold 10,000 seats by hosting Filipino Heritage Night, which included an appearance by Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao and a bobblehead of his likeness.
This year, it’s Jerry GarciaTribute Night, which will take place this upcoming Monday, the 15th anniversary of the guitarist’s death.
Faham Zakariaei, the special events manager for the Giants, said that by game time, he expects to attribute 12,000 seats to the Garcia promotion.
All living members of the Grateful Deadwill be involved in the day.
The National Anthem will be sung by Bob Weir, Phil Lesh and Jeff Pehrson, while the seventh inning stretch will be played by Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann. As an added bonus, NBA Hall of Famer and notorious “Deadhead” Bill Walton will be in attendance.
Grateful Dead fans paid in between $20 and $50 to sit in a special section of the ballpark. The first 9,000 who bought tickets to the promotion got a Garcia bobblehead, sponsored by Ben & Jerry’s, which of course makes the ice cream flavor Cherry Garcia.
Since the Giants have now run out, they are now giving away a hat with a Giants & Grateful Dead logo on it for those that buy tickets to the game. The team’s retail department is selling a Jerry Garcia Giants shirt, produced by Nike , for $25. Between the shirt and the hat, which is also being sold separately, they’ve sold 6,000 pieces.
Those who really wanted an experience could pay $175 to meet the members of the Grateful Dead, hear a cover band, meet members of the Garcia family and take part in all-you-can-eat and drink stations. Zakariaei said those 400 tickets sold out. “I’d love to squeeze more people in there, but I can’t,” he said, reluctantly.
Zakariaei said the key to success with promotions like this is authenticity. Garcia obviously came from the Bay Area and was a Giants fan.
Some proceeds of the tickets — which have already topped $40,000 — are going to the Rex Foundation, the Grateful Dead’s charity.
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