"We brainstormed over lunch with a cook at one of our local home-cookin' spots and started formulating recipe plans for our two leading candidates," said Sand Gnats Team President, John Katz. "The Fried Chicken and Waffle Sandwich will be served in a fashion that is completely unique to Savannah. It's just a shame that folks will have to wait until Opening Night to try one."
"The S'mores Panini had me at Fluff," said Katz. "Being from the Boston area, Fluff was a staple of my childhood diet and remains a part of my personal nutrition program to this day. Fluff is not typical southern fare, but I know the few spots in Savannah that stock it. We will begin stockpiling it like we stockpiled Spam and bottled water before Y2K."
Over the weekend, CNBC sports business reporter Darren Rovell asked his 65,000+ Twitter followers to dream up the next great ballpark food. Together with the Gnats, who agreed to serve the winning items on the team's 32 Thursday, Friday and Saturday night dates in 2011, hundreds of submissions were culled to a list of ten meal finalists and four desserts. Fan voting began on CNBC.com at 1:14 PM on Monday, March 7, and concluded at 1 PM on Tuesday, March 8. Rovell's story is available here on CNBC.com.
"We are glad to have teamed up with CNBC.com for this culinary adventure via social media," Katz said. "On April 15th, it will be time to put down the 'Twitterbox,' head out to Historic Grayson Stadium and grab a Fried Chicken and Waffle Sandwich in one hand, and a Smores Panini in the other."
The smores panini was devised by Michael Kraus, the owner of Caffe Lola, a panini shop based in Niagara Falls, NY. The stadium style chicken and waffles was the creation of Perry Ng, an attorney from San Francisco.
"Many of the runners-up would have made excellent additions to our menu," he added. "Don't be surprised to see a few more contestants make their way onto our menu boards."
ABOUT THE SAVANNAH SAND GNATS
The Savannah Sand Gnats, the Class-A affiliate of the New York Mets, is a professional minor league baseball team and a member of the South Atlantic League. Savannah plays its home games at Historic Grayson Stadium in Savannah, Georgia, just minutes from downtown Savannah. Historic Grayson Stadium is situated within Savannah's Daffin Park, creating a unique atmosphere and a "Park within a Park" setting. Follow the Savannah Sand Gnats at www.sandgnats.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sandgnats and on twitter at @gnatsbaseball.
OPENING NIGHT, 2011
The Savannah Sand Gnats Opening Night is Friday, April 15th, against the Greenville Drive, SAL affiliate of the Boston Red Sox. The first 5,000 fans on Opening Weekend will receive a Magnet Schedule Giveaway presented by the US Coast Guard. Please call (912) 351-9150 for ticket information. A special online-exclusive ticket pre-sale event is now under way at www.sandgnats.com.
ABOUT DARREN ROVELL
Darren Rovell is CNBC's Sports Business Reporter. He is responsible for both analyzing and reporting on the sports business world on all of CNBC's programming including "Squawk Box," "Power Lunch" and "Street Signs." He is also author of the "Sports Biz" blog on CNBC.com. He has more than 65,000 followers on Twitter and his work in social media resulted in him being named Sports Social Media Professional Of 2010 by SportsNetworker.com.
With CNBC in the U.S., CNBC in Asia Pacific, CNBC in Europe, Middle East and Africa, CNBC World and CNBC HD+, CNBC is the recognized world leader in business news providing real-time data, analysis and information to more than 390 million homes worldwide. The network's 16 live hours a day of business programming in North America (weekdays from 4:00 a.m.- 8:00 p.m.) is produced at CNBC's global headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., and includes reports from CNBC News bureaus worldwide. CNBC.com and CNBC Mobile Web (mobile.cnbc.com) offer real-time stock quotes, charts, analysis and both on-demand and live streaming video.
CNBC.com, the online destination for global business news and expert analysis, is the No. 1 stand alone financial news site by total page views. CNBC.com also recorded more than 300 million page views in January 2011. CNBC Mobile, which includes CNBC Mobile Web, CNBC's Real-Time iPhone App and CNBC Real-Time Android App, cumulatively achieved a record 118 MM page views across all of these products in January 2011. -GNATS-