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The Savannah Bananas Just Turned Down $1 Million in Ticket Sales. Are They, Um, Bananas? Baseball team owner Jesse Cole explains why he cried foul on an attempted group sale purchase.

By Entrepreneur Staff

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Kent Nishimura | Getty Images

A buyer attempting to buy $1 million worth of tickets from the Savannah Bananas baseball team just struck out.

If you are unfamiliar, the Bananas are best described as the Harlem Globetrotters of baseball, mixing wacky rules and goofy entertainment with incredible athleticism. Among some of the screwball rules of a Bananas' game, batters can steal first and if a fan catches a fly ball, it's an out.

The Bananas played in the summer collegiate Coastal Plain League for seven seasons starting in 2015, and now play "Banana Ball" year-round, according to their website, fielding two independent professional teams, The Savannah Bananas and The Party Animals.

Owner Jesse Cole posted on LinkedIn about the attempted mass purchase, which sounds like a dream scenario for any owner: "I just turned down a $1,000,000 ticket order for the Savannah Bananas. I laughed when I first saw the email because at first I thought it was a joke," he wrote, adding that the massive order promised to pay double face value on every ticket, delivering, "a half a million dollars in extra profit for our team. Crazy. But I didn't consider it for even a second."

Why not? Because to Cole, the customer comes first and in this scenario, only Cole and ticket scalpers would win. Writing that it is common practice in sports for teams to work with secondary market resellers to make "tons of extra profit on their tickets," Cole says when it comes to the Bananas, the fans are what matters most. "Since Day 1, we've prided ourselves in creating an experience that is fans first," he wrote. "We've eliminated all ticket fees, service fees, convenience fees and even paid the taxes for our fans for every single order."

Related: How The Country's Goofiest Baseball Team Made Millions

With a 500,000-person waitlist (yes, you read that right) Cole says he understands if ticket holders want to resell their own tickets, but for him to participate in a money grab goes against everything he stands for. "To take advantage of our experience and our fans to make more money, hurts me and [his wife] Emily more than people know," he wrote.

This offer isn't the first thing the Bananas have burned. Check out Party Animal star slugger Zak Whalin's unique batting style:

Entrepreneur Staff

Entrepreneur Staff


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