Bananas To Play Banana Ball Year Round
Savannah, GA – The Savannah Bananas announced today that they will be playing Banana Ball year-round both in Savannah and around the country.
Starting in 2023, The Bananas will play every game with the rules of Banana Ball. Rules that include a two-hour time limit, no stepping out, no bunting, no walks, and foul balls caught by fans are outs.
The 2022 season will be the last season that the Bananas play college summer league baseball in the Coastal Plain League. The Bananas were members of the league since the team’s inception in 2016, and have won three Petitt Cup Championships, including back-to-back titles in 2021 and 2022.
“The Coastal Plain League has been a great partner over the last seven years. They’ve helped us develop great players and even better people who have made an impact in our community. We are truly grateful of their support with this next step for the Bananas and Banana Ball,” said Bananas Owner Jesse Cole.
The shift to a year-round Banana Ball schedule gives the team the opportunity to schedule more games both in Savannah and all over the country, in order to accommodate more Bananas fans. With 80,000 fans on the Banana Ball waiting list for tickets, this gives the Bananas freedom to create a schedule to take care of as many fans as possible.
The Bananas roster will now be made up of all professional players including former Bananas and MLB stars. They will play their rival the Party Animals as well as other professional teams, both in Savannah and all over the country.
“Since we arrived in Savannah in 2016, we’ve been relentlessly focused on creating a better fan experience and have been watching and listening to our fans every step of the way,” said Bananas Owner Jesse Cole. “We believe this is the most fans first decision we’ve ever made as a company. For the past seven seasons, even with sold out crowds and non-stop promotions and entertainment, we watched as fans still left our games early. With Banana Ball, we saw that 98% of the fans stayed until the end of the game. This was groundbreaking for the game of baseball. But most importantly, we heard from the players and thousands of fans that this was the most fun they had playing and watching baseball.”
Banana Ball was played for the first time as an exhibition game in 2018 where a nine-inning game was completed in 99 minutes. In 2020, the Bananas played Banana Ball in Savannah in front of Bananas fans before taking the game on the road for the first time in 2021.
This past spring, the Bananas traveled to six cities on the “Banana Ball World Tour” and sold out every game. The tour was captured as an ESPN+ original series “Bananaland” that premiered on August 19 on ESPN2. The five-part docuseries takes fans behind the scenes of the Banana Ball tour and airs every Friday on ESPN+ through September 16.
During the Tour, the Bananas played two games against the American Association defending champion, the Kansas City Monarchs, in front of record crowds at Legends Field.
In addition to the Party Animals, the Bananas will play other professional teams from the top independent leagues in the country. Fans can expect more of these challenger games to be played year-round in both Savannah and on the road.
“We will be bringing the highest level of talent to the Bananas both with baseball and entertainment, said Bananas Coach, Tyler Gillum. “We now have the freedom to sign any player from all over the world, which will bring new excitement to Bananaland.”
The 2023 World Tour and schedule will be released the first week of October. The Bananas will visit over 20 cities and the tour will start in February and run through September.
We know you have questions, and we’re here to answer them.
Check out the FAQ below:
We will always have a home here in Savannah. We are just not going to be members of the summer collegiate baseball league, the Coastal Plain League. We will be playing here still because we love Savannah. A lot of locals have actually helped us with feedback over the years with things like how they preferred professional teams and needed games to end earlier. We’re proud to be the Savannah Bananas.
It will be a combination of the Party Animals and challengers from different professional leagues like the Kansas City Monarchs who we played against in 2022. We plan on playing challengers both on the road and in Savannah. We know that fans want to continue to see the Bananas take on more opponents.
Ohhh they’re fun. They’re our other team. Our newest arch-nemesis They’re wildly athletic and amazing athletes but they’re the team who likes to have a lot of fun too. They’ve come in over the outfield wall, lifted weights in the dugout, ordered pizzas during the game, and they even knocked off the Bananas a few times in 2022.
The most talented and entertaining returning Bananas, like Kyle Luigs and Bill Leroy, along with former professional players including MLB stars. These are professional athletes, who will be scouted by our coaching staff, signed and paid. When we first arrived in Savannah, many were concerned that professional baseball would never come back to the area. We are proud to be bringing in professional athletes from all over the country who will help take our show to the next level for our fans.
We’re likely going to start in February and play into September with games being played in Savannah and around the country.
The entertainment will always be a huge part of our show but the competitive play on the field is only getting better as we’re able to bring in more professional players. These will be the most talented and entertaining players in sports.
We’ll be announcing our 2023 Banana Ball World Tour this fall! In the meantime, you can get on the Priority List for tickets in Savannah or on the road by going to https://thesavbananas.wpengine.com/tickets/.
We tried in both 2021 and 2022 having two different teams for Coastal Plain League games and Banana Ball games. It was very confusing for our fans and became obvious that we would only make this worse by continuing to try and do both. We want to make things as simple as possible for our fans to ensure that they have the best experience when they go to a Bananas game!
The host family program has been something that has impacted both players and families in a wonderful way. We’ll balance our new players needing a place to stay for their first year away from home with the veteran players who have a more established lifestyle.
Group Outings: Once our 2023 schedule is finalized, you’ll be contacted directly by your Bananas Group Experience Coordinator to find the date that works best for you and your group!
Memberships: You’ll be contacted directly by the Bananas in regards to your Membership offerings – if you have Open Seating Memberships, those will renew via 3 monthly payments through the end of the year. If we have the opportunity to upgrade you into Reserved seating based on your spot on the Wait List and your prior season ticket usage, you will be contacted directly!