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Shoeleather Journalism in the Digital Age

Shoeleather Journalism
in the Digital Age

Scottsdale City Council invests $50K of TDC funds to help Savannah Bananas split overhead costs

Photo of Scottsdale City Council chambers
A view of City Hall where the important matters of the day are decided within municipal bounds of ‘The West’s Most Western Town.’ (Photo: Arianna Grainey/
Scottsdale City Council financial policy fuels tourism dollars reinvestment
By Terrance Thornton | Digital Free Press

For many, the game of baseball can be a marathon of mental fitness trying to fight away the doldrums of slow-moving play — but that’s where the Savannah Bananas come into play.

As the 2023 Arizona Cactus League comes to a close, officials at Scottsdale City Hall remind there is one more attraction headed to Scottsdale Stadium this Friday, March 31, where a split-squad of the San Francisco Giants will host the Savannah Bananas, a minor league enterprise with a penchant for flair only rivaled by the Harlem Globetrotters of basketball.

Scottsdale City Council agrees and earlier this month approved a $50,000 shot in the arm to help shoulder costs of production of the Savannah Bananas spectacle en route to the spring training home of the San Francisco Giants this Friday.

“The Savannah Bananas, a circus-like baseball team has partnered with the San Francisco Giants for a 1-day exhibition game to be held at the Scottsdale Stadium,” said Steve Geiogamah, Scottsdale tourism manager. “On Nov. 15, 2022, the Tourism Development Commission (TDC) recommended that City Council allocate up to $50,000 from the Tourism Development Fund in support of the agreement.”

Scottsdale City Council approved the November 2022 funding recommendation by the TDC Tuesday, March 21, records show. In his report to City Council, Mr. Geiogamah explained the significant digital reach of the minor league ball club from Georgia.

“The exhibition game will take place on March 31, 2023, with an estimated attendance of over 9,000,” he said. “The game will provide a traveling team party of 120 individuals staying in Scottsdale with an estimated $60,000 in travel spend. Additional benefits include and extension of the spring training season. Social media reach includes 4 million followers and 593.6 million views on TikTok.”

Mr. Geiogamah says the digital reach is an added benefit to the extension of the local marketing opportunities later this week at Scottsdale Stadium.

“City staff has evaluated the proposal to identify the benefits for the city and the local tourism industry and has identified a public purpose for the city’ s expenditure,” he said in his report to City Council. “The marketing and promotional benefits provide direct consideration substantially equal to the proposed city’ s expenditure.”

Mr. Geiogamah, per Scottsdale City Council financial policy, reports a total of 9% of bed tax collections are provided to new and developing events to help shoulder overhead costs.

“The FY 2022/23 event and event development budget is $ 2,250,000,” he reported to City Council. “There is a total of $481,836 of unallocated funds available to support the event funding request of $50,000.”

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