Major League Baseball (MLB) fans don’t have much say in how their team plays on the field, but this spring, they will decide a different form of bragging rights: which team offers the best hot dogs and sausages at the concession stand. With March Madness upon us, fans will choose the winner in tournament bracket fashion, pitting teams against each other until one is crowned a winner in the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council's (NHDSC) fifth annual Hot Dog Madness Bracket. The bracket includes all 30 MLB teams, with match-ups by division in the American League and National League.
“The experience of a baseball game isn’t just the game itself; it’s also the food at the concession stand, and no food signifies baseball like hot dogs,” NHDSC president Eric Mittenthal said. “Teams have been offering more and more hot dog and sausage options in recent years, so it’s time to determine who offers the best ballpark hot dog and sausage experience.”
Fans can vote for their favorite teams online via daily polls on the NHDSC Facebook page; winners will move on to the next round. An American League and National League match-up will be posted each day until a winner emerges on baseball’s opening day, April 3. A full guide to hot dogs and sausages offered at MLB parks is available at www.hot-dog.org.
This is the fifth year of the NHDSC Hot Dog Madness Bracket. Last year, fans chose the West Virginia hot dog topped with mustard, onions, chili and coleslaw as their favorite regional hot dog in the U.S. In 2015, the bracket also focused on baseball with the Cleveland Indians’ Sugardale dog topping all in a battle of stadium classics versus newcomers. Cleveland’s status as the defending baseball hot dog champion earns a bye into the second round of the 2017 bracket on the American League side, while the Los Angeles Dodgers get a bye in the National League thanks to being the team that sold the most hot dogs in 2016.
“If we’ve learned anything from five years of Hot Dog Madness, it’s to expect upsets,” Mittenthal said. “The winner can be tough to predict but always reflects the passion that Americans have for hot dogs.”
Hot dog fans won’t just be choosing their favorite hot dogs; they have a chance to win as well. NHDSC T-shirts will be given away to people who vote in all 30 match-ups on Facebook. The participant who shares the polls with the most people on Facebook will win a gift card for his or her favorite hot dogs or sausages.
To view this year’s bracket, vote for your favorites and see more NHDSC updates, check out the council’s official Facebook page.
NHDSC, established in 1994 by the American Meat Institute, serves as an information resource to consumers and media on questions related to the quality, safety, nutrition and preparation of hot dogs and sausages.