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Phillies make risky decision to bring back 'college nights'

The Phillies are making a full-fledged marketing campaign aimed at college students.
Expect a lot more college students to be at Phillies games this April.Getty Images

Any Phillies fan who was around in 2007 remembers college nights.

The team offered an exceptionally reduced ticket price back in April of that year for anyone with a college ID. It ended pretty much how one would expect.

In addition to a small handful of drunken fans running onto the field that season (this was prior to Taser-gate), then-college student and now-NJ.com Eagles beat writer Matt Lombardo recalled this about the first college night of that season, following a game-tying Braves home run on April 4:

"That’s when all hell broke loose in right field," Lombardowrote. "Hot dogs, beer bottles and popcorn rained down on the field. Granted, Braves right fielder Jeff Francoeur probably should not have taunted the crowd throughout the evening. And picking up the first hot dog and firing it back towards the wall was not exactly the most brilliant thing he could have done. But throwing garbage onto the field served absolutely no purpose."

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A season later when 2008 began, as recalled by another then-college journalist, Nick Pitts, college night was nowhere to be seen on the schedule.

"Then, I remembered what a typical college night at the Phillies game is like," Pitts recounted after lamenting over the loss of the cheap tickets. "The last of these that I was in attendance for, I ended up losing count of the number of drunken underage college kids who got kicked out of the game."

In 2017, the Phillies have ramped up their college-related promotions and are making it one of the centerpieces for the upcoming season. They'll offer discounted tickets to college students throughout the month of April. After what seemed like a dormant period, from 2008 to 2016 where just a few discounts or promo T-shirts were made available here and there, the team will be offering $15 tickets plus "first jawn on us" for every home game in April excluding the opener on April 7. "First Jawn on us" includes any drink or concession up to a $12 value (but it seemes to imply an adult beverage).

Other promotions will occur during the month of April for college kids to take full advantage of, including dollar dog nights on April 10 and 26, a cellphone wallet giveaway on April 12 and a Phillies texting glove on April 25. The April 10 date against the Mets is a full-fledged college night with a school spirit T-shirt promotion included.

They also are offering $40 in free Uber rides for first time app users with the promo code: COLLEGESERIESPHL on select College Theme Nights. These theme nights offer college students a chance to learn about the business of baseball, talk to a Phillies player to learn about his college experience and network with fellow students and Phillies staffers and are an extremely worthwhile opportunity for anyone interested in a career in sports, sports management or who is a huge baseball fan. This is taking place from April 10-12. They are also calling April 10 vs. the Mets "Red goes Greek Night," offering a snapback cap to 2,000 fans and encouraging greek life to celebrate their charitable work at the stadium.

The Phillies do seem to be slowly dipping their toes in the water with regard to the discount tickets. The promotion is different than last year's "student discount rates" which were available from September 12-18 and were new in 2016. There is no word about whether the college discount will remain after the month of April.

 
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