Louisville Bats host peanut-free game - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville Bats host peanut-free game

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LOUISVILLE, Ky (WDRB) -- Popcorn, pretzels, hot dogs and even candy but no peanuts.

Peanut-free baseball games are becoming more common around the country but you could call the Louisville Bats pioneers of the idea.

"A lot of the major leagues copied off of us. We were one of the first teams in America to do this. Back 5 years ago when I Googled this, only 2 teams were doing it," said Greg Galiette, Senior VP of Marketing for the Louisville Bats.

The Bats go to great lengths to make sure every inch of Slugger Field is free of peanuts.

"We've not only scrubbed the stadium one time, we've pressure washed it three different times," said Galiette.

This is the fourth year the Bats have hosted peanut free games.

They can only do a couple per season because the cleaning process takes an entire week.

Plus, they have to make sure peanut items are taken off every menu.

So what's the point of it all?

Dr. Joe Turbyville says peanut allergies are becoming more common.

"Over a 10-year period, there was about a threefold increase in the amount of peanut allergy diagnosed, which is a little bit scary," said Dr. Turbyville.

And he says they can be deadly.

"People can have life-threatening allergies even with the smallest exposure," he said.

Some ballparks have introduced nut-free zones but that isn't something Slugger Field plans on doing.

"If it's a windy day or windy night, you don't have any control over peanut dust or dander blowing in from other parts of the ball park," Galiette told WDRB.

But not everyone thinks public events such as baseball games should go peanut-free.

"If someone has a peanut allergy, they know to stay away from peanuts. They could be anywhere. They could go to the grocery store and be around peanuts so I think it's a waste of time and money to try and get a facility ready to be peanut free," Mary Ann Carson told WDRB.

But those with Slugger Field say it's worth it.

"We've received so much positive emails and letters from parents especially whose kids can't otherwise go to a Bats game or any live sporting event," said Galiette.

The Bats host two peanut-free games per season.

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