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National Hot Dog & Sausage Council confirms popularity of hot dogs

Folks eat a lot of hot dogs at ballparks, apparently. Who knew?
The numbers from the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council (NHDSC) are in, and the results are clear: people eat a lot of hot dogs at ballparks.

With Opening Day this weekend, the NHDSC forecasts that ballparks around the country will serve 21,733,839 hot dogs this season. When it comes to individual ballparks, Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, topped the survey this year. Fenway Park, which finished second in last year’s survey, will serve up more than 1.5 million hot dogs over the 2009 season, according to projections. Always boiled and grilled, the Fenway Frank is served on a New England style bun (split from the top) and topped with a choice of mustard and relish.

While the World Champion Philadelphia Phillies didn’t take the trophy in this competition, they did win the equivalent of the National League pennant, finishing second overall. Fans are expected to consume 1.25 million hot dogs at Citizens Bank Park this season.

Third place in this year’s survey goes to Dodger Stadium, home of the Los Angeles Dodgers, with 1.2 million famous Dodger Dogs expected to be devoured. This foot-long pork frankfurter is served grilled or steamed, on a steamed bun, with mustard and relish and choice of toppings.

Ballpark around the country offer a range of options to hot dog-hungry fans. Turner Field, home of the Atlanta Braves, dresses their Georgia Dog with coleslaw, chili and onion relish. Dolphin Stadium, home of the Florida Marlins, stocks its condiment carts with banana peppers. The Tampa Bay Rays’ Tropicana Field offers "The Heater," which is served with spicy chili and shredded cheddar. Arizona Diamondback’s Chase Field has a specialty concession stand called "Big Dawgs," which features five foot-long specialty hot dogs including the Arizona Dog with chorizo, cheese and tortilla chips and the Wisconsin Dog with mac and cheese and bacon bits. The Metrodome, stadium of the Minnesota Twins, is home to the "Dome Dog," a black angus dog served hot off the grill with toppings made fresh daily. When the Chicago Cubs are in town, many teams will add the famous Chicago Dog to their menu for the series: a natural casing beef frank, served on a poppy seed roll topped, (or "dragged through the garden" as they say in the Windy City), with yellow mustard, sweet pickle relish, chopped onion, fresh tomato, pickle spear, sport peppers and a dash of celery salt.

When it comes to hot dog’s close cousin, the sausage, no one is in the same ballpark as the Milwaukee Brewers. It is projected that 430,000 sausages will be served this year at Miller Park — the only park in all of Major League Baseball where sausages outsell hot dogs. Many of the park’s sausages and hot dogs are dipped in Milwaukee’s own special Stadium Sauce before being placed in the bun.

The New York Mets finished a distant runner-up to the Brewers, with approximately 405,000 sausages expected to be sold at the new Citi Field this year. Finishing third in the NHDSC’s first-annual sausage consumption survey is Comerica Park, home of the Detroit Tigers, with 250,000 projected in sausage sales.