Owners of sports franchises are always trying to find new ways to lure people to the game. Comerica Park in Detroit, for example, has both a carousel and a Ferris wheel to entertain young fans who might not be able to — or willing to — sit through an entire nine-inning game.

With the same goal in mind, the New Jersey Nets are consulting with Walt Disney Co. representatives as they prepare to move into the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Here are a few innovative ways some sports teams have expanded their offerings beyond the strength of the old-fashioned game:


Marlins Park, the baseball team’s new stadium which hosts its first game Wednesday, was built with two saltwater aquariums built into the backstop. They hold a total of 1,150 gallons of water, and a polycarbonate resin thermoplastic protect them from potential damage. The Marlins aren’t the first local team to go the way of the sea — the Tampa Bay Rays’ Tropicana Field has a 10,000 gallon tank of its own.


The main entrance to Minute Maid Park sits where Houston’s Union Station once lived, and, as a tribute, the organization runs a train along an 800-foot track above the left field wall. The train only runs as part of a celebration — when an Astro hits a home run or when the team wins. It lugs oranges.


The pirate ship at Raymond James Stadium is “the greatest prop in the NFL,” raved one fan. The giant spectacle can’t be missed over the north end zone, especially when it fires its cannon when the Buccaneers score. It’s the most prominent part of an overall pirate theme that the organization bestows on its fans. When the team isn’t scoring, fans are entertained by an animatronic parrot that sits on the stern of the ship and interacts with fans via radio and remote.


Is the Arizona humidity too much? Take a dip in Chase Field’s outfield pool. Just be careful for fly balls — it sits 415 feet from home plate and has been known to catch some home runs. Last year, after the Diamondbacks clinched the NL West title, the players celebrated with a dip (see below). Still, some wonder if the swimming pool is a bit excessive for a ballpark. “The only benefit is that, when the D-Backs are playing poorly, at least nearby fans can instead check out girls in bikinis,” said a one writer.


One of the things Canucks’ fans can enjoy during game stoppages at Rogers Arena is some live music, courtesy of a saxophonist who marches around the arena to get the crowd excited. He regales the crowd with popular hits like The Champs’ ‘Tequila.’ If the game is too slow-moving, at least you can sit back and enjoy the concert.

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