Hot dog!

Fans at the opening of Wildcat Memorial Stadium had a fever. And the only prescription was more hot dogs.

The good folks from the Oak Harbor High School Booster Club were on hand Sept. 7 selling the cure to hungry Wildcat fans. They sold so many to the ravenous throng that they shattered the record for most hot dogs sold at a single game in Oak Harbor.

Typically, Booster Club members sell around 400 hot dogs at a football game. But the Sept. 7 grand opening of Wildcat Stadium saw the club run out after selling 1,400 hot dogs.

“At the very end of the game we sold the last hot dog,” said Booster Club President Tammy Kingma.

They were prepared for the hot dog rush. Rather than one grill cooking hot dogs, there were three. Normally there are between eight and 12 people volunteering behind the concession stand, but on opening night there were 25. Half of those volunteers were Navy personnel, Kingma said.

The Booster Club sold more than just their famously giant hot dogs during opening night. Volunteers went through 11 one-gallon cans of nacho cheese, the better part of 5,000 bottles of soda, bags of popcorn (which was popped by the Blue Fox Drive-In), and the usual assortment of candy and snacks that are sold when thousands of people attend a sporting event.

“It was an awesome evening and everyone had a great time,” Kingma said.

The grand opening turned out to be a record night in other ways.

The final ticket count for the game showed that 4,143 people paid to watch the first game at Wildcat Memorial Stadium in which the Wildcats thrashed Arlington 35-0.

In addition, there were more than 60 construction workers and 95 event staff that were also on hand for the game against Arlington. Those numbers don’t include the students attending the game. They get in for free thanks to their ASB cards.

“I think it’s a fair estimate that we had 5,000 or more,” said Superintendent of Schools Rick Schulte. “It’s a huge thing to have 5,000 people in a stadium designed for 3,000.” It’s considered the largest crowd to ever gather in Oak Harbor.

The school district collected nearly $19,000 in ticket sales from the game. That money goes into the ASB athletic general account and helps pay for such things as equipment and referee fees.

“We were really pleased with how it went,” said Nicki Luper, school district athletic director. The next home football game is Friday, Sept. 28 against Everett. Get your hot dog early.

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