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2018 NFL season kicks off with fresh food creations and game-day innovations

The 2018 National Football League season is here, and Delaware North Sportservice has stepped up its game at the five NFL stadiums where it operates food and beverage services. New mouthwatering food items, fresh concept designs, and innovative technology will elevate the game-day experience for thousands of football fans as they watch their favorite teams this fall.

MetLife Stadium goes green and global
In addition to creating a new salad-focused concept at the home of the New York Giants and New York Jets, the Delaware North team has added more vegetarian options and international dishes that capitalize on the ethnic and culinary diversity of New York City.

Camilo Baquero, executive chef for Delaware North at MetLife Stadium, and his team have updated popular dishes to not only keep them fresh, but also to appeal to a wider audience of culinary tastes. He and his team took the stadium’s taco concept and added a wild mushroom tostada option for vegetarians, and also introduced a Bahnbekyo Korean Pulled Pork Sandwich with carrot and cabbage pickled slaw.

“We try to keep it regional and target all the food scenes available in the New York area,” Baquero told VenuesNow magazine. Bill Lohr, Delaware North’s general manager at MetLife, added, “We have hit almost every ethnicity you can and then we expand on those.”

Bank of America Stadium goes big on local beer and technology
The home of the Carolina Panthers this year will offer a record number of local and craft beers . Ten Charlotte-area breweries will have their beers featured at the stadium in both draft and canned options. New grab-and-go coolers will also offer a convenient way for fans to purchase a beer without the wait.

Another new addition to the game-day experience at the stadium is the expanded use of pick-up lockers, where fans can use a mobile app to order food and retrieve their items from a self-serve locker. Similar lockers have been used at the stadium’s team store for retail orders, and also at other sports venues where Delaware North operates around the country.

TIAA Bank Field goes patriotic with military-friendly meals
Fried ravioli and jambalaya aren’t usually associated with football, much less football in Jacksonville. However, Executive Chef Sean Kinoshita devised game-day versions of the comfort foods to be part of a military-themed section of the home of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The dishes are tasty versions of MREs, which stands for “Meals Ready to Eat” in military terms, and are available in a new section designed to celebrate and salute active-duty, reserve and veteran military personnel with a first-of-its-kind interactive area for fans. The jambalaya is a tasty combination of chicken and andouille sausage, while the ravioli are deep-fried for easy eating.

Lambeau Field goes hearty and hand-held
Green Bay, Wisc., home to the Packers and legendary Lambeau Field, is famous for its icy game-day temperatures and Wisconsin food staples such as brats, beer and cheese.

Leading the food lineup is the Brat in a Blanket, a brat wrapped in melted cheese curds inside a pretzel bun. Another item that’s sure to be a hit with Packer fans is a ham and bacon sandwich with sautéed onions and a beer mustard cheese sauce on a pretzel bun.

Executive Chef Heath Barbato called the items “perfect glove or mitten food when the weather turns frigid.”

“Lambeau is still a king of selling brats and cheese curds and things like that,” Barbato told the Associated Press this week. “So we always try to feed the fans that only get out to one or two games something different other than the normal food here.”

Another addition to Lambeau this season is an easy self-checkout system developed by Mashgin. The technology, which has also been introduced at Comerica Park in Detroit, allows fans to simply place their items on a tray outfitted with eights cameras that scan the items, calculates the price and prompts fans to pay with a credit card or Apple Pay. The scanner is the first of its kind for an NFL stadium.