With Major League Baseball’s Opening Day set for Monday, Delaware North Sportservice teams at ballparks around the United States are firing up the grills, stocking the retail shelves with the latest merchandise and in one case – preparing to open a brand new facility.
That new facility – the sparkling SunTrust Park, home of the Atlanta Braves – this week welcomed Delaware North Co-CEO Jerry Jacobs Jr., Executive Vice President and COO Rick Abramson and Delaware North Sportservice President Carlos Bernal. Aside from meetings with both Delaware North’s team at the ballpark and Braves executives, the leadership group – along with Shawn Mattox, Delaware North’s onsite general manager – signed a baseball to be included in a special all-baseball wall-hanging featuring the signatures of the operational support team that helped open the facility.
Elsewhere, Delaware North and several of its MLB partners this week hosted sneak-peek events for media outlets.
Miller Park — Milwaukee Brewers
In Milwaukee, Abramson and Brewers COO Rick Schlesinger on Wednesday unveiled a $20 million upgrade to the concessions program, which the team dubbed “the new Miller Park food and beverage experience.” The upgrades include an architectural redesign throughout the ballpark, with a total of 11 new concession stands in the brand new “First Base Ward” and “Third Base Ward” on the Field Level and two brand new Field Level full-service bars with a variety of MillerCoors offerings and views of the field.
“The Brewers have always prided themselves on cherishing their fans,” Abramson said. “For Delaware North, it’s a tremendous honor to be entrusted with helping to make each game day exciting and memorable.”
Guaranteed Rate Field — Chicago White Sox
Aside from several creative additions to the concessions roster, White Sox fans can look for a major boost to craft beer offerings at Guaranteed Rate Field, thanks to the addition of Craft Kave – a craft beer bar offering 75 varieties of beer from 38 breweries. Joey Nigro, Delaware North’s general manager at the ballpark, views it as an interactive experience.
“It’s meant to be interactive,” he told the Chicago Sun-Times. “Go grab a can, read the label – find out more about the brewery, about the beer, and we’ll have a checkout window at the end of the line. They’ll crack the tops open for you, and you’ll be on your way.”
Target Field — Minnesota Twins
Target Field has a fresh culinary lineup for the upcoming season, including the addition of several healthy options, “cookies for a good cause” and others with deep local connections (such as the shrimp boil by 4 Bells pictured at left) – prepared and served by Delaware North.
“Whether you’re in the mood for Indian food, hot sandwiches or something green and leafy, Target Field aims to satisfy with a spate of new food options introduced to media and season-ticket holders Thursday,” an article in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune said. “In an effort to touch all the bases, the stadium has added several healthier options to its lineup. But no need to fear, the old staples of light beer and hot dogs aren’t going anywhere.”
Comerica Park — Detroit Tigers
There were no shortage of new menu items on display for media outlets Thursday at Comerica Park. New items include the Hawaiian Dog, Cuban Sandwich, Hummus Platter, Greek Salad, Chicken Shawarma, Chicken Shawarma Nachos and the headline-grabbing Coney Dog Pizza. A picture-heavy story by MLive.com runs through all the offerings, while a piece in the Detroit News features a video with Executive Chef Mark Szubeczak.
“I think the fans are really going to enjoy it,” Szubeczak told the Detroit Free Press, regarding the new pizza, which is topped with chili and melted mozzarella, a sprinkle of white onion, sliced hot dogs and a yellow mustard drizzle “When you try it, you’ll want another piece.”
Globe Life Park in Arlington — Texas Rangers
Meanwhile, Texas Rangers fans – hardly strangers to Delaware North’s creative menu offerings – can look forward to several new food items, including the much-anticipated Most Valuable Tamale, or M.V.T. The M.V.T. is a new incarnation of the ballpark’s legendary 2-foot-long Boomstick hot dog – now featuring an authentic Texas upgrade by being stuffed in a tamale and then covered in Texas Chili, nacho cheese and sour cream.
“This is our favorite time of the year, when we get to introduce and try our new food items,” said Casey Rapp, general manager at Globe Life Park, as he welcomed the Texas media to Thursday’s food tasting. Several media outlets, including MLB.com, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Star Telegram, and KHOU-TV, dedicated lengthy coverage to the ballpark’s nearly 20 new food items.
Busch Stadium — St. Louis Cardinals
Delaware North’s culinary team this year added three different one-third-pound sausages: an Old World bratwurst served with sauerkraut, an Italian sausage served with sautéed onions and peppers, and a chorizo, also served with sautéed onions and peppers.
Fans can also get a taste of Busch Stadium’s Cardinals Nation by way of a food truck that recently made its debut. The Cardinals Nation food truck offers stadium-inspired specialties such as bacon-wrapped brats, smashed burgers and Italian beef sandwiches.
Oriole Park at Camden Yards — Baltimore Orioles
Delaware North Sportservice and the Orioles today announced several new items for the
“Pork rinds topped with bacon, local dumplings and all things smothered in crab dip are just a few highlights of the new dishes baseball fans will have a chance to taste at Camden Yards during the Orioles’ 2017 season,” The Baltimore Sun reported. “In addition to new menu offerings, the club has added the Eutaw Street All Natural Grille near Gate A. The stand will serve minimally processed foods such as hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken sandwiches and beefsteak tomato sandwiches with no artificial flavors, hormones or antibiotics.”
We will soon feature both Progressive Field, home of the Cleveland Indians, and the San Diego Padres’ Petco Park, which is hosting an event for media on Saturday.
LEAD PHOTO CAPTION: Delaware North Co-CEO Jerry Jacobs Jr. (second from left) holds a baseball signed by himself, Sportservice President Carlos Bernal (far left), Executive VP and COO Rick Abramson (second from right) and Shawn Mattox, Delaware North’s general manager at SunTrust Park.