Archive for Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Improved food choices await KU fans this season

Salty Iguana, Bigg’s aim to enhance fans’ experience at games

Hungry KU fans will have some new choices on the menu boards at games this year, including foot-long brats, black bean burgers and barbecue turkey legs.

Hungry KU fans will have some new choices on the menu boards at games this year, including foot-long brats, black bean burgers and barbecue turkey legs.

September 15, 2009


On the street

What kind of food do you wish were available at KU games?

I wish I could have a salmon dinner, that would be pretty nice.

More responses

New choices awaiting KU fans at Memorial Stadium and Allen Fieldhouse are likely to make your mouths water.

Salty Iguana, Bigg’s BBQ and a host of upgraded, but traditional fare will grace the menu boards at Kansas University sporting events this year.

Kansas Athletics signed a new concessions contract this year with Centerplate, an east-coast business that handles concessions for several professional and college teams, including the Kansas City Chiefs.

The company has brought in the two local restaurants to serve concessions at football games, while also adding foot-long brats and additional vegetarian items to appeal to a wide range of fans.

But those specialty items — foot-long brats, for example, and a chili cheese hot dog — cost $6 or $7. Other prices range from a $3 bag of peanuts to a $7 personal pepperoni or cheese pizza from Pizza Hut. A 32 oz. souvenir cup of soda costs $4.

Centerplate officials said that vegetarian options include a black bean burger and a veggie wrap . Upgraded basketball choices will include gyros, hummus and gourmet coffee available at Allen Fieldhouse.

Jim Marchiony, associate athletics director, said expanding food choices were a part of the negotiations with potential vendors during the past year, though specific menu choices were left to the concessionaire.

Centerplate signed a 10-year contract earlier this summer to provide concessions at KU athletic events. Though a specific dollar amount was not negotiated, Centerplate will take a majority of the profits earned.

“We definitely wanted to expand our culinary horizons,” Marchiony said.

He said, so far, he’s heard positive feedback from fans after the first football game with the new offerings — specifically about the new turkey legs from Bigg’s BBQ.

“From the reaction that we’ve received, we think Centerplate has done exactly that (improved the fan experience), and done it well,” Marchiony said.

Centerplate took over concessions from Mid-America Concessions, a local company that held the contract since 1990. Centerplate company will work with local groups including churches and other non-profits, and estimated that those organization would raise more than $225,000 this year.

Centerplate also added biodegradable food service items and added recycling options around the stadium.


Jonathan Becker 8 years, 8 months ago

Six bucks for a brat?

Someone call the police. There is a robbery going on.

TopJayhawk 8 years, 8 months ago

Don't like the price? Don't buy it.
And quit whining.

TopJayhawk 8 years, 8 months ago

Complaining about the price of brats? That would make you a weiner whiner,

Matt Schwartz 8 years, 8 months ago

nice work on the recycling options...prices are high, but it's not cheap to watch many live collegiate/professional sports...what about a mangino sized chicken fried steak and tators?

Tim Quest 8 years, 8 months ago

One the one hand, you hate to see a local company lose the contract...but...

Mid-America was woefully behind the times and not up to the task anymore. It's great that Centerplate has teamed with local restaurants and kept the local flavor (and of course, kept some local dollars in the mix). Overall this is a win-win for both KUAC and KU fans.

I wonder how many of the people whining about the price of concessions are laissez-faire capitalists/conservatives/libertarians: they of all people should know that the going price of a brat is whatever the market will bear.

TopJayhawk 8 years, 8 months ago

Fanny, You are right. Something is worth exactly what someone is willing to pay for it. I don't think the prices are bad. footlong brat for six bucks. That's like three-fifty for a normal sized one.
what's wrong with that? Cheap for a major sporting event.

Matt Warman 8 years, 8 months ago

$4.00 for a drink in the souvenir cups is high, but I like the souvenir cups and we are running out of them at home. They make good stocking stuffers for cheapscates.

Evan Ridenour 8 years, 8 months ago

The prices aren't really bad at all compared to attending games elsewhere.

I do wish they had decided on different restaurants though... Salty Iguana is nasty although I realize there is a little bit of a connection with the ownership there and Self.

tym4fun 8 years, 8 months ago

I was working there on Saturday and all I can say is the concessions operation was a complete and total cluster-mess. Unorganized, inneficient and totally a waste of time for our nonprofit group. Sometimes you get what you ask for Mr. Marchioney and it doesn't work out like you thought. If the Health Department was there on the first game they would have been closed down.

hail2oldku 8 years, 8 months ago

"tym4fun (Anonymous) says… I was working there on Saturday and all I can say is the concessions operation was a complete and total cluster-mess. Unorganized, inneficient and totally a waste of time for our nonprofit group."

Ever think that maybe it was your group that was unorganized and inefficient? Without a strong stand manager - which you provide - it certainly can become a clusterf*** real quick. I get a kick out of the groups that think it's a piece cake to run a stand only to find out how much work is really involved.

Jimo 8 years, 8 months ago

A big improvement, I'm sure.

If someone freely pays $7 for a chili cheese dog then, by definition, it's worth that, or they're insane. Either way, it's a (quasi) free country.

Ken Miller 8 years, 8 months ago

OK, I'll be the first one to predict that when a ref makes a bad call, there will be turkey leg bones a'rainin down on the stadium field turf.

ku_tailg8 8 years, 8 months ago

I don't think those prices are that big of a deal. I usually don't eat anything at football (b/c of tailgating) or basketball (too much going on to worry about hunger) games but I will get a drink and I don't have a problem paying $4 for a 32oz soda. I think most people know that soda is where the money is made. That goes for all the fast food chains as well. If you want cheap concessions go to Buck Night at Kauffman Stadium.

RogueThrill 8 years, 8 months ago

Salty Iguana is the worst food in it's category in town.

imwithstupid 8 years, 8 months ago

hail2oldku: I think you are right. A friend of mine ran a concession group at the Royals and the Chiefs this past year. She said it was a lot of hard work and it takes some organization on the part of everyone in the stand to get it to function efficiently. She said there were some there who were using it as a way to get into the game and others using it for their own personal gain and not non-profit. But in the end their non-profit benefitted. They may never do it again though due to the immense amount of work and planning that goes into it. It was their first time so perhaps veteran concession workers have it down to a science.

tym4fun 8 years, 8 months ago

Hail2oldku We have worked for many years and it was much different. Like I said.....inneficient, etc....Also, I'd hate to be the folks cleaning the stadium, picking up those knawed on bones.

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