The Times West Virginian

Sports

August 22, 2013

HERTZEL COLUMN- What’s new with food at WVU games?

MORGANTOWN — The food menu at the first sporting event I ever attended included hot dogs, peanuts and Cracker Jack.

Nothing else.

Of course, this was in 1946 and, as a 5-year-old sitting in the old Polo Grounds with his father watching his beloved New York Giants play, this was heaven.

Who knew what the future held?

Much has changed since then. No, make that nearly everything has changed since then.

The Giants are in San Francisco. Dad is gone. No one would ever have an advertisement consisting of a jumbo-sized pack of Chesterfield cigarettes hanging in fair territory on the upper deck in left field, and if a hitter struck it with a home run 10,000 cigarettes would be sent to our troops overseas as did the Polo Grounds then.

Yeah, life is different, but you can still get a hot dog, peanuts and Cracker Jack at the ball park, and the fact that the Cracker Jack now comes in a bag and not a box doesn’t hurt the taste at all.

But no one is limited to those items today, although it doesn’t seem to have hurt their popularity any, considering Americans are said to eat 7 billion hot dogs per year from Memorial Day to Labor Day, eat more than 600 million pounds of peanuts per year and as recently as 2009 devoured roughly 1,000 bags of Cracker Jack per game at Boston’s Fenway Park.

Today it is not unusual to go to a sporting event and pick up such high-scale items as sushi and lobster rolls.

So, with West Virginia University football now nine days away, it was time to look at the changes Sodexo, the company that provides concession services to WVU, is offering at Milan Puskar Stadium this season.

They say there are five new concepts, beginning with Wow Wingery at Concession Stand Six on the east side, six different flavor wings, breaded chicken tenders and fries.

You won’t be able to imagine your hot dogs at the Gourmet Hot Dog Stand, which will offer quarter-pound dogs such as a Coney Island Dog, New York Dog, Pretzel Dog, Chicago Dog and West Virginia Dog.

“Simply to Go” will sell its wares from carts on both sides of the stadium and offer wraps, parfaits and peanuts — in the form of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Next what figures to be the most popular item outside of the beer stands will be Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint out of Nolensville, Tenn., which will sell at four stands around the stadium.

Finally, in the south end zone, will be “The End Zone Tap House” featuring beer and bar food. They are pushing the cheddar bratwurst on a pretzel bun — and isn’t everything better with cheese?

It’s a little disappointing that there isn’t a stand offering traditional West Virginia fare such as pepperoni rolls or buckwheat cakes and sausage because there are, across the country, a number of specialty items offered in stadiums.

For example, in Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field you get a capicola and cheese sandwich from Primanti Brothers, the Pittsburgh restaurant made famous for its deli sandwiches that come with fries and cole slaw — all of it between the slices of bread.

Then, Atlanta’s Georgia Dome offers Peach Cobbler, and there isn’t anything much more Georgia than that, while LSU takes pride in its Louisiana heritage by selling a Cajun spicy jambalaya.

Other stadiums offer their own touch, South Carolina even going so far as to offer Thai food, Texas offering sushi (roll it yourself, no less) in its home stadium, while Notre Dame goes with the “legendary” Irish Poppers along with a grilled cheeseburger, although no one has figured out what makes the poppers Irish.

And, of course, the strangest of all stadium offerings may be at Virginia Tech, where you can purchase a giant smoked turkey leg, skin and all.

It may sound Hokie, but it’s a treat you don’t get everywhere — but you pay for it. Last time we looked it was more than $9.

Email Bob Hertzel at bhertzel@hotmail.com or follow him on Twitter @bhertzel.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Big ‘I’ golf coming to Pete Dye

    The Trusted Choice Big “I” National Championship will make its first trip to West Virginia when Pete Dye Golf Club hosts the 46th annual installment of the event Aug. 5-8.
    The Pete Dye course, ranked No. 45 on Golf Digest’s ranking of America’s 100 Greatest Courses and No. 9 on Golfweek’s ranking of Best Modern Courses, will host 160 of the best junior golfers from 40 states during the 72-hole stroke play event.

    July 30, 2014

  • Scott sees swift title contention for Lakers

    Byron Scott was a key component of the Los Angeles Lakers’ Showtime teams, a smooth shooting guard with sizzling competitive fire. He believes his purple-and-gold championship pedigree makes him the ideal coach to return the struggling 16-time champions to NBA contention.
    “This organization is all about championships, period,” Scott said Tuesday at his introductory news conference. “We don’t look at Western Conference finals, Western Conference championships. We look at (NBA) championships. And we know we have some work ahead of us, but I’m excited. ... I love challenges anyway, so this is going to be fun.”

    July 30, 2014

  • Opinion: People running NCAA may not be bumbling idiots

    Two down, one big one to go.
    And with it a growing realization that maybe the people running the NCAA aren’t the bumbling idiots everyone has been making them out to be.
    The NCAA’s agreement Tuesday to create a $70 million fund to diagnose concussions and brain injuries does more than just give some former and current athletes a bit of peace of mind — if no real money. It also extricates the organization from another serious threat to its existence, one that could have potentially bankrupted it if everyone who ever suffered a concussion playing college sports were somehow able to cash in.

    July 30, 2014

  • Steelers Camp Footbal_time2.jpg Bell looking for more decisive, productive season

    Le’Veon Bell kept watching the tape over and over, equal parts pleased and puzzled by what he saw.
    There were times during his rookie season when the Pittsburgh Steelers running back would place his hand on an offensive lineman’s back and wait patiently for the hole to open.
    Sometimes, one would appear. Sometimes it wouldn’t, mainly because whatever sliver of daylight existed had already been swallowed by darkness while Bell was still trying to read the blocks in front of him.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • smallwood-wendell(1)-2.jpg Charges against Smallwood dropped

     West Virginia University running back Wendell Smallwood took to Twitter mid-afternoon Tuesday to express his feelings after charges of witness intimidation against him were dropped by the state of Delaware.
    It took him only three words to say what was on his mind: “God is Good.” Smallwood is now free to return to West Virginia and rejoin his Mountaineer teammates when they open camp for the 2014 season Thursday.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • dungy0725 (1).jpg Rice, Dungy sideshows stain NFL

    The National Football League guards its reputation as aggressively as lineman are paid to protect a quarterback.
    So, as training camp opens around the country, how odd is it to see Commissioner Roger Goodell’s 32-team NFL empire battling bad headlines and stinging criticism from all quarters?
    Anyone want to talk to the new quarterback for his early assessment of playing with the best and biggest players in the land? That would be business as usual. Nothing has been routine about the early days of camp this season.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Post 17 #7 Post 2 #12 mw.JPG DeVaul wraps up final season as Post 17’s leader

    If you were to ask players on Fairmont American Legion Post 17’s roster who they looked up to, you’d find a familiar pattern.
    Sure, you may get some Andrew McCutchens or some Derek Jeters as replies. But if you want to find out the real answer, just look into the dugout.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Big ‘I’ golf coming to Pete Dye

    The Trusted Choice Big “I” National Championship will make its first trip to West Virginia when Pete Dye Golf Club hosts the 46th annual installment of the event Aug. 5-8.

    July 29, 2014

  • Charges against Smallwood dropped

    West Virginia University running back Wendell Smallwood took to Twitter mid-afternoon Tuesday to express his feelings after charges of witness intimidation against him were dropped by the state of Delaware.

    July 29, 2014

  • Return to Mountain State exciting for new sports writer

    When I packed my belongings out of my Morgantown apartment in May, fresh with a journalism degree from West Virginia University, I thought I had ended a chapter of my life and closed the book on my experience inside the great Mountain State forever.
    It wasn’t until I received a phone call back in my hometown of Canton, Ohio, from the Times West Virginian that the idea of a return to the area became a possibility. The opportunity to begin my professional career in an area that I’ve become comfortable with for the past several years was too good to pass by.

    July 29, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Sports
House Ads
Auto Racing Photos
Auto Racing Breaking News
Auto Racing Standings