Archive for Thursday, April 9, 2009

Royals debut taste of Kansas City

April 9, 2009

Peanuts, hot dogs and pretzels may be the staple for baseball fans, but the new partnership between the Kansas City Royals and ARAMARK raised the bar on concession stand fare.

Kauffman Stadium unveiled last Thursday the new concession stand line-up to complement the stadiums renovations.

The new menu features dishes to suit all tastes, including Tex-Mex, barbecue, Italian subs and pizzas, and the classic ballpark fare of hot dogs, burgers and brats.

“Many options in the concession stand food will be improved from the past,” Kevin Uhlich, Royals senior vice president of business operations, said.

Scott McGinn, district manager for ARAMARK, said the new menu worked to enhance the overall fan experience along with exclusive retail features at the stadium.

“We understand that entertainment dollars are spread thin,” McGinn said. “We wanted to create additional values for families.”

Creating the additional values for fans includes the new 150-seat Rivals Sports Bar and rooftop Bud Light Party Deck in right field.

The sports bar, open to the public during games, features flat screen televisions and an open view of the ball field.

“Right field has always been a meeting spot,” Uhlich said. “We designed Rivals with that in mind. It’s a fully functioning sports bar.”

Families visiting the stadium will find a wealth of options to keep busy in the Outfield Experience. Children can enjoy a round at the put-put mini golf course, a ride on the carousel or take time to horse around on the playground.

Sluggerrr’s Training Table, located in the Outfield Experience, offers healthy, kid-sized options for families.

The stadium’s new menu also features rotating regional fare such as beer-battered jumbo onion rings for the games against the St. Louis Cardinals and Maryland crab cakes when the Baltimore Orioles visit.

One regional favorite that won’t be rotated is the new Royals All-Star BBQ located in the Outfield Experience. Kansas City’s barbecue tradition at the stadium includes two 1,400-pound smokers.

Michael Slavin, executive chef for ARAMARK, said all barbecue items will be cooked the same day they are served. The Royals All-Star BBQ features burnt ends, smoked brisket, turkey, ham or pork, along with sides such as cheesy corn and iron-skillet baked beans.

Slavin will oversee food service in the Crown Club, Stadium Club, Diamond Club, Rivals Sports Bar, Press Club and luxury suites.

“Every food item will be touched by a chef,” Slavin said. “We’ll walk the concourse to make sure everything served is top quality.”

Uhlich said the goal of renovations was to enhance guests’ experience and create a source of pride for Royals fans.

Exclusive retail options at the stadium include the 7,000 square-foot Royals Team Store and the Sluggerrr kids team store.

Fans attending opening day will get a taste of new stadium, but portions, such as the Royals Hall of Fame, will not be finished.

Royals open home play against the New York Yankees at 3:10 p.m., Friday.

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