Nice promotion for the Frederick Keys (High Class A; Carolina League): Top Chef finalist and local restaurateur Bryan Voltaggio manned a concessions stand at Harry Grove Stadium, pulling in a crowd almost double what the Keys draw on an average Tuesday night. This shows the high-end promotion can work in the right market — and be a hoot as well.
Frederick has turned into a foodie heaven as of late: we had a chance to sample some of the Brewer’s Alley beers at the downtown brewpub during a recent visit (the beer is sold at the ballpark as well — bonus!), and the food at Harry Grove Stadium is already pretty good. Volt, the restaurant opened by Voltaggio, has proven to be a big draw in the historic city — but there are plenty of other dining gems in Frederick as well.
Voltaggio cranked it up a notch by taking over a concessions booth down the third-base side, along with cohorts from his Volt restaurant. The deal for fans was sweetened by the Keys giveaway of 1,000 Voltaggio bobbleheads, but the food probably would have been enough: truffle oil on the popcorn, a Border Springs Farm Lamb Hot Dog, shrimp po’ boys, pulled-pork sandwiches made with Red Wattle Pork, and Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho “Dipping Dots” Rock Shrimp Ceviche with Petite Cilantro. Foodie heaven.
An event like this certainly wouldn’t work in every market. But we’re guessing there are a lot of foodies in most markets who would turn out for an annual event like this at the ballpark, and Frederick showed it can bring a serious uptick in ballpark attendance on what normally would be a pretty slow night.
More from the Baltimore Sun; the lucky reporters there got to eat some of Voltaggio’s ballpark food.
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