Ballpark Digest is previewing what every MLB team is doing to begin the season, both on and off the field, as the 2019 campaign is around the corner. Up next: the Toronto Blue Jays and Rogers Centre.
The Blue Jays put an emphasis on their concessions in preparing Rogers Centre for the 2019 season. New menu items from the team and concessionaire Aramark are part of that effort, along with a slate that will add to the trend of discounted concession pricing at major sports venues.
Rogers Centre’s food options have been updated with a wide range of choices, spanning from some vegan and gluten-free cuisine to deserts. Among the healthier options coming to the ballpark this season is the “32 Ingredient Salad” (above), a vegan and gluten free selection that lives up to its name by providing 32 plant-based ingredients. The salad features Brussels sprouts, kale, green cabbage, romaine lettuce, carrots, butternut squash, red cabbage, white & red quinoa, sunflower & pomegranate seeds, orange juice, honey, apple cider vinegar, garlic, and more .
In addition, the ballpark will feature a new vegetarian and gluten-free option in the Southwest Inspired Caesar Bowl. This dish features crisp romaine, fried tortilla strips, black beans, salsa, quinoa, chickpeas, roasted squash, guacamole, cotija cheese, and poblano dressing. The Blue Jays are also rolling out an Ultimate Vegetarian Burger, featuring a grilled vegan patty, topped with avocado, lettuce, tomato and garlic aioli, and served on a potato bun.
A topped tots selection is also debuting at Rogers Centre this season, with Log Cabin Topped Tots joining the ballpark’s menu. Log Cabin Topped Tots feature tater tots, topped with Canadian maple baked beans, bacon, cheddar cheese, green onions, smoked pulled pork and sour cream. For desert, the Blue Jays are offering up a Funnel Cake Poutine–an item that features deep fried funnel cake fries, ice cream, chocolate, caramel and marshmallow.
This season will also see the Blue Jays and Rogers Centre join the growing trend of major sports teams and venues that offer some form of discounted concession pricing. For their take on the trend, the Blue Jays will debut Dugout Deals, a menu of items priced at C$5 or less. Priced at C$5 will be 12-ounce Bud and Bud Light, pretzel bites, and nachos with cheese, while hot dogs, popcorn, ice cream cones, and 16-ounce soft drinks will be among the items priced at C$3. At the lowest end of the scale, chips, bottled water, and milk cartons will come in at C$2. Dugout Deals will be available at Sections 136, 239, and 536.
Starting with the opening of Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium for the NFL’s Falcons and MLS’s United in 2017, the model of reducing concession prices for select items has become more widespread around major sports. For operators, the idea behind this concept is that lower-priced concessions will lead to more purchases. In other words, selling an inexpensive hot dog, soda or chicken sandwich results in additional purchases of said inexpensive hot dogs, sodas or chicken sandwiches. Within Major League Baseball, the Miami Marlins and Minnesota Twins are among the teams joining the Blue Jays in introducing similar initiatives for the upcoming 2019 season.
Image courtesy Aramark.
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