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2019 NFL Food Preview

4th and Long Arizona Cardinals

Kickoff for the 2019 NFL season is just around the corner, and fans can look forward to unique new food items at stadiums across the league.

The 2019 season at NFL concessions brings an emphasis on multiple types of food, from twists on traditional stadium fare to vegan options. This is perhaps best exemplified by a recent announcement of new food items from Aramark, the food and beverage partner of 11 NFL teams.

Aramark is localizing its slate of food options through offerings such as M&T Bank Stadium’s Pratt Street Hoagie—which blends Baltimore favorites by topping pit beef with house-made crab dip, along with horseradish cheddar cheese and pickled red onion, on a hoagie bun. There is also the Lake Shore Drive Hoagie at Soldier Field, which features sliced gyro meat, corned beef and Italian beef topped with tzatziki sauce, Chicago-style giardiniera relish and tomato, on a sesame hoagie roll.

Vegan options are also a big part of the slate this year. Arrowhead Stadium’s Out of Town Burger includes a Beyond Burger, topped with arugula, tomato and red onion. At U.S. Bank Stadium, Minnesota Vikings fans will find the Vegan Chickpea “Tuna” Salad—an offering that includes chickpeas, stone ground mustard, lemon zest, tahini, chopped dill pickle, finely chopped celery and chopped red onion, served on pita rounds, salad or bread. It comes with the option to add tomato, lettuce, avocado slices, or onion.

Celebrity chef partnerships will also be evident on menus this season, ranging from Chris Shepherd’s Bacon Sausage Dog at Houston’s NRG Stadium to Rocco Whalen’s Tremonster Potato Skins at Cleveland’s FirstEnergy Stadium. Other unique options at Aramark-served stadiums this season include the Buffalo Chicken Cheesesteak Panzarotti at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field, a Filet Bowl at Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field, and a Pear, Turkey Bacon Flat Bread at Cincinnati’s Paul Brown Stadium. A listing of new menu items from Aramark is available here.

Beyond those options, plenty of NFL teams will be serving up unique fare this season. The Seattle Seahawks have announced a wide range of new food items at CenturyLink Field, served by general concessions and premium dining operator First & Goal Hospitality (FGH). That includes the Seattle Cheesesteak, a localized take on traditional fare that includes shaved beef on a fresh hoagie with herbed cream cheese and grilled peppers and onions. This season will also see the introduction of new local items from the likes of Pecos Pit BBQ, Taco Time, Oberto Hot Links, and Hempler Hotdogs.

The Arizona Cardinals are debuting several new food items at State Farm Stadium. Highlighting the group is the new “4th and Long” hot dog—a 22-inch, 1-pound, all-beef hotdog that can be served with a variety of toppings. Healthier options are also part of the mix this season, with the Cardinals introducing tossers, protein boxes, and a cart from Glendale-based catering company Claudine’s Kitchen, which specializes in Lebanese food.

At Ford Field, fans can look forward to several new food items from the Detroit Lions. Duo Waffle Tacos have been added to the menu, while the chain Wahlburgers will have a presence with two club level locations. In the Lions’ case, there is also a heavy emphasis on new beverage offerings, from weekly specialty cocktails to weekly limited release craft beers that will be unique to each game. A complete listing of weekly craft beers can be found here.  

There are also some interesting partnerships to note. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and PDQ restaurants (People Dedicated to Quality) are collaborating on an initiative that will include two PDQ-branded concession stands on the main concourse at Raymond James Stadium, which will be open during every ticketed event at the facility. In addition, the agreement makes PDQ the Official Chicken Tender of the Buccaneers.

While not specifically food-related, the Los Angeles Rams and Casa Mexico Tequila have entered into a one-year agreement that will affect the concessions experience at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for Rams games. The highlight of this agreement is branding for the Casa Mexico Sky Deck, an area that sits atop the new Scholarship Tower that was added as part of a Coliseum renovation project led by USC. Casa Mexico will also have a presence in other areas of the venue, including concourse drink carts and specific-ticketed locations, such as the Rams VIP Tailgate and Field Suites bar.

At stadiums around the NFL this season, fans will find a mix of new food and beverage options that could ultimately raise the expectations for what should be served beyond the traditional gameday offerings. With some time remaining between now and the beginning of the NFL season, we will likely see more announcements regarding menu additions for 2019, but this slate shows the promise for a strong year when it comes to the NFL concessions experience.

4th and Long courtesy Arizona Cardinals. Seattle Cheesesteak courtesy Seattle Seahawks.

This article first appeared in the weekly Football Stadium Digest newsletter. Are you a subscriber? It’s free, and you’ll see features like this before they appear on the Web. Go here to subscribe to the Football Stadium Digest newsletter.

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August Publications