Stadiums, Farmers, and Fans all Score with “Farm to Game” Experience

Across the nation, sports fans are being offered fresh, healthy fare during game time……

(above) The Garden at AT&T Stadium, home of San Francisco Giants, featuring veggies grown on site and smoothie/juice bar

Tampa’s Amalie Arena serves hot dogs, nachos, and the rest of the foods that fans expect at an NHL game.

But the arena also offers herb-studded risotto, seasonal soups, and a salad bar—all sourced from
the onsite hydroponic farm at Tampa Bay's Amalie Stadium.

(1 photo Above and 2 photos below)

Tampa's Amalie Stadium where gourmet meals being produced from the on site Hydroponic Garden

Since 2014, this 1,120 square foot vertical farm has been the source for up to 80 percent of the fresh produce served in the arena’s club level restaurants and executive suites.

On game nights, this can mean feeding up to 5,000 Tampa Bay Lightning fans, and those in charge hope to see that number rise.

“We were getting a lot of feedback from fans who wanted more fresh options,” says Darryl Benge, executive vice president and general manager at Tampa's Amalie Arena.

“It’s been successful in our premium spaces, now we’re trying to figure out how to scale it and bring it to regular concessions.”

(below) "The Garden" at AT&T Stadium, home of San Francisco Giants, featuring veggies grown on site and organic smoothie/juice bar

Amalie Stadium in Tampa is not an anomaly…….

Fans at Levi’s Stadium and AT&T Park in San Francisco, Nationals Park in Washington, DC, and Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore can now also nosh on local foods while cheering on their favorite teams.

(Below) Crab Sandwich from the Menu of San Fransisco's Levi Stadim's Locally Sourced Food Program

As the trend gains fans, more arenas are looking for opportunities to incorporate farms alongside baseball fields, basketball courts, and hockey rinks.

Golden 1 Center in Sacramento plans to emphasize local foods. In Atlanta, raised beds will produce fruits and vegetables for Falcons fans; in Sacramento, 90 percent of the foods served in the concessions at Golden 1 Center will be sourced from more than 750 local farmers, ranchers, and artisanal food producers within a 150-mile radius of the stadium.

 

(Below) The Golden 1 Center in Sacramento Indoor Stadium to be completed in 2016, In addition to locally sourced food, Golden 1 Center will be carbon and grid neutral, as well as LEED Gold-certified Golden 1 Center will also reflect the fabric of Northern California by utilizing regionally sourced materials that range from glass to recycled aluminum to potentially precast concrete, composed of sand from San Benito and rocks of Sierra limestone that reflect the colors of the region. What's more, Golden 1 Center will utilize only FSC-Certified wood, an international standard of quality and responsible forest management.

“From the start, the arena project has been about celebrating the region and creating something that is uniquely Sacramento”…….

……..says Michael Tuohy, executive chef and general manager for Legends Hospitality at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California.

(2 photos Above and 2 Below) Mercedes-Benz Stadium Home, future home of the Atlanta Falcons

One of the many innovative attractions of the stadium due for completion in 2017 is
Mercedes-Benz Stadium's Edible Garden . Blueberries will be among the food crops (Georgia is the country’s top-producing state for the antioxidant-rich fruit). Other crops will include two varieties of figs and two apple varieties. The gardens will be irrigated by storm water collected from a storm detention vault.

"The Garden" at AT&T Park in San Francisco is a  the 4,300 square foot garden behind the centerfield wall, tended by Farmscape Gardens, produces dozens of varieties of fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

In a show of team spirit, the garden manager plants black and orange tomatoes and edible flowers to match the S.F. Giants’ colors.

(Below) The Garden at AT&T San Francisco's Stadium, fans admiring fresh growing veggies at the stadium.

The Garden, accessible to all ticket holders and open two hours before the first pitch, has two concession stands:

Hearth Table serves traditional ballpark fare like flatbread pizza and all-beef hot dogs made with ingredients grown onsite, and Garden Table is a vegetarian restaurant using produce harvested from the garden in smoothies, salads, and soups.

(Below) The Juice Bar at  San Francisco's AT&T Stadium.

“You might want a hot dog and garlic fries at one game and a salad and a smoothie at the next one,” says Hannah Schmunk, community development manager for BAMCO.

“We wanted to let fans know that the park [AT&T in San Francisco] has options for everyone.”

 

(Below) The So called "Green Roof" at Levi Stadium, Home of the San Francisco 49'ers

Although fan demand is the major driver of the farm-to-stadium trend, it also presents the biggest challenge. Tampa’s Amalie Arena invested $30,000 to build its hydroponic farm, taking advantage of an unused space near the loading dock to construct 125 towers with 3,000 growing spaces, or about the equivalent of one acre of land.

In peak production, the farm barely grows enough produce to meet the demand in its club-level restaurants and executive suites; expanding the size of the farm to serve all of its concessions and will require a lot of creativity and a significant renovation.

(Above and Below) Nationals Park, Washington DC (Home of the Washington Nationals)

Nationals Park is starting a Rooftop Garden

In Sacramento, designing a menu that combines stadium classics fans have come to expect with unique offerings that emphasize local ingredients at the Golden 1 Center has been a challenge.

“We need to have the fresh produce for locally sourced Bahn Mi Sandwiches, and a classic hot dog [made with beef from a local ranch] with all of the fixings,” he says.

(Above and Below) The Rooftop Garden At Fenway Park, Boston

At AT&T Stadium in Dallas, food and beverage provider Legends has taken a different approach to sourcing local and organic produce for the 80,000 Dallas Cowboys fans who attend each game.

The stadium employs two full-time purchasers who seek out local farmers and ranchers who can meet the demand (such as the We Over Me football field farm at Paul Quinn College). Currently, 10 percent of ingredients come from the local area.

(Below)  Dallas Stadium Purchasers George Wasai and Tony Sinese (right) meet with farmers from
"We Over Me " Farm at Paul Quinn College, one of the AT&T  Stadium’s  in Dallas local growers, to plan their menu.

“We work with local producers to manage supply and demand systems and [require] continual communication to know where quantity/quality levels are,” explains George Wasai, director of food and beverage for Legends at AT&T Stadium.

“We wanted to be part of this unique form of agriculture that is taking hold with the hope that fans would fall in love with the space and start to value farms and the sources of their foods” .

(Above and Below) Green Roof at the Target Center Indoor Stadium Minnesota

Though not currently used for food growing, no other place in my blog to give a "Sustainable Shout Out" the to Target Center Green Roof

The roof spans 2.5 acres and has captured nearly 1 million gallons of storm water annually preventing its drainage into the Mississippi River. The roof is also expected to last at least 40 years, making it the more cost-effective option than a conventional roof. Keeping with the green theme, 98% of the old roof was recycled.

Article inspiration an most of article text taken from an article I ran across on Civileats.com

 

~stay healthy~

 

check out all my articles in
"Sustainable Gardening, Eating, Living…..and all that jazz"

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