Almost a year ago, Tiffany wrote a post highlighting some big news in gluten-free ballpark concessions. A few months later, Laura wrote about the gluten-free football stadiums catching up to the trend.
And now, just in time for Opening Day, I’m happy to add even more home-run news for 2011.
The first morsel of gluten-free goodness is for anyone in St. Petersburg, Florida. Tropicana Field, home of the Rays, is now also home of GF! Gluten-Free Ballpark Favorites. As you might be able to guess from the name, the concession stand is offering, “gluten-free versions of traditional ballpark favorites like hot dogs, pretzels, and beer.”
Sorry, I couldn’t resist the pun. Anyway. The other baseball news comes from Busch Stadium, where the Cardinals play in St. Louis, Missouri. The stadium is adding “a farmers market-style stand…to offer several gluten-free options, including garden and chef salads, yogurt and fruit.”
What’s especially noteworthy is that these two stadiums are fed by two completely different catering concerns (neither of which is ARAMARK, who were the impetus behind last season’s increase gluten-free beer).
Although the new news is only affecting these two stadiums now, each concern – Centerplate in Florida and Delaware North Sportservice in Missouri – is responsible for many more facilities. Chef Norman Taylor Jr., of Sportservice, made a point of noting that demand for gluten-free food is spiking in all of their 10 stadiums.
It’ll be worth monitoring Busch Stadium, who could potentially face cross-contamination concerns given that the stand will also sell gluten-full snacks. If they can pull it off, it might be a great model to roll out to more stadiums across the country; after all, not every stadium necessarily has the demand that Tropicana Field is banking on to be able to support a fully gluten-free stand.
If you’re in the St. Louis or St. Petersburg areas to take in a game – let us know how the snacks are! If you’re watching elsewhere, what sort of gluten-free options does your local baseball stadium have? Do you trust them / feel safe eating it?
If you prefer your games televised, what’s your favorite make-at-home gluten-free snack?