SBJ/Jan. 20-26, 2014/Super Bowl
Menu all about comfort foods
Published January 20, 2014, Page 52
“We’ve done just about every big event at the Meadowlands, but this is the biggest event in the world and the biggest in Super Bowl history as far as we’re concerned,” said Bill Lohr, Sportservice’s on-site general manager, who has spent 22 years in the industry, four of them with Sportservice. “We’re
To make a strong impression on the NFL and the 82,000-plus guests attending the game, Sportservice’s food operation for the first outdoor Super Bowl in a winter climate is skewed toward comfort foods and a hot-beverage program ranking among the most extensive in sports.
Sportservice will serve hot chocolate, coffee, tea and cider to help keep fans warm during the Feb. 2 game, as well as liquor drinks such as the Siberian Winter Toddy, a concoction of rum,
|Seafood combo (top), shrimp and corned beef will be among the offerings at the Super Bowl.
Those hot drinks, plus soup, chili and some pasta dishes, will be served in official Super Bowl souvenir cups carrying the slogan “Don’t Be Left Inside.” The container design also features “big fat handles” for fans wearing gloves to grab hold of, helping them to eat while on the go.
“With this being a cold-weather city, we went a little further with this program than a typical Super Bowl,” said Marcus Sneed, Sportservice’s director of operations at MetLife Stadium.
The vendor will have special trucks set up outside the stadium to provide additional hot water to concession stands and other food locations to meet the needs of 10,000 to 20,000 credentialed media as well as the fans.
Fans can still buy beer and soda, although draft lines tend to freeze in ultra-cold weather. If that occurs, Sportservice will go exclusively with aluminum and plastic bottles.
New concession items for the Super Bowl include a hot corned beef hoagie, Sportservice’s take on the famed Carnegie Deli sandwiches, and a hot chicken wing bar, said Eric Borgia, MetLife Stadium’s executive chef.
Including retail, Sportservice will deploy about 3,000 employees for the Super Bowl, 900 more than a typical New York Jets or Giants game at the venue. On the food side, there will be about 75 more points of sale, most of them tied to the Gameday Fan Plaza outside the venue.
In a strong union market, Sportservice will use concession workers from Madison Square Garden, Yankee Stadium and Barclays Center to supplement its own workforce, Lohr said. About 15 nonprofit groups that already work MetLife Stadium also will be on hand.
“We needed to hire more people in the premium areas, runners, and suite attendants and servers,” Lohr said.
In addition, Sportservice is bringing in about 65 managers from its NFL and MLB accounts and from the company’s corporate office in Buffalo. Eight people will come from Red Bull Arena, a Sportservice client in nearby Harrison, N.J.