Early menu for Ravens on table Concessionaire unveils plans for food, beer sales

March 13, 1998|By Jon Morgan | Jon Morgan,SUN STAFF

There'll be plenty of hot dogs and hamburgers at the Ravens' stadium when it opens this summer. But there may be a few surprises, as well, such as dolphin-fish sandwiches for games against Miami, or buffalo-meat hamburgers when the Bills come to play.

Fine Host Corp., the Ravens' concessionaire, received its liquor license from the city yesterday, and in the process revealed plans for what fans can expect at the $220 million stadium.

Among the ideas under development: a tailgating area with tents alongside the stadium for corporate sponsors to lease on game days; a faster system of all-purpose cashiers who both serve food and take money; and regional cuisine, including crabcakes, pit beef, cheesesteak sandwiches and locally brewed beers.

"We'll have a whole lot of stuff," said Glenn Byron, senior vice president of Fine Host.

The 68,000-seat stadium will no doubt represent the largest restaurant and bar in the city, with 42 concession stands, 86 portable food and beverage carts, eight specialty bars and nearly 300 vendors roaming the stands with beer and food, according to the plan it submitted to the liquor board yesterday.

The Connecticut-based Fine Host estimates that it will sell more than 6,000 gallons of beer at each game.

The liquor board had few questions for the concessionaire, which assured the panel that it will seek proof of age from customers who may be younger than 30 and will shut down alcohol sales in entire sections of the stadium if the crowd becomes unruly.

There will also be roaming "courtesy squads" looking for troublesome fans and other problems. Alcohol sales will be shut off at the start of the fourth quarter at every game.

The Maryland Stadium Authority will be responsible for coordinating security, using its staff of 24 full-timers augmented by about 100 city police officers on game day inside the stadium.

Fine Host will be in charge of all food and beverage service at the new stadium, both for the 10 Ravens games each season and the college games, concerts and other events that are booked.

Byron said the company also has received many requests for catered parties on the club levels.

The mezzanine-level club area includes the 6,900 premium seats, which require an annual fee beyond the ticket price, and the 109 skyboxes. Ticket holders to both will have exclusive access to a special level of specialty food stands and bars. There will also be waiter service for food and beverage orders at this level.

Fans familiar with Oriole Park will notice a different system in place at the new stadium's concession stands.

Orioles fans line up, serve themselves food and beverages and take the items to a few central cashiers at each stand -- a system known as "line service."

Fine Host will have as many as six multipurpose cashiers at each stand, both serving the merchandise and taking money, known as a "queue line" system.

"We believe it is a faster type of service and better for the larger, football crowds," Byron said.

Byron said the company has had good luck at other stadiums it runs -- including Pro Player in Miami -- with offerings specific to the opponent, such as dolphin-fish sandwiches, buffalo burgers and, for Steelers games, Iron City beer. He said they would try and do the same for the Ravens.

In the tailgating area, which probably will be east of the stadium, tents will be capable of accommodating catered, private parties of 50 to 800.

"A lot of this is still in progress and in the works," Byron said.

Pub Date: 3/13/98

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