New choices awaiting KU fans at Memorial Stadium and Allen Fieldhouse are likely to make your mouths water.
Salty Iguana, Bigg’s BBQ and a host of upgraded, but traditional fare will grace the menu boards at Kansas University sporting events this year.
Kansas Athletics signed a new concessions contract this year with Centerplate, an east-coast business that handles concessions for several professional and college teams, including the Kansas City Chiefs.
The company has brought in the two local restaurants to serve concessions at football games, while also adding foot-long brats and additional vegetarian items to appeal to a wide range of fans.
But those specialty items — foot-long brats, for example, and a chili cheese hot dog — cost $6 or $7. Other prices range from a $3 bag of peanuts to a $7 personal pepperoni or cheese pizza from Pizza Hut. A 32 oz. souvenir cup of soda costs $4.
Centerplate officials said that vegetarian options include a black bean burger and a veggie wrap . Upgraded basketball choices will include gyros, hummus and gourmet coffee available at Allen Fieldhouse.
Jim Marchiony, associate athletics director, said expanding food choices were a part of the negotiations with potential vendors during the past year, though specific menu choices were left to the concessionaire.
Centerplate signed a 10-year contract earlier this summer to provide concessions at KU athletic events. Though a specific dollar amount was not negotiated, Centerplate will take a majority of the profits earned.
“We definitely wanted to expand our culinary horizons,” Marchiony said.
He said, so far, he’s heard positive feedback from fans after the first football game with the new offerings — specifically about the new turkey legs from Bigg’s BBQ.
“From the reaction that we’ve received, we think Centerplate has done exactly that (improved the fan experience), and done it well,” Marchiony said.
Centerplate took over concessions from Mid-America Concessions, a local company that held the contract since 1990. Centerplate company will work with local groups including churches and other non-profits, and estimated that those organization would raise more than $225,000 this year.
Centerplate also added biodegradable food service items and added recycling options around the stadium.