There are four things I really like, football, fashion, food and fat-bottomed girls. So imagine my surprise when two of the four almost entirely un-related elements intersected upon the Seattle Sounders and its home pitch, CenturyLink Field.
Ahead of a recent match against the New England Revolution, Sports and Food had a chance to visit the stadium to see first hand their culinary approach. What makes CenturyLink Field such a different place is its field side seats that cater not so much to drunk diehards, but football foodies. Sitting within (dangerous) proximity to the field of play, traditional fold down seats are replaced with round table made-to-order affairs.
Now there’s no doubt that the competition for the average man’s entertainment dollars is fierce. Regardless of sport or attraction, you know that there’s more than just gameplay enticing people to open their wallet for the best possible experience. The ultimate user experience becomes paramount and it seems the growing trend is relying on better food.
Globally, the embracing and adoration of food is gaining critical mass. One doesn’t have to look too far to see chefs once seen mostly behind kitchen doors vaulted to celebrity stardom thanks to reality TV. I personally don’t mind it, I’ve always had an affinity for food and I don’t mind seeing the backend operations as well as ex-Glasgow Rangers reject Gordon Ramsay tear people a new asshole or two. But it’s obviously gotten to the point where food, the ubiquitous and ultimately necessary part of life is infiltrating throughout all rungs of every day life in a higher end form.
Introducing more bougie stadium food is not exactly a new trend and started back in the 1990s with the modernization of old stadiums as well as the construction of new ones. But a quick look at most modern institutions and you’ll see the ubiquitous hot dog sharing a place with higher end gastronomy.
Back to the Sounders. On gameday you can expect Executive Chef John Severson preparing a la carte dining for those lucky enough to be part of the VIP Green section. This means made-to-order steaks and champagne are some are some of the culinary treats on offer.
While seats of this caliber as well as a fine dining experience aren’t necessarily requisites for a good time, the focus on food for peasants is not to be overlooked. Thanks to the 12th Man Eatery which serves as a more general food purveyor, the not so fortunate have their fair share of delicious, albeit more pedestrian, fare such as sandwiches.
Capping it all off is the careful planning on behalf of Severson to run such a massive and smooth operation as well as maintaining a respect for the food itself. This means taking into account the increasing hype against gluten with a gluten-free menu in addition to his best attempts to source local produce and ingredients.
Thanks to Crizzarito for the tip.
Photo credit: SoundersFC.com