Safeco Field concessions ranked safest in Sports Illustrated’s ballpark food safety study

Getty Images

Sports Illustrated conducted a study of ballpark food safety. Their method: counting up violations from local health department inspections. They only ranked 28 of the 30 parks, however, because the health departments in Detroit and Cleveland did not respond to their request.

The caveats, and there are many, include a couple of things worth keeping in mind: these are the results from the most recent inspection, so any of the violations may already have been remedied. Also: what is deemed a “critical” violation by one city’s health department may not be critical in another city. As SI notes, there are basic federal guidelines which encourage general uniformity, but there may be some (listeria-tainted) apples and (E. coli-infected) oranges comparisons at work here, at least in minor ways. Read the article, obviously, for the full set of conditions for the study.

According to the study, the safest ballpark food can be found in Seattle’s Safeco Field, which only had five total violations, only one of which was deemed “critical.” It wasn’t particularly close, actually, as the second place facility — Fenway Park — racked up 30.

The worst: Tropicana Field which had 241 violations, 105 of which were deemed “critical.” The catering kitchen — which presumably serves the luxury boxes and feeds private parties — and a stand outside Section 303 each had 20 violations.

The Rays and their concessionaire, Centerplate, released statements this morning about the study. Here’s the Rays statement:

“Each aspect of the fan experience is very important to us and that includes food quality and safety. We understand that Centerplate has taken corrective action for all of these violations and will be taking additional steps to ensure food safety. Moving forward, we will be working cooperatively with both Centerplate and Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation officials to provide even greater oversight of the nightly concessions operations.”

And Centerplate:

“We take this report very seriously and have already cured each of the violations in the SI article. In addition, we are taking the following steps to ensure food safety at Tropicana Field: in cooperation with the Rays, have an independent food safety inspector conduct an immediate analysis of all concessions operations; designate one additional supervisor on site each night dedicated to food safety; and require all staff to undergo the Centerplate food safety training program, again, this week. We remain committed to providing the highest quality guest experience at each of our venues.”

That’s the sound of some heads rolling, I presume. Here’s hoping they don’t boil the heads down for 12 hours with guarillo peppers, cinnamon, an orange, a vidalia onion, carrots and celery, causing the meat to fall off the bone, creating a succulent stew which can then be served on tortillas with cotija cheese and a charred green garlic remoulade sauce.

Wait, actually, that sounds delicious. Let’s hope they do do that. Although I’d rather have that at one of the Mariners’ concession stands as opposed to one in Tropicana Field.

New bill to build Athletics stadium on Las Vegas Strip caps Nevada’s cost at $380 million

D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

CARSON CITY, Nev. — A bill introduced in the Nevada Legislature would give the Oakland Athletics up to $380 million for a potential 30,000 seat, $1.5 billion retractable roof stadium on the Las Vegas Strip.

The bulk of the public funding would come from $180 million in transferable tax credits from the state and $120 million in county bonds, which can vary based on interest rate returns. Clark County also would contribute $25 million in credit toward infrastructure costs.

The A’s have been looking for a home to replace Oakland Coliseum, where the team has played since arriving from Kansas City for the 1968 season. The team had sought to build a stadium in Fremont, San Jose and finally the Oakland waterfront, all ideas that never materialized.

The plan in the Nevada Legislature won’t directly raise taxes. It can move forward with a simply majority vote in the Senate and Assembly. Lawmakers have a little more than a week to consider the proposal before they adjourn June 5, though it could be voted on if a special session is called.

The Athletics have agreed to use land on the southern end of the Las Vegas Strip, where the Tropicana Las Vegas casino resort sits. Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao has said he is disappointed the team didn’t negotiate with Oakland as a “true partner.”

Las Vegas would be the fourth home for a franchise that started as the Philadelphia Athletics from 1901-54. It would become the smallest TV market in Major League Baseball and the smallest market to be home to three major professional sports franchises.

The team and Las Vegas are hoping to draw from the nearly 40 million tourists who visit the city annually to help fill the stadium. The 30,000-seat capacity would make it the smallest MLB stadium.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said a vote on the Oakland Athletics’ prospective move to Las Vegas could take place when owners meet June 13-15 in New York.

The plan faces an uncertain path in the Nevada Legislature. Democratic leaders said financing bills, including for the A’s, may not go through if Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo vetoes the five budget bills, which he has threatened to do as many of his priorities have stalled or faded in the Democratic-controlled Legislature.

Under the bill, the Clark County Board of Commissioners would create a homelessness prevention and assistance fund along the stadium’s area in coordination with MLB and the Nevada Resort Association. There, they would manage funds for services, including emergency rental and utility assistance, job training, rehabilitation and counseling services for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

The lease agreement with the Las Vegas Stadium Authority would be up for renewal after 30 years.

Nevada’s legislative leadership is reviewing the proposal, Democratic state Assembly Speaker Steve Yeager said in a statement.

“No commitment will be made until we have both evaluated the official proposal and received input from interested parties, including impacted community members,” Yeager said.