11 June 2008
It seems as though the hot topic of the day is regarding the new concessions at Bryant-Denny Stadium, and specifically the possible discontinuation of the "Denny Dog" at the stadium.
The Tuscaloosa News
ran an article this morning outlining some of the details of the new contract between Crimson Tide Sports Marketing and Centerplate, Inc., the company now running concessions at Bryant-Denny.
I'm not sure why this is such a huge deal, but apparently Lane Taylor and Ian Fitzsimmons on Birmingham and WJOX's Roundtable Radio have decided that it's a bigger story than scandals in the NBA and NASCAR, or the Braves pitching staff falling apart.
With all due respect to Fitzsimmons and Taylor, I think Southern tv and radio personalities need to stop perpetuating southern stereotypes by referring to a Connecticut based company as a "Yankee Company". Who cares where Centerplate, Inc.
is located? Is it not more important that they have served as vendors for World Series events, Presidential Inaugural Balls, Super Bowls & Final Fours?
Have we at Alabama not learned from the hiring of Mike DuBose that giving someone a job just because they are "from Bama" is not a good idea? Have we not learned from the hiring of Nick Saban, a native of West Virginia, and Kent State alumn, that someone from outside of the south might actually be qualified to perform a job in the south?
Centerplate, Inc. is, based on their work history, one of the best in the business when it comes to offering food items at sporting events. But because it is possible
that they might dump a cheap hot dog that has been served at Bryant-Denny Stadium for 22 years, then this is not a good move?
That doesn't work for me. Alabama has poured millions of dollars into Bryant-Denny Stadium over the course of the last 5 years, turning it into one of the nation's best collegiate facilities. Now the decision has been made to continue that - by giving Alabama fans the best when it comes to food. That is what's called progress.
This type of forward thinking has been lacking in a lot of decisions made by the University of Alabama in the last 20 years. Or at least it was lacking prior to the hiring of Dr. Robert Witt as the school's President. This is the type of move that should be applauded.
Secondly, it has not been stated ANYWHERE that hot dogs, even the same hot dogs that have been at Bryant-Denny, will not be on the menu.
Centerplate, Inc. Vice President of Marketing Bob Pascal said in the T-News article:
"The approach we take there will obviously be catering to Alabama. It’s an approach that will celebrate the brand, celebrate the local flavors and complement that with a high level of service."
They partner with local restaurants to help create menus that reflect local culture and local tastes. Is Birmingham's Yarbrough Co., the provider of the "Denny Dog", not a local establishment? Is it not possible that the "Denny Dog" will be available along with many other items?
Is it possible that Centerplate, Inc. will have a better hot dog? Is it possible that they might offer better options than a hot dog?
Bama fans should be thrilled with all moves regarding concessions at Bryant-Denny Stadium this off-season. CocaCola is coming back, which should please all Bama fans concerned with tradition. And now fans will have the opportunity to choose between more than nachos, hot dogs, popcorn & a snickers bar when they attempt to eat during the game.