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What’s new in Major League ballparks in 2022

Here’s a look at what concessions and catering operators are debuting this season to feed Major League Baseball fans.

With hopes for a return to pre-pandemic operations—at least within the restrictions imposed by labor shortages and supply chain issues—the companies managing food and beverage operations in Major League Baseball ballparks have rolled out a variety of new catering and concessions items to entice fans for the 2022 season.

Among the trends driving this season’s concessions environment is an expanding focus on ties with local restaurants, with each major concessionaire emphasizing the partnerships they are featuring in the ballparks where they operate. This trend—hardly unique for this year but definitely on the rise—has advantages for everyone concerned.

The concessionaires get to expand the quality of their offerings while leveraging the market familiarity of local brands and garnering public relations points for supporting local businesses; those businesses get that support while extending their brands to a new, high traffic location without the need to invest in infrastructure; the host venues and teams get an expansion of the amenities they can offer to attract fans to their games; and of course those fans get to enjoy some great local foods while watching a ballgame.

Another growing trend in ballpark concessions is the use of sophisticated technology to both limit contact between staff and customers and to facilitate speed and convenience of food and beverage service. A trend already underway, if only modestly, before the pandemic, it is now being driven both by staffing challenges—ballparks like just about every other foodservice operation are struggling to find adequate labor—and by advances in technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and online services. Touchless AI-enabled grab and go outlets are cropping up in select locations while mobile ordering from phones or kiosks is rapidly advancing in adoption.

Meanwhile, there is of course the food and beverage. We have already documented the new items being introduced in New York by Aramark at Citi Field and Legends Hospitality at Yankee Stadium. Here is a roundup from Major League Baseball’s other ballparks…


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