Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Concession Stand Review – New Hope Football

As I mentioned in my last post, I have decided to review the concession stands at the football and basketball games I cover for The Huntsville Times; and this, dear readers is the first of those reviews.

I am a lover of concession stand food, which I realize is kind of weird, but I’ve never heard anyone call me normal – so there you go. Nachos, popcorn, hotdogs, hamburgers, sunflower seeds, funnel cakes, you name it, and I’ll probably eat it. It’s a junk food mecca – who wouldn’t love it.

I’ve been to thousands of sporting events in my lifetime and one of the best things about going is hitting the concession stand. Last year when Jackie, Tina, Chad and I were lucky enough to enjoy the sky box at Bryant Denney Stadium, we had an overabundance of food to choose from, but the thing I was most looking forward to – hot dogs at the half. Maybe it’s the ballgame atmosphere, maybe it’s just that I love junk food, but either way, the concession stand can be one of the best places to eat when you need a junk food fix.

The problem these days is that concession stand prices keep rising, which tends to keep me at bay more than it once did. At professional events the prices are the highest and college games aren’t really that much lower, which is why I relish the high school concession stand. Typically, the concession stands are run by band parents or football parents or some other group of parents just trying to make a buck for their kid, which keeps prices low and makes my wallet and stomach smile.

Now, on to the review – the New Hope concession stand is (as Tony would say) pretty good. They have a decent selection of food, which is always a plus in the concession stand business. Some of their main choices include hot dogs, pizza, popcorn, and if I remember correctly, chicken and BBQ sandwiches, or maybe it was one or the other. Since I didn’t think about doing these reviews until after my trip to the concession stand, I didn’t study the menu and can’t remember for sure which of these two they had on the menu.

New Hope also offers nachos to which you can also add chili for a chili cheese nacho. I didn’t have these because that can get awfully messy, but I saw someone get these at halftime and they looked delicious. This stand also had sunflower seeds, which I consider a big plus. During football season, I have a slight addiction to sunflower seeds and usually carry my own with me, but have been known to run out and need more and I’m always thankful when the local concession stand had them on hand. They also had a large variety of candy, which is good for those folks who need a boost of sugar because the game isn’t all that exciting.

As for drinks, New Hope has Coca-Cola products, which means this stand gets a higher grade in my book. I’m a Diet Coke lover and am not a fan of Pepsi products in the least. So, it always pleases me when a school has Coca-Cola products on tap for my drinking pleasure. For the choices, they had Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Mello Yellow, Sprite, and Dr. Pepper. They also had bottled water and blue Powerade which is a huge plus because I also drink a lot of Powerade at games because I sweat a lot and don’t want to get dehydrated. The fountain drinks are served in a rather large (probably 16 or 20 oz) cups with cubed ice. Kaycee left a comment in the last post that she loves the little “pebble” crunchy ice (like you get at Sonic) so I thought I would mention the type of ice they had here since I know a lot of people like that “pebble” ice.

The prices are very reasonable. Sodas were $1 and so was popcorn. Hot dogs were $1.50. I am not sure about the other prices because I didn't buy anything else. I doubt there was anything over $3 - a real bargain!

The concession area at New Hope is in the West end zone and they have four lines. I’m not sure if the folks out at New Hope don’t visit the concession stand often or if the workers are just efficient, but either way, the lines are never very long and the process runs smoothly with very little wait time – a HUGE plus in my opinion.

Final grade: A


Melissa said...

Wow - I want some concession stand food right now. Sure beats my lunch today...raw carrots, crackers, a few cheese squares, yogurt, and cantaloupe. I'm trying to be good this week, since I was on a work trip to Charleston last week and ate ALOT of yummy meals - including dessert with every dinner :)
For now, though, I want a hot dog and a funnel cake, please!

Erika said...

Awesome! I can't believe I just read a post about concession stand food and enjoyed it - no offense to the writer, of course! lol
Perhaps Tim and I can have our next date night at a New Hope football game!
I'm loving these reviews; looking forward to the next.
p.s. I like that they have fountain drinks instead of cans.

Mary McLaughlin said...

Having worked in concession stands for at least half of my life, I am no longer a fan of concession stand food! But I do love to linger and see what is offered (and then compare it to what MA offers!) Ice is a big deal for me, too, as I love Sonic ice. As a matter of fact, I usually purchase 1 bag a week and keep it at work to have with water and just to crunch on!