BATON ROUGE – Larry Wallace is moving a lot this week, checking concession stands he’s known for years in Tiger Stadium and new ones he’s seeing for the first time.
But he has a constant smile on his face and realizes that his Tiger Concession staff is part of a big team that will help make the fan experience better Saturday night in Death Valley when the Tigers host Sam Houston State in the first of seven games to be played in the now 102,000-seat venue this fall.
Wallace enters his 11th football season as director of Tiger Concessions and his 16th around the combination of food and football. He’s seen two new upper decks built on the stadium and a glorious south end zone addition that has expanded the work load while all the time trying to improve on concession stands that have been a part of the stadium since its beginnings.
He loves slogans and even at weekly game operations meetings he will try to motivate the members of the staff on hand when it’s his turn to speak.
He calls his concession group “R team” and they are serving “R Town.” That’s kind of what Tiger Stadium becomes on Saturday nights, one of the larger cities in the state.
Over the course of a home game, the amounts of product distributed and the supplies needed is astronomical:
- 70 tons of ice (on average it’s around 450 tons for the season).
- 30,000 hot dogs
- 18,000 bags of peanuts
- 12,000 cups of frozen lemonade
- 20,000 orders of nachos
- 75,000 bottles of water
All this stocked, inventoried, placed in stands, sold and distributed by a staff of 1,400 on game day.
But, it must be said, Tiger Concessions is much more than popcorn, hot dogs and cold drinks; it is a dining experience in many ways with a wide variety of food types available throughout the stadium.
For example, “Bravo For Vive!”
“Bravo for Vive! Is a brand of chef-quality food, deliciously adhering to the Paleo lifestyle. Beginning this football season, Bravo for Vive! Will be providing an exciting alternative to the already diverse fare offered by Tiger Concessions in and around Tiger Stadium,” said Wallace. “The menu will include Paleo Chicken Salad and BBQ Pork Wraps with fresh Kale Chips and Lemon Aioli as well as Paleo Granola.”
The new upper south end zone addition will feature a full Chick-fil-A Express, both Chick-fil-A Sandwiches and the Chick-fil-A Spicy Chicken Sandwich, chicken nuggets with three sauce choices and the famous waffle fries. Also there is the Death Valley Diner featuring fresh cooked 1/3 pound hamburgers for the fans to build the way they want with a full veggie bar to choose from. More menu items include: chicken tenders on a bed of fries and chicken on a stick.
Different locations throughout the stadium will feature such items as Papa John’s Pizza, fresh fried catfish po-boys, mahi mahi fish tacos and pulled pork smoked nachos.
Plus there will be some items for Tiger fans:
“The Death Valley Dog” – pulled pork BBQ sauce, hot dog, melted cheddar cheese, jalapenos and tortilla strips.
“The Crab Trap” – all beef hot dog, fresh mac and cheese and lump crabmeat in a hot dog bun.
“The End Zone Torta” – Smoked pork, chipotle mango glaze, red cabbage cole slaw and manchego cheese on an onion bun.
And, if that’s not enough to suit your gastric plate how about Chihuahua’s Chicken (Mexican Rice, grilled chicken with onions, red, yellow and green bell peppers with a hot Queso Sauce); Chicken Quesadillas, Alligator Sausage Po-Boys, Crawfish pies, Meat pies and Pretzel Dogs.
It all makes Tiger Stadium not only one of the best venues to watch a football game on a Saturday night, but a heck of a fine dining place as well.