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Friday, August 2, 2002 - 12:00 a.m. Pacific
Material on this page was published when Seahawks Stadium, now called Qwest Field, opened in 2002.
Food & shopping

Concessions to the fans

By José Miguel Romero
Seattle Times staff reporter

Andrew McDonald, 6, left, holds up a tray of garlic fries, a staple throughout the stadium.
Walking the concourses and corridors of Seahawks Stadium, it was hard to argue with Greg Nilan's point. "The Kingdome was a 5, Husky Stadium a 2 and this place is a 10," said Nilan, the food and beverage business manager for First & Goal Inc.

Nilan's ratings reflect the quality, quantity, accessibility and amount of choices available to Seahawks fans at concession stands in the new stadium.

Concessions are presented in a down-home way, using Washington state landmarks as names for the various concession stands. Prices are comparable to food at Safeco Field. Full-color lithographs of places Northwest natives know well hang above each stand, and those stand locations correspond to the geographical location of the state landmark, be it in the north, south, east or west side of the state. Example: The main and upper concourses on the west side of the stadium feature Puget Sound Pizza (the Sound is in Western Washington), San Juan Sausage Co. and Deception Pass Favorites.

On the east side of the stadium, corresponding with their eastern Washington locales, one will find the Cheney Deli, Mount Adams Grill, Palouse Falls Pizza and Steptoe Butte Sausage Co.

The Palouse Fresh Mex Grill, one of many stadium food stops with a Northwest-themed name, provides other culinary options.
The concessions are run by Aramark, a national food-service company with a six-year contract to service the stadium.

There are 48 concession stands from the upper concourse to the club level to the main concourse, as well as 40 portable concession carts. Including vendors and individual cashiers, there are as many as 485 places where fans can buy food or drink.

The stands are grouped into grills, pizza places, delis, sausage spots and booths offering popcorn, pretzels, candy, hot and cold beverages and other stadium staples.

Depending on which grill stand the fan chooses, there are fish and chips, clam chowder, burgers, crab cakes and even Mexican and Vietnamese cuisine on the menu. The pizza stands serve Pizza Hut products and Italian sausage outside the stadium's swanky club level; the delis offer sub sandwiches and cheesesteaks; and the sausage stands are the places for hot dogs, bratwurst and barbecue links.

"We take a look at what the fans are looking for, and that's what we build our menu items around," said Mark Williamson, Aramark's general manager. "We know what does well in stadiums, and then we take a look at what (food items) work regionally."

Vendors in the stands � 125 on game day � will hawk domestic beer and microbrews, coffee and cocoa on cold days, sodas, hot dogs, pretzels and water. Three TV monitors will be at each stand � one for beverage prices, one for food prices and one for the game.

Club-level patrons and suite ticket-holders can sit down for a meal at the stadium's 320-seat restaurant and lounge, which features windows facing the field and monitors for those inside the restaurant to view the game. The restaurant opens three hours before game time.

In accordance with NFL policy, fans will be allowed to bring food into Seahawks Stadium in clear plastic bags, but no beverages of any kind will be allowed inside.

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