It was an evening of doggy jerseys and quinoa bowls.
The times, they are a-changing, and the Philadelphia Phillies are on board.
The Major League Baseball team unveiled a plethora of new food and fashion for the 2017 season Monday evening at Citizens Bank Park. VIP fans networked with their red Phillies caps on as they sampled new sandwiches and witnessed a mini fashion show with new Phillies clothing.
New food offered at the ballpark includes a Jersey Shore Dog topped with pork roll and American cheese sauce, and a South Philly Dog with broccoli rabe, roasted peppers and provolone.
For those with dietary restrictions, Harry The K’s restaurant will offer a Farmers Market Grain Bowl that includes brown rice, quinoa and local veggies. A new falafel sandwich will be offered at the restaurant, along with a pastrami sausage.
It’s a new world, according to Anthony Campagna, executive sous chef at Citizens Bank Park for Aramark.
Campagna has worked for Aramark for 10 years. He said he and his staff never could have made the type of food they’re making now 10 years ago.
“As demographics change and as more millennials come to the stadium, their pallets demand for a different kind of food,” Campagna said. “People used to be happy with just a hot dog, but that’s not the case. We need to diversify our food.”
A fashion show was held for the fans, with famous Philadelphia athletes like former Phillies pitcher Tommy Greene and former Eagle Hollis Thomas serving as models.
For Greene, who once pitched a no-hitter for the Phillies and was now modeling Phillies golf attire, it was a fun day leading up to opening day Monday.
“It’s like going outside and seeing the ball park and seeing what they have to offer here,” said Greene, who now does Phillies pregame and postgame for Comcast SportsNet. “This gets you back to work, and that’s what this is about.”
The fashion show included new retail partners like SustainU Ware, which is made from recycled products (baseball fans can be environmentally conscious, too!). New Team Treatz SportsSnack doggy biscuits are now available, and a new set of Phillies college hats were shown off in Drexel University’s blue-and-gold colors.
The park is trying to bring in a younger crowd. The park itself is 13 years old, which surprised Phillies play-by-play announcer Jim Jackson.
“It still seems brand new to me,” said Jackson, who emceed the fashion runway show. “But when you see what the Phillies are doing with Aramark and with fashion and shopping — it’s at the top of Major League Baseball. It gets you ready for the start of the season, and you smell the hot dogs and food. You can come here for all 81 games and you can get 81 different dishes,” Jackson joked.
He may not be wrong. The park has added on Primo Hoagies as a partner. A new snack called the South Philly Shareable Stak is made for multiple eaters, and there will be kiosks for Zoom Foods.
Seeing people snacking on quinoa and rice and fish tacos, it’s safe to say Citizens Bank Park is ready for a new kind of fan.
“We’re stepping into the 21st century,” Campagna said. “People eat a lot differently now. Maybe you still want a burger or dog, but if you want something else, we have it.”