A new taste for a new ballpark

A new taste for ballpark

MINNEAPOLIS -- When the Twins open a new stadium in 2010, a new menu of food items will follow.

The Twins announced an eight-year partnership with Delaware North Companies Sportservice to provide all food, beverage and retail merchandise service at the new 40,000-seat ballpark in downtown Minneapolis.

Delaware North Companies Sportservice has a long history of providing cuisine at sporting events. The private company, which is headquartered in Buffalo, N.Y., provides concession and merchandising services for NFL teams, NBA teams, NHL teams and nine other MLB teams including the Cleveland Indians, Texas Rangers, St. Louis Cardinals, Milwaukee Brewers, Chicago White Sox, Detroit Tigers, Cincinnati Reds, San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers. Since 1915, Delaware North Companies Sportservice has provided fans food to munch on during games.

Rick Abramson, president of Delaware North Companies Sportservice, said his company will try to localize the food and beverage options available at the Twins' new ballpark with the interests of the fan in mind. "We will pick out, with the fans, what the food will be like," he said. "We believe the Twins fans deserve a home run in the culinary area, and we plan to deliver."

Some different items expected to be offered at the new ballpark include walleye tacos, meatloaf and potato sliders, Asian dishes and cheese curds. Traditional ballpark favorites like hot dogs, brats, nachos and peanuts would also be available.

Rolf Baumann, corporate chef for Delaware North Companies Sportservice, said the company has a history of putting effort into the food it serves at sporting events.

"From the sizzle of the onions and peppers on the grill, to the aroma of freshly popped popcorn and fresh roasted peanuts, to the first bite of a traditional ballpark hot dog, the Delaware North team plans to bring traditional and innovative fare to Twins Territory that will truly enhance the fan experience."

Abramson, who got started in the concession business in the 1970s when he was a hot dog vendor at County Stadium in Milwaukee, said he knows Minnesota fans will be impressed by the variety and quality of food they will find at the new ballpark.

"It will have great taste and flavor," he said. "We have a passion for food."

Twins president Dave St. Peter said that the type of food and drink offered at the new ballpark plays a big factor in what type of experience a fan has at a game.

"Very few things impact an experience as food and drink," he said.

St. Peter said the Twins would work with Delaware North Companies Sportservice to "localize the menu" for the new ballpark. He said the decision to partner with Delaware North Companies Sportservice was based on many factors, but most importantly because the company has a long history of providing quality service.

"It was about the people and their passion for developing quality food and drink," St. Peter said.

Joe Kieser is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.