Apr 04, 2012 Neil Benjamin Jr. Uncategorized
It was strange being at Alliance Bank Stadium on Tuesday evening among a crowd of people given there wasn’t a Syracuse Chiefs game happening.
Ovations Food Service, the new provider of grub for Chiefs games at ABS, held a tasting event, where invitees were allowed to try the new fare free of charge. Chiefs General Manager John Simone and a handful of board members, including the president, were on hand to see what’s new.
Most fans raved because the food was free Tuesday, but beyond that the response was very positive. One of the new restaurants, Syracuse Land & Cattle Co., specializes in burgers like the Split Finger or the Sidewinder. The price ranged from $5.50 — for a burger a la carte — to $8 for a meat mountain of ground beef with a hot dog on top with a side of fries.
The cheddar bacon burger was prepared well, but didn’t stand out from a typical bacon burger. It didn’t come with any sauce, as the condiment table next to the register had an array of options. The fries were decent, but again, nothing too special.
The pizza at Vinny’s Original Pizza was very good, with its thin crust, slightly tangy sauce and delicious cheese.
At Scooch’s Scoops, you can get ice cream, root beer floats and slushies, and everything is in the $4-5 range. Hot Dog Nation is exactly what it sounds like — a pig bonanza, where you can customize your pork in any way you choose.
Another new feature is Candy Land Crossing, which wasn’t open on Tuesday. It’s a place, Simone said, that will cater to a fan’s sweet tooth.
Bill Dutch, a Chiefs board member for 25 years and president for the last seven, was hanging out and talking with fans. When asked about the season, which begins Thursday at 2 p.m. against Rochester, he gave his answer from a fan’s perspective.
“I am really excited,” he said. “The enthusiasm surrounding this team kind of sucks me in. We have a great roster, and I’m hoping we can put it all out on the field.”
As for expectations in terms of crowds, Dutch said this is the first time the Chiefs have opened at home on Easter weekend, and that he’s not quite sure what to expect.
“We’re keeping our finger crossed and we’re hoping for a large walk-up crowd,” he said.
He added that bringing in Ovations and a brand new 30 by 55 foot scoreboard will help the team toward its goal of purchasing ABS.
“All that’s going on didn’t happen by accident,” he said.
Neil Benjamin Jr. can be reached at email@example.com.