WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Whatever food you may fancy, the Wichita Wind Surge plans to hit its menu out of the park.
“What we are going to do is hopefully surprise everybody on opening night,” said Food and Beverage Director Randy Robinson.
Robinson, a seasoned chef, and his team have created a menu with a treat for everyone in the family. He showed off some of those items to the KSN crew ahead of the home opener.
“We’ve got our hot dogs, our sausages, our brats, our chicken tenders, pretzels, our cheesesteaks,” he said.
Between the stadium’s numerous concession stands, fans can find pizza, hamburgers, Dippin’ Dots, Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers, fries, funnel cake fries, nachos, peanuts, stuffed grilled cheese, and even topped mac and cheese.
“I want our food to be something that they remember and that’s really what led to a lot of the decisions that we made,” Robinson said.
However, not all items will be available at each concession stand. Instead, the specialty items like mac and cheese and stuffed grilled cheese will be at select locations. Robinson said there is a strategy behind that move.
“This year, we want people walking around the building. We want them to see the different areas,” he explained.
How is the large selection made possible?
Riverfront Stadium boasts a total of eight kitchens. Each concession stand has one, there’s one in the basement, another two finishing kitchens throughout the park, and one located in the Emprise Bank suite.
“This is the largest, most robust cooking that I have ever had. I have never had the capability to do what we do here,” Robinson said.
Even the smaller kitchens have fryers, walk-in coolers, and self-cooking ovens.
“I have been cooking for 30 years, and I can do anything that I have ever cooked in my career in that kitchen back there,” Robinson said.
Robinson and his head chef, Kassidy Hibarger, call the stadium’s set up “state of the art.”
Hilbarger, a Wichita native, used to work at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. Robinson spent years at Arrowhead.
“The one thing I have learned most is if you are static, you are probably falling behind. The best way to put it is if you build the building for today, you are already 10 years behind everybody else. This food program is ready for the next 30 years,” Robinson said. “This is the real deal.”
What will a trip to the concession stand cost you?
The average price for a ballpark favorite is about $5, add a drink to that and a trip total comes to about $9 a person.
A hot dog is priced at $3.75 while a jumbo hot dog will cost $5.25. The chicken tender basket with fries is $10.
“You could get a drink for another $4, so you can walk away spending $14,” Robinson said.
Robinson said the goal is to keep things affordable while turning a profit. He said when you add the food, the drinks and the atmosphere together, the price is right and reasonable. He added menu items will change throughout the season to keep fans wanting more.
“By the end of the season, we will do something that will amaze you,” he said.