Legends Hospitality, the company that provides the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum’s concessions, plans to provide attedees with upgraded food options this football season.
Legends delivers food options that are rarely found at sports stadiums. According to the USC Athletic Department, fans can now purchase “freshly made sushi, pulled pork and chicken sandwiches, […] salads or wraps [and] box lunches from local area chefs.”
With clients such as the Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, the AT&T Stadium in Dallas and the Etihad Stadium in the United Kingdom, Legends is no stranger to iconic venues. Its partnership with USC, however, marks one of the company’s first college sports food contract.
The upgrades will come at a cost. According to the company, a meal will run around $20. For many students, that price is high enough to prevent them from eating at the stadium.
Erica Behrens, a sophomore majoring in international relations, appreciated the quality options, but said she is wary of the higher pricing.
“They had some really gourmet foods [that] you wouldn’t expect to see at a stadium,” she said. “French fries are $5. A bag of chips is $4. That’s a lot.”
With games that often last more than four hours, the cost of food and beverages feels exploitative to many students. A bottle of water now costs $5 at the Coliseum.
Director of USC Hospitality Kris Klinger decided to partner with Legends for two reasons: quality and variety.
“Our first goal was to improve the concessions and the overall fan experience,” Klinger said. “We did tastings with [Legends] on a lot of the new items. Even if you got just a traditional hot dog, it was better than it used to be.”
Those who choose to buy food at the stadium agree that the quality of the food has improved.
“I think they have a lot more options. I like that they have the bacon-wrapped hot dogs inside the stadium this year, ‘cause they don’t sketch me out as much,” said Ariel Hayward, a sophomore majoring in business administration. “The teriyaki chicken bowl, that was some good stuff.”
Many students who purchase food at the Coliseum might do so reluctantly. Brian Kelleher, a sophomore majoring in business administration, purchased a couple of snacks at the game against Utah State.
“I bought fries and a drink for $12.50. Anywhere else would be, like, $2,” Kelleher said. “I always buy stuff, but I question myself every time.”
Others’ problem with buying food has more to do with long lines than with high prices.
“I would buy something if I were really thirsty or hungry, but I prefer not to miss the game and wait in line. Especially to spend $7 on a hot dog,” Valen Crain, a sophomore majoring in economics, said.
Speeding up service is one of USC Hospitality’s priorities.
“We want to get folks in and out so they can get back to the game,” Klinger said.
Klinger predicts more people will start eating stadium food in the upcoming home games instead of lunching beforehand. Once they get a chance to explore Legends’ concession stands, they will look forward to those treats on game days.
“I think it will build over time,” he said. “There are certain items in there that you know you’re going to go for.”
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