Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Going hungry again in spring training

Once again, I've completed a Florida spring training tour with very little to eat.

I visited four different ballparks this month and none of them offered any appealing gluten-free options. I was able again to eat a chef's salad at the Boar's Head booth at George Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, because everything Boar's Head produces is gluten free. But that's not my idea of great ballpark food. For the most part, my options were down to peanuts and popcorn.

And obviously I didn't find any gluten-free beer.

I didn't visit the Phillies' ballpark in Clearwater, which has had gluten-free hot dog buns in the past.
Space Coast Stadium

I was doing some calculations in my head. Most of these games draw 5,000 to 10,000 people. If 6 percent of the population is gluten intolerant, that's potentially 300 to 600 gluten-free customers every game. Surely that would be enough for these teams to stock a few packages of gluten-free hot dog buns at maybe one concession stand. Most hot dogs are inherently gluten free.

And I've brought up the point before that it wouldn't take much for anybody that serves Budweiser to stock a few cases of Redbridge beer, which is also made by Anheuser-Busch.

Of course, I planned for this in advance and made sure I ate before going to the ballpark. But I have to admit I was suffering from gluten-free blues as I smelled all that unhealthy junk food and watched everybody else chow down on it. Sigh.

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