In an effort to broaden the existing food offered in Ohio Stadium, Levy — the company responsible for much of the concessions at the stadium — has released new menu items for Ohio State fans to enjoy this season.
Molly Kurth, the vice president of NCAA operations and national co-chair of Levy, gave insights about the new food additions at The Shoe.
At the forefront of new items this season is smoked meats, Kurth said. A 600-pound smoker was installed near the A-deck, section 26.
“This is the first time the stadium will see ribs, so we are excited to see fans enjoy them,” Kurth said.
Among the new additions this season is an apple pie taco — a sweetened shell with apple pie filling inside. This is among the few desserts offered in the stadium.
A standing gameday tradition is “Taste The Competition.” Each home game, executive chef Jason Smith and concessions chef Zoey Nadar come up with a new burger. Each burger represents a taste of Ohio State’s visiting football competitor. Each flavor or ingredient correlates with the away team’s most popular cuisines in their region.
For example, a burger loaded with crawfish gumbo and fried green tomatoes will be present for the Tulane game this Saturday.
Kurth said when bringing food to the stadium, sourcing locally is always important.
“Finding great partners in the local community is something that we continue to strive for,” Kurth said.
By adding new food selections at the Shoe, the goal is to increase choices to fit every fan’s wants and needs. Chefs, Levy employees and even Buckeye fans all added their ideas for food offered this season.
A Columbus-based business, Bake Me Happy, who provides gluten-free options for fans, will be introduced to the Shoe this season. Miranda Rike, a first-year in French who has a gluten allergy, said she is excited for this new option.
“It’s very hard socially to not eat when other people are eating. So many social activities are
centered around food. Having gluten free option helps me feel more included and normal,” Rike said.
As for Kurth, she believes cuisine brings back a sense of nostalgia to the overall sporting experience.
“I often say no one wakes up on a Saturday and says, ‘Let’s head to the stadium to get a hot dog,’ but that hot dog experience is part of creating a memorable experience while they are there,” Kurth said.