Yay! My first NFL game in person took place at Paul Brown Stadium with the Cincinnati Bengals hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, December 7, 2014. The game was tight before a fumble by Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton turned things around in Pittsburgh’s favour. Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger then threw a 94-yard touchdown pass which turned the contest into a blowout. (Not sure why, but when I watched ESPN later, they never mentioned anything about Dalton getting knocked out of the game with an injury and backup Jason Campbell needing to come in late in the contest. You would think ESPN would at least report about the injury if it was significant enough to knock out the quarterback…but nothing.)
Of course, since this is a food blog, we’ll focus on the food at the Paul Brown Stadium concessions. With ballpark/stadium/arena food, you know what you’re getting and what you’re paying for. It’s overpriced burgers and hot dogs and beverages, and you expect cheap-quality food at exorbitant prices. Again, for ballpark food, I think they should be labelled as $$$ or $$$$, but then that would be silly because even though the food is expensive, it is still “cheap” fast food. Anyway, I digress.
When the gates opened (at 11:30 a.m. for the 1:00 p.m. start), I went straight for the concessions because there were no lines before the game. I also figured once the game started, you would be facing long lineups and then having to miss the action on the field. It was freezing in the concessions area! I had to put on my gloves to stay warm! Yes, this was an open air stadium, but I didn’t think it was going to be that cold because it wasn’t even like that when I was outside the stadium waiting in line to get in! (However, once I made my way to my seat in the 346 section, it wasn’t cold at all. Talk about extreme temperatures in the stadium!)
I got a Double Burger with Fries, and a Regular Pop. Total damage: US$17.50. Whoa. One thing I noticed is they didn’t have lids for the pop cups in the stadium, and also they didn’t have those small paper cups for the condiments either. Less waste, which is good for the environment, I guess. I’d eaten a light breakfast at the Super 8 in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky, but that was way back at 8:00, and it was light – so by 11:30 I was hungry. The burger was fine – it came with two patties – and the fries were pretty ordinary. Just ballpark food. I probably enjoyed the burger because I was hungry. Other than that, my focus was on the game, not the food.
And oh, since I had gone to RedsFest the day before and I didn’t drive to the game, I was stuck with the Cincinnati Reds souvenir things that I had to carry with me at Paul Brown Stadium. Fortunately, I got a clear Reds bag at RedsFest, because NFL stadiums don’t allow you to bring bags that aren’t clear. So I basically stuffed everything I had into that clear bag, whose dimensions was slightly over the 12 x 6 x 12 limit but they weren’t strict about enforcing that rule. 🙂
When: Sunday, December 7, 2014
Where: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati
How Much: US$17.50 for a double burger, fries, and pop. And of course, don’t forget that the ticket price on top of that.