Seahawks fans in search of food on gamedays at CenturyLink Field this season may be enticed by a few new scents simmering around the stadium.
This past spring, the Seahawks created First & Goal Hospitality (FGH) as part of a continued effort to enhance the gameday experience at CenturyLink Field, where FGH will manage and operate all general concessions and premium dining for stadium events.
For 2017, that means a mix of new food offerings from award-winning chefs and fan-favorite local vendors, with all operations geared toward exceeding 12s' expectations.
"All the companies that we had in before did a great job, but to truly do what we want to do, to truly exceed the expectations of our fans we had to do it ourselves, we had to bring it in-house," said David Young, Senior Vice President of Operations/General Manager of CenturyLink Field. "We know what our fans like, we're local, it's important for us to be local, so it's about enhancing the guest experience, it's about elevating the guest experience."
The change comes after a season that saw the Seahawks overall gameday experience rank No. 1 in the NFL's annual Voice of the Fan survey, but "Once you're No. 1, you've got to work hard to stay there," Seahawks Chief Operating Officer Chuck Arnold said last month. Searching for ways to elevate the guest experience is oftentimes done between seasons, and while the Seahawks do use that time to improve upon the year prior, taking food and beverage operations in-house will allow improvements to be made in a more timely manner.
"It offers us more control, it offers us the ability to be a lot more responsive to our fans when they tell us, 'you know what, we'd rather see this,'" Young said. "Or maybe they don't explicitly tell us, but they tell us with their buying patterns that they don't like an item, or they like this item, and we can make adjustments based on that."
Increased variety and enhanced quality of gameday food is what fans will notice most this year, Young said, but an emphasis was also placed on establishing better and more timely guest service, a positive note for the 68,000-plus fans expected at every Seahawks home game this season.
"We want to take responsibility for the full experience," said Young. "Coach [Pete] Carroll is putting a great product on the field, we want to put a great product off the field that matches that championship quality and character."
Photos of fans from the 12th day of 2017 Seahawks training camp at Renton's Virginia Mason Athletic Center.