Chef Gerard Klass and his wife Brittney are the first Black husband-wife duo with a concessions stand at the Minnesota Twins ballpark. The couple co-owns Soul Bowl, the only Black-owned vendor among the stadium’s 2019 new concessions offerings.
“We’re serving authentic soul food,” Gerard Klass told us. Stadium-goers can create their own combination dishes, which include Shaggy Yellow Rice, JR Jong Jerk Chicken, Rich Ross Smoked Mushrooms, Sade Sweet Corn, Biggie BBQ braised beef, #MPLS Mac & Cheese, and Jill Scott Greens. “You can pick and choose,” he added.
“We are always looking for hot tips on brands and how they might fit,” Delaware North Sportsservice General Manager Pete Spike explained. “Chef and his wife are great folk. We had a sit-down with them and were very interested in how their product and brand could fit with the Target Field experience. They have a great product.”
Located at Section 120, the vendor provides “great soul food, great meat-on-your-bones food, something I think our fans will really enjoy,” Spike continued.
“This is our first time in a major stadium,” Chef Klass said.
“Soul Bowl will be here for all 81 [home] games…the entire season,” Minnesota Twins Communications Manager Matt Hodson said.
How does Soul Bowl fit in with the already pricey items at the Twins stadium? It is “pretty affordable,” in Klass’ view.
According to the 2019 MLB Fan Cost Index (FCI) report by Team Marketing Report (TMR), the cost of attending baseball games this season is about $4 more than last season (from $230.90 to $234.38).
The FCI factors in the average cost of tickets, food and drinks, parking and souvenirs at a game for a family of four. TMR also reports that the Twins’ FCI dropped this season from $237.72 to $210.72.
“I think we all are worried about rising costs,” Spike said. He added that the team this season introduced “family value” sections at the ballpark: “You can get a $4 hot dog, $3 bag of peanuts… A fan can come in and have a hot dog and a soda for $6. Or, they can have a beer and a hot dog for under $10.”
Spike says that his company and the Twins will always look at ways to keep prices as affordable as possible. “We are trying to keep those prices down the best we can without having to pass that on to our guests.”
Charles Hallman is a contributing reporter and award-winning sports columnist at the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.