MLB Life shows off ballpark fare at NYC food fest

October 11th, 2023

When you think of ballpark food, you think of hot dogs, peanuts and Cracker Jack. But MLB teams are pushing the boundaries of what you can eat at the game beyond just the classic fare.

Now, when you go to a baseball game, you can choose from a variety of local spots and unique offerings, and teams continue to bring in new vendors and concepts every season.

Fans are embracing MLB teams’ creativity with concessions -- seven MLB stadiums were ranked in USA Today’s 10 best stadiums for food poll. And MLB isn’t stopping there.

After a successful partnership at The Infatuation’s EEEEEATSCON in Chicago in August, MLB Life came to the New York edition of EEEEEATSCON on Oct. 7-8 to keep crossing over for foodies.

Loaded steak fries and Peanut Butter Louis in a helmet were served at the MLB Life booth

“We felt like it could be a really good marriage to bring our food festival, EEEEEATSCON, together with Major League Baseball to highlight some great ballpark-inspired food and just bring the world of baseball to a cultural haven like EEEEEATSCON,” Andrew Steinthal, co-founder of The Infatuation said. “Yes, it's a food festival, but we design it in a unique way to bring a lot of different parts of culture together in a really authentic way.”

MLB partnered with one of Infatuation’s favorite steakhouses in the city, Hawksmoor NYC, to offer some spins on ballpark classics -- one menu item, steak fries, featured beef fat fries topped with dry-aged rump, peppercorn sauce, horseradish, cheese curds and pickled chilis. They also had Peanut Butter Louis -- one of Hawksmoor’s signature desserts featuring Original Beans chocolate, peanut shortbread, salted caramel and crunchy peanut glaze -- served in a mini helmet. Fans could also purchase an MLB Life-branded 26-ounce beer bat.

MLB Life partnered with local steakhouse Hawksmoor NYC to put a spin on typical ballpark food

“We've helped [MLB] partner with some great restaurants to do some exclusive EEEEEATSCON-only menu items inspired by ballpark favorites,” Steinthal said. “Not only were the loaded steak fries incredible, but given the less-than-ideal weather on Saturday, MLB came prepared, giving away MLB rain jackets. At one point, it felt like half the festival was wearing them. Which was an amazing brand connection moment with our audience.”

Rain jackets weren't the only goods offered. MLB Life offered up merch to festival attendees, including beanies, water bottles, blankets and fanny packs, making it one of the most popular stops at the festival -- food vendors included! Download codes for MLB The Show, Topps cards and ticket vouchers for Yankees games in 2024 were distributed as well.

Fans could snag merch such as MLB Life-branded hats and water bottles

Tommy Cheng, a Yankee fan from Forest Hills, Queens, said he didn’t expect to see MLB at the food festival, but that he’d spent most of his time at the booth since he arrived.

“I like the interaction, all the prizes and the beer bats,” Cheng said.

Fans could take photos with the Commissioner's Trophy, play a baseball-themed version of bean bag toss or hook-and-ring, or sit and watch live postseason games (plus Mets and Yankees classics) at the bar with a beer bat.

The Commissioner's Trophy and beer bats were some of the attractions at EEEEEATSCON

Robert and Alessia Sherman, a Cubs fan and a Yankees fan, respectively, were also caught off-guard seeing MLB at a food festival but ended up loving the partnership. The booth recreated some of the fun atmosphere of coming to a game.

“[I love] the atmosphere and the excitement of watching the game, having a beer, having some time with my husband,” Alessia Sherman said. “[The booth] is really nice.”

“It’s such a nice space,” Robert Sherman said. The two tried both items on the MLB/Hawksmoor menu, the steak fries and the Peanut Butter Louis, and said they were both excellent.