ARLINGTON -- Sure there's an arms race in baseball. And there's a race to the postseason.The Texas Rangers want to win both of those along with another race that comes with all-important bragging rights -- the kings of concessions.The Rangers, who brought the $26 Boomstick to Globe Life Park in
ARLINGTON -- Sure there's an arms race in baseball. And there's a race to the postseason.
The Texas Rangers want to win both of those along with another race that comes with all-important bragging rights -- the kings of concessions.
The Rangers, who brought the $26 Boomstick to Globe Life Park in 2011, continue to try and test their culinary boundaries.
Thursday they unveiled their new food offerings for 2016 and are out to prove once again that everything is bigger and better in Texas.
"The trend that started in 2011 with the Boomstick we never thought it was going to take off like this," said Casey Rapp, the Arlington Sportservice general manager. "Some of the other teams like the Arizona Diamondbacks, and even in football with the Green Bay Packers, have started doing this crazy stuff where it's almost a competition so you have to come up with the next bigger, badder thing. It is tough because a lot of stuff has been done before."
That's why the Rangers try to think outside the box for your stomach. Sure chicken and waffles are a big thing, but the Rangers are bringing out a chicken and donut skewer ($12) that gives you 12 inches of fried chicken and glazed goodness.
Items like the two-foot hot dog the Rangers introduced in 2011 are now commonplace. The Rangers opted to go vertical with their monster menu item this year, rolling out the $27 Wicked Pig. The sandwich is about a foot tall and includes pulled pork, bacon, sausage, prosciutto and ham. If that wasn't enough, there are a few pork rinds thrown in for good measure.
While Wicked Pigs and donuts aren't thought of as traditional baseball fare, that mindset is something that goes into the the new items introduced each year. Hot dogs are a baseball standard. The Rangers have tweaked that standard though this year by adding some flair to the traditional fare. A Flamin' Hot Cheetos Dog ($10.50) favors those who like a little crunch with their dog. And the club introduced a cotton candy hot dog during the postseason last year which will be back again, catering to those who like a little sweet in their dog.
"We know when the fans come out here they want a hot dog," Rapp said. "We've got the cotton candy dog, the bacon-wrapped dog, the Flamin' Hot Cheetos Dog, the Frito Chili Pie Dog. Every year you'll see a theme with that."
And while some of the menu items may make your heart flutter, Texas has also introduced a vegan-only cart. And they also have a Shake It Up Salad that fans can go to for a lighter bite.
One thing that won't be on the menu to start the 2016 season is a new player-themed item. The Rangers in the past have linked concession items to Nelson Cruz, Shin-Soo Choo, Derek Holland, Adrian Beltre, Mitch Moreland and David Murphy among others.
Rapp said items like that have to happen organically as the season progresses.
That also allows more time for Arlington Sportservice executive chef Cris Vazquez and his crew to come up with new ideas. It's not as easy as it sounds.
"Every time I try think outside the box it becomes more difficult because everyone else is doing the same thing too," Vazquez said. "We're the ones that started and now everyone is trying to beat us. We've got a good group of chefs that brainstorm the whole year."
Anthony Andro is a contributor to MLB.com.