ESPN reporters recently examined 2009 health inspection reports for food concessions and restaurants at all 107 major league sports stadiums and arenas in North America. They found that at 30 venues, more than half of vendors had been cited for at least one "major" violation. The problem, say experts, is the sheer quantity of food and drink sold to fans at such places where conditions are less than ideal.
The ESPN report What's Lurking in Your Stadium Food? includes an interactive map that ranks each stadium/arena in terms of the percentage of vendors found with serious violations. The most troubled venue is the Verizon Center (home of the Washington Wizards) with a score of 100 percent. All of the other 75-100 percent venues are located in Florida.
California ranks relatively well in the statistics with scores ranging from 4 percent (AT&T Park in San Francisco) to 34 percent (McAfee Coliseum in Oakland). Our own Arco Arena comes in at 25 percent of vendors with "critical" violations. You can read health inspection reports of individual Arco vendors with the Sacramento County Environmental Management Department's online database. (Just enter "Arco Arena" in the Facility Name search box.)
PHOTO CREDIT: Vlade Divac, of the Sacramento Kings, helps sell water at one of the concession stands in Arco Arena during the Kings Fandemonium in October 2001. Hector Amezcua / Sacramento Bee