For the most part, Major League Baseball hasn’t made a big deal of new stadium food offerings this season — an annual tradition to drum up fan excitement. There are few reports of ridiculous sandwiches or over-the-top frozen drinks. Admittedly, there have been bigger priorities to ensure safety during the pandemic including determining if fans would even be allowed in the ballpark. Still, for the 8,000 or so Chicago Cubs fans attending games at Wrigley Field there is an unexpected addition:
Oatly, the Swedish brand of oat milk that earlier this year announced a partnership with Chicago-based Intelligentsia coffee, has installed soft-serve machines dispensing chocolate and vanilla plant-based ice creams made without dairy. While baseball stadiums are known for hot dogs, popcorn, and peanuts, fans have been hungering for a more choices. Meat-free burgers and hot dogs have been part of the ballpark experience for nearly a decade. PETA even releases an annual ranking of the most vegan-friendly baseball stadiums in America. For the last update, Wrigley and Guaranteed Rate Field (the home of the Chicago White Sox) failed to make PETA’s top 10.
This is the first year Oatly has supplied the ice cream to MLB stadiums, according to a rep. The plant-based dessert is also available at in New York at Yankee Stadium and at Globe Life Field, home of the Texas Rangers. The Lone Star State also allows for 100 percent fan capacity at baseball games, while Chicago venues are restricted to 25 percent An Oatly rep adds there are no current plans to bring its vegan ice cream to Sox Park on the South Side.
Roaming vendors aren’t patrolling stadiums this year due to the pandemic. Teams have urged fans to order food on their phones and have items delivered to their seats or to visit a concession stand.