AKRON, Ohio - The Akron Rubber Ducks owner is upgrading the fan experience at Canal Park this year. The $5.5 million investment includes a new extreme foods menu; Monday was the taste-test.
Finishing touches are going on out in the ballpark. There are finishing touches in the kitchen too, on new extreme food items for this season.
When sitting in the stands this year you may not hear popcorn, peanuts, crackerjacks instead you may hear, "Pineapple TeriyAKRON Bowl, Ugly Duckling, Duck Floats, get your Duck Floats and really these really cool items that you’re not typically going to hear at a ball park. But, here at Canal Park you'll get that unique experience," said the Rubber Ducks Director of Food And Beverage, Brian Manning.
Duck Floats are different flavored sodas poured over vanilla or chocolate ice cream. They have names of famous ducks from the past like Donald, Scrooge, Daisy and Daffy. The idea came from a childhood memory.
"I grew up with them myself, my grandma would make them for me when I was a kid. The cream soda and chocolate ice cream is my personal favorite, but all of them are great," said Manning.
Then for adults there's the Ugly Duckling. "A 32 ounce cup with three scoops of vanilla ice cream drizzled with an Irish stout beer on top of it with chocolate sauce and then chocolate sprinkles on top," said Manning.
And how does that taste? "Um, that's wonderful, beer with ice cream," said taster Lori Carver.
They do have some new healthy choices like the Pineapple TeriyAKRON Bowl. "A hollowed out pineapple cut in half with diced pineapple, grilled chicken white rice and drizzled with a teriyaki sauce," said Manning.
But really going healthy at the ball bark is not for everyone, so if you’re in the "go big or go home" mindset then you need to try the $20 dollar, five pound Screamer served in a life sized Rubber Ducks helmet.
"Twenty-one scoops of ice cream, a brownie base at the bottom, you got whipped cream, chocolate sauce and a cherry on top it is really an item that people have loved in the years past and it's going to be here to stay," said Manning.
Keeping with the duck theme construction continues on new eating venues. There’s the Fowl Territory group area, Duck Club, Game Grill & Bar and Duck Row with premium seating offering in seat wait service.
They say they can't control the game but they can control the fan experience. "The promotions the in game everything about it including the food and beverage is the part that we can affect and make it a great experience for our fans," said Manning.
The home opener at Canal Park is scheduled for Thursday, April 10 at 6:35 p.m. against the Bowie Baysox.
For more information on promotions at at the Rubber Ducks website .
More on the 2014 Extreme Food items here.