No Bull: Chicago’s United Center Stadium Adds Vegan Burgers and Dogs
Chicago’s United Center may be home to a bunch of Bulls—but it’s serving up something healthier than beef.
The stadium, also home to the Chicago Blackhawks, is adding meat-free options from Lightlife and Field Roast to its concession menus. Vegan Lightlife burgers and Field Roast frankfurters will be available throughout the United Center arena and in its in-suite menus.
This is part of a larger trend toward offering vegan food at stadiums, which took off last year, when no less than 10 NFL homes offering a slate of vegan eats, and many of them expanded to include five to eight items. For instance, the Atlanta Falcons expanded their offerings to include:
- That Vegan Chick sandwich on a vegan Pure Knead bun from Snackology
- Vegan hot dog (available at all ATL Fan Fare and H&F Burger stands)
- Beyond Burger and Beyond Sausage along with vegan chips and snacks from Garden Grill
- Garbanzo burger (with no aioli and a vegan bun instead of the standard one) from ATL FanFare
- Quinoa roasted-garlic burger with roasted red peppers and spinach (with no aioli and a vegan bun instead of the standard one) from ATL Grill
- Kale, Greek pasta, or chickpea salad with vegan hand-mixed dressing from Snackology
- Mini cornbread loaf and vegan brownie from Snackology
- Monster Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel from ATL Pretzel Co
Not every stadium has this many offerings, but vegan offerings are now the norm at Levi's Stadium, home to the 49ers, as well as U.S. Bank Stadium, home to the Vikings, Lincoln Financial Field, the Eagles' stadium, and Arrowhead Stadium, home to SuperBowl Champs Kansas City Chiefs. Fans of the Seahawks, Patriots, Broncos, Rams and Ravens all have vegan choices when they go to home games. So vegan food is now becoming expected at arenas, including homes for all four major sports.
“Our top priority is the guest experience at the United Center and a key ingredient to elevate our dining experience is partnering with top brands like Lightlife and Field Roast to diversify food options guests have access to,” Kevin O’Brien, Director of Food & Beverage, United Center, said in a statement. “Whether guests are visiting for the first time or returning, this expansion of our plant-based offerings provides a new way to take our games, concerts, and all events to the next level.”
Demand for Vegan Meat
Last year’s documentary “The Game Changers,” highlighted some of the world’s top athletes thriving on a plant-based diet. But the diet is gaining traction with fans, too.
“We’re proud to be part of the Chicago sports experience,” said Dan Curtin, president of Greenleaf Foods, SPC, the parent company of Field Roast and Lightlife. “A growing number of consumers are interested in plant-based options with fewer, cleaner ingredients that still taste great, and we’ll continue to deliver on quality, taste, and variety.”
Roots drummer Questlove’s Impossible Cheesesteak, made with the vegan Impossible Foods “beef” has been making its way into a number of stadiums and arenas.
Sales of plant-based meat, milk, eggs, and even ice cream, have skyrocketed in recent years with mainstream fast-food outlets now offering plant-based or fully vegan options. Burger King, Dunkin’, KFC, and McDonald’s now all have vegan options at select locations.