Announced just yesterday, the organization is set to unveil a new Cardinals nation food truck. An eating option to be featured at home games, this cultural addition reflects a more important lesson regarding positive fan experience.
Sent out in a press release yesterday, March 21st, the front office unveiled the “Cardinals Nation Food Truck.” This truck will appear at every single home game, featuring 10 unique, baseball oriented entreé options. Aside from game days, the truck will be featured on 8th and Walnut near the Metro as a daily lunch option. The truck will also service privately catered events, upon request.
Although the entirety of the menu is not yet fully disclosed, the release explicitly mentions Cardinals Nation macaroni and cheese, bacon ribs, nachos, and twisted cheddar brats.
Through this effort, the front office aspires to spread the Cardinals experience beyond the confines of Busch stadium and the surrounding Ballpark Village, giving longer distance fans a taste of the true game day experience.
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) March 21, 2017
Getting beyond the logistical news regarding the new addition, I would like to comment upon the deeper meanings this food truck. Deeper meanings of a food truck? I fully understand how silly that sounds; however, the cultural superstructure of an organization is tactically laid out according to specific motivations.
With this in mind, it is worth acknowledging that even a food truck has a meaning, a reflection upon organizational plans and ideals. Ultimately, this article wishes to complement the Cardinals front office for their holistic perspective and seeming refusal to become complacent.
Baseball is incredibly difficult for numerous reasons. Failure is inevitable, thus requiring players to possess various intangible mental traits. Oftentimes, successful players are mentally strong, flexible, patient, and excellent with their day-to-day perspective.
Even for such players, though, the game can become monotonous and boring. When this becomes the case, the game becomes much more difficult, daunting in its unforgiving nature.
The way I see it, this is where the fans come in. Fans have an obligation to bring energy and passion, feeding off their team. In turn, they energize the players, giving them added incentive to play hard and have fun. While this may seem overly simplistic, I believe it to be the truth. Regardless of level or the bells and whistles of the MLB, the fan-player connection boils down to this reciprocal relationship.
With this always in mind, Major League organizations take extreme efforts to maximize the fans’ experience. With stadiums, amenities, promotions, and merchandise, front offices pull out all the stops to bring in energized and passionate fans. If you look to traditionally successful and storied franchises, you’ll most likely bring to mind not only players and coaches, but also parts of their culture (stadiums, traditions, etc.).
For example, the Cubs have the storied Wrigley Field and its surrounding area known as Wrigleyville. The Giants have a magnificent stadium set next to the San Francisco bay, stocked with clam chowder bowls and delectable garlic fries. Needless to say, I could also mention teams like the Red Sox, Dodgers, and a couple more.
The way I see it, the Cardinals have worked their way into this group. With one of the best game day experiences in baseball, the Cardinals attract fans to Busch stadium for the stadium, food, surrounding area, and (most importantly) consistently good baseball.
Although it goes without saying, renovations to Ball Park Village and additions like the Cardinals Nation food truck help to grow the culture, thus attracting more loyal and passionate supporters. In theory, then, the Cardinals play with more fire, excited to play in such an electric atmosphere.
Outside of the lines, positive atmospheres also aid in the free agency market. Put quite simply, players want to play in enjoyable settings for fans who care. While there are obviously other factors here, one would be ignorant to say that organizational culture and tradition does not play its part.
Finally connecting back to the Cardinals nation food truck, my point is two fold. First, such an addition is more important than you may think. Any addition to the fan’s experience has deeper motivations and widespread effects.
Second, such an addition proves that the Cardinals dedicate themselves to their fan base, valuing their role and presence on a nightly basis. Especially in the daunting quest to dethrone the big bad Cubs, the Cards will need all the help they can get.