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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

'Free' At Last

Regular readers will know that I have an issue with unshelled peanuts at sporting events. It's very dangerous for those with peanut allergies as the dust and shell debris are generously distributed within a six foot radius of the person actually enjoying the peanuts.

The last time I brought our daughter to a Canucks game, a fan threw an unshelled peanut out of the upper section (after a bad call by the referee) ... as luck would have it, the peanut landed right on my daughters seat! My heart skipped a beat but I do not think she even noticed.

Just this week I posted about the Nashua Pride baseball team offering a peanut free section for its games. The AAA Rochester Red Wings have gone one step further, offering an allergy-free concession stand called 'Free'. In addition the team has designated an entire area of seating in left field a 'peanut and tree-nut free zone'.

The allergy free concession stand is very progressive thinking! I actually prefer it to the peanut free zone in the outfield.

So why did they take action with the food they are serving fans? Naomi Silver, chief operating officer of the Red Wings, said the idea came about as a result of "several fan inquiries." Of course it probably didn't hurt that Ms. Silver's son has a peanut allergy.

The irony is that the Wings are the "oldest and longest running minor league franchise in the history of professional sports", yet they are showing some of the most progressive thinking in terms of addressing the issue of food allergy at sporting events.

Let's hope that 'Free' excels as a AAA baseball prospect and gets promoted to the big leagues in the near future. 'Free' could possibly become a multi-sport phenom with Dave Nonis, Canucks GM, looking to make several moves in the offseason.

Perhaps one day I'll be able to go to a Canucks game without having peanut shells on my shoes and pant legs when I return home.

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