KEENE, N.H. 3/26/12 - Nothing beats fresh popcorn and a fresh coat of paint.
A new Keene State College spring athletic season has brought a new-look concession trailer to Owl Athletic Complex.
Showing its age after weathering 16 seasons and an assortment of scratches and dents from wayward baseballs, softballs and lacrosse balls, the trailer went in for a face-lift in February. Keene State made no concessions with the concessions.
Following the recommendation of the Sodexho catering staff, Keene State athletic director John Ratliff got the ball rolling, contacting Steve Piispanen from Keene Auto Body. "It was pretty straight forward," Piispanen said. "He gave me the lay-out that he had in mind and told me to make it look nice. It came out better than I thought."
A week at the Sodexho Spa did wonders for the trailer, which has garnered rave reviews from various constituents, including the Sodexho staff. "I think it looks great," said Renee LaPalme Bosworth, who has been with the food service company for 10 years. "The trailer was a little beat up and it needed a face-lift."
"I think the fans will like it. It looks really sharp, said Patrick Cavanaugh, a supervisor, who will be with Sodexho five years in April. "In hospitality industry it's all about appearance."
It also got high marks from several in-and-out of season Owl athletes. "I was coming home from practice yesterday and it caught my eye. It looks awesome," said Maura Bergan, a senior catcher on the KSC softball. "I think it's awesome that they take Keene Cash and Flex. I like to grab something between games."
"I think it looks very professional. The red really pops," said Leddy Gallagher, a sophomore member of the Keene State field hockey team. "It also looks cleaner."
No stranger to Owl Athletic Complex, KSC Men's Soccer Coach Ron Butcher, Keene State's resident concession connoisseur, also gave the trailer a big thumbs up. "I think the lettering on it makes it stand out like a sore thumb and that's what you want at an athletic event," said Butcher. "I wish it was about 20 feet longer and a little bigger, but the Sodexho staff does a great job getting food out to people."
Throughout the season many parents visit the complex to watch their sons and daughters play. A couple of lacrosse dads liked what they saw. "The bright Keene color red makes you want to buy food and get something to drink," said Steve Schairer, whose son Matt is a senior on the Owl men's lacrosse tram.
Now in his third year coming over from Saratoga, N.Y. to see his son Matt play, Mike Crimmins said, "The first thing I noticed was how nice and shiny it is . "They have a nice set-up when you come up to the window. They have all the condiments off to the side so it's very nice."
There have also been changes to menu with chicken Caesar warps and pretzels added to the signature dishes of hot dogs, popcorn and nachos.
During the spring season, the concession trailer gets carted back-and-forth from lacrosse to the baseball/softball areas of the complex. Hungry for a winning season, Owl fans also have a new bright, shiny place to satisfy their hunger during games.