ESPN.com has released a report regarding health inspections conducted in 2009 at all 107 NFL, MLB, NHL, and NBA stadiums. Food safety issues are common in restaurants, of course, and minor violations are often impossible to avoid completely.
But unfortunately (and, to me, surprisingly), the Verizon Center had the highest percentage of food vendors in violation among all 107 stadiums, tied with Tropicana Field. Nationals Park, while not violation-free, scored comparitively well, so it’s probably not an issue with District health inspections being more rigorous than those in other areas.
I asked Ted Leonsis about the issue, as his newly-logoed Monumental Sports & Entertainment recently assumed ownership of the Verizon Center. Mr. Leonsis, displaying his trademark management and marketing savvy (not to mention impressive response time), addressed the issue minutes later via his blog:
The past couple of weeks I have talked about my plan to walk a mile in our employees’ footsteps and participate in the cleaning process. I now will step up those efforts and make this a top priority. I will personally get involved in the process and the solutions. We are on it; we’ve already started. We will move this issue from one that appears shocking to one that is a source of pride. I promise.
Read the rest of his response to the report over at Ted’s Take, and take heart—improvements are on the way.