Skip to main content

ESPN report reveals food safety violations at Minnesota sports venues

Some stomach-turning stuff.

ESPN's Outside the Lines released results from food safety inspections at 111 North American stadiums, ballparks and arenas and the results might make you think twice before ordering the next time you go to a game in Minnesota.  

The study provided results from Xcel Energy Center, U.S. Bank Stadium, Target Center and Target Field, and some of them might make your stomach turn. 

Before we get to the dirt, just know that Oracle Arena, the home of the NBA's Golden State Warriors, ranked No. 1 on the list with just one of 89 violations recorded in 2016 and 2017 considered a high-level violation. 

In short, high-level violations pose a threat for food-borne illnesses, according to the report. 

Now to Minnesota's violations...

Xcel Energy Center

Xcel Energy Center had the best ratings but ranked just 65th out of 111 venues. Forty-three percent of its violations (34 out of 79) were high-level issues, including discoveries of undercooked roast beef and duck, a cook not washing his hands after putting food in his mouth and mouse droppings found under a sink. 

Xcel Energy Center ranks 18th of 29 NHL arenas. 

Target Center

Target Center ranked 72nd overall with 26 of 57 violations considered high-level.

A January 2016 inspection cited the venue for failure to control insects, pests and rodents while another routine inspection found club suites failing to keep food at proper temperatures. Another inspection found that a manager failed to report incidents when employees were ill with diarrhea and/or vomiting. 

Target Center ranks 20th of 29 NBA arenas. 

Target Field

Target Field is 79th overall with 113 violations, 57 of them high-level, including concession stand employees not washing their hands, the Carew Buffet serving foods at improper temperatures and giving fans food that had sat out for more than four hours. It was also cited for rodents and insects in 2017. 

Target Field ranks 24th of 30 baseball stadiums. 

U.S. Bank Stadium

U.S. Bank Stadium ranked lowest of Minnesota venues, 90th overall, and had 195 violations, 116 of which were high-level violations.

The problems included a worker adding batter to rice with his bare hands, a kitchen employee not wearing a hair net, a walk-in cooler was 50 degrees during the 2017 home opener on Monday night against the Saints, and on Oct. 1, 2017 water wasn't working in one area of the stadium so employees couldn't wash their hands all day. 

U.S. Bank Stadium ranks 25th of 30 NFL stadiums. 

Next Up

Brandon Gardas

St. Michael standoff suspect charged, bail set at $10 million

A judge on Monday set the high bail due to "very significant concerns of public safety" regarding Brandon Gardas.


Minnesota's premier trauma center housed at HCMC

The Minneapolis center is nationally recognized in pediatric trauma

Crisp & Green

Crisp & Green opening 13th store in Twin Cities in July

The fast-casual salad and grains restaurant has exploded onto the food scene.

FLickr - Target Field 2019 - mark grabe

Twins to host post-game concert with country star at Target Field

Country singer Cole Swindell is expected to perform for up to 75 minutes after the conclusion of the Blue Jays-Twins contest.


Canton Restaurant closes after nearly 40 years in Burnsville

It's the end of an era in the Twin Cities restaurant world.

Screen Shot 2022-06-27 at 12.47.20 PM

Luck strikes in Minnesota: lottery winners in Duluth, Grand Marais

The North Shore just so happened to be a lucky place to be this past weekend.


Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Monday, June 27

BA.5 is expected to become the dominant subvariant in Minnesota.

police lights squad car

60-year-old woman arrested after firing shots inside Spicer home

SWAT evacuated nearby residents during the incident.

Florida Georgia Line

Florida Georgia Line booked to play at the Minnesota State Fair

The band is the second country music act to be booked this year.


First case of monkeypox confirmed in Minnesota

The Minnesota Department of Health says the risk to the public is "considered low" at this time.

lightning, storm

Isolated severe weather in Minnesota on Tuesday and Wednesday

Definitely not a slam dunk either day, but the chance is there.


Target Field

Here's how many fans will be allowed at MN sporting events

The MSHSL is hoping to allow fans at the hockey and basketball tournaments.

2,000 volunteers needed for NCAA Final Four in Minneapolis

None of the volunteer work will be inside U.S. Bank Stadium.

Screen Shot 2019-03-27 at 10.43.29 PM

Food prices at Target Field: Expect to pay a little more

Not huge price jumps, but definitely some price hikes.

Soul Bowl

Gallery: Target Field unveils new foods for 2019 Twins season

The 2-foot-long chili dog will get your attention.

We made a batting order out of the new foods at Target Field

We ranked our favorite of the new foods at Target Field with a food batting order!

We made a batting order out of the new foods at Target Field

We ranked our favorite of the new foods at Target Field with a food batting order!