Professional sports food-safety investigation labels Spectrum Center, BOA Stadium worst in the country

Updated: Dec. 13, 2018 at 2:03 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Beer leaking from the ceiling of a bar, expired cream cheese and out-of-date turkey being used on sandwiches and blood from raw beef dripping on shelves inside the walk-in cooler. These are just a few of the high-level food-safety inspections found at Bank of America Stadium and the Spectrum Center during a very detailed investigation by ESPN’s Outside the Lines.

According to their report, Outside the Lines reviewed and collected 16,000+ food-safety inspection reports from health departments that monitor more than 110 professional football, baseball, basketball and hockey facilities across North America.

Bank of America Stadium and the Spectrum Center were the worst offenders in the NFL and NBA, respectively.

A slew of high-level food-inspection reports detailed at both venues in the ESPN report.

On June 16, 2016, inspectors found moldy, expired cream cheese in Bank of America Stadium’s main kitchen. They also found out-of-date turkey and cheeses along with a “significant amount of dried food residue” on a slicer from the previous day.

In August and September, inspectors noted a raw food issue in a walk-in cooler. They say blood was getting on shelves and posed a drip hazard according to the documents reviewed by OTL. They also noted employees were unaware of when to wash hands while on the job.

In total, Outside the Lines uncovered 69 total violations at Bank of America Stadium. 57 of those violations were high-level violations.

Bank of America Stadium, which holds 75,000+ fans, beat out Broncos Stadium at Mile High and Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee where the Titans play their home games.

This is an exterior rendering of the new Spectrum Center signage (Courtesy of the Charlotte...
This is an exterior rendering of the new Spectrum Center signage (Courtesy of the Charlotte Hornets)

Built in 2005, the Spectrum Center is home to the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets. The arena holds more than 20,000 people.

On Dec. 20, 2016, inspectors saw beer leaking from the ceiling in the bar area of the Front Court Restaurant and Bar at Bank of America Stadium. Earlier in the year, reports show multiple servers using their bare hands to prepare garnishes on cocktail drinks and bad food preparation.

In total, Outside the Lines uncovered 25 total violations at the Spectrum Center Bank of America Stadium. 23 of those violations were high-level violations.

Even with all those violations, both venues still have an A rating with the state of North Carolina. Matt Dicker, representative for Spectrum Center sent a statement about that:

“We work diligently with the local Mecklenburg County health department and employ third-party sanitation experts that evaluate our facilities regularly to ensure a safe environment for our guests. There is a great deal of subjectivity in reporting food-safety inspections across jurisdictions, which makes it incredibly difficult to normalize scores across many counties and states. During the two-year period included in this report (2016 and 2017), Spectrum Center received a grade of A on every inspection of every individual concession stand, portable cart and prep kitchen. Any concern that was identified was corrected immediately, and in no instance was a re-inspection deemed necessary.”

The second worst NBA venue turned out to be the Palace of Auburn Hills where the Pistons play followed by the Mavericks' American Airlines Center in Dallas.

You can read the full article by ESPN’s Outside the Lines team HERE.

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