When Casey Rapp ordered 1,750 kegs of beer for all the people he'll have over for Saturday's Rangers game, the problem, rather than getting all those kegs into place, was getting enough cups to hold all the suds.
Rapp's head has been spinning with this and other challenges. Fortunately, as operations manager for Metroplex Sportservice, the company that operates all concessions and foods for the Ballpark in Arlington, Rapp has some experience with hosting the Fall Classic and knows what his guests want.
"At the World Series, people want souvenir cups with both teams on it," says Rapp. "We didn't know who we would be playing until St. Louis clinched, so we had to order and get those turned around in three days. And, if you think about the large volume and the fact that there are only so many plastic manufacturers in the U.S., most of which are on the East Coast, it was quite a task. Tonight someone is driving a semi-truck to bring us our cups. They won't arrive until tomorrow, then we have to stock the entire ballpark."
In addition to a mountain of souvenirs, Delaware North (Metroplex Sportservice's parent company) also brings in extra staff to help pull off the event. No matter that there have been 86 home games so far this season; the World Series is an entirely different beast.
"Delaware North also works with a bunch of other ballparks," says Rapp. "So, when each team's season is over, we send out requests and get help from them. Right now we're looking at about 40 chefs and front-of-the-house managers brought in to help us."
In addition to the game, an MLB gala will be held in a huge tent just outside the stadium, which will host over 2,500 VIP guests. The menu includes things like a Nolan Ryan New York strip steak, jumbo shrimp wrapped in apple-wood bacon, lobster, crab and mini-blueberry crème brulee.
"All that aside, when you talk about cooking, yes, we're doing some of those nicer things," says Rapp. "But for all of the 51,000 fans, we have some new things that we brought in for the ALCS and the World Series."
The World Series Ice Cream Sundae has two miniature helmets (one Rangers and one Cardinals) with ice cream and a big cookie in the middle. The Big Game Backyard Dog is a half-pound hotdog covered with baked beans and cole slaw served with a side of barbeque chips. For the ALCS, the stadium added a sausage sundae, a play on the banana split with a sausage split in half and a scoop of macaroni and cheese, chopped brisket and garlic mashed potatoes, all topped with parsley and a pepper. (If you're going to a game, write "16" on the back of your hand -- that's the section where you can find this monstrosity.)
Plus those 1,750 kegs, with more on the way.
"It's all we have room for right now," Rapp says. "But if we go through it, we'll have more delivered on Sunday and Monday. It's really a matter of having enough storage space.
"We also have 1,000 cases of hot dogs, with 50 hot dogs in each case. We only have so much freezer space, so we've had some extra freezer trucks come and a Reddy-Ice truck, which is in addition to the our own ice plant here. There's a lot of ice that will be flowing through this place."
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And, don't forget the bread.
"There are bakers all over this state going crazy making stuff for us right now," says Rapp. "We have Mrs. Baird's bread delivered fresh daily. We ordered 66,000 regular hot dog buns. That doesn't include the hamburger buns, foot-long buns and everything else."
It all adds up to a hellish week -- one that seems to require a breather when it's all done.
"Yeah. I'm planning on a vacation after they win," he says. "I'm an avid hunter and I'll disappear somewhere in the woods of Texas."