The Edible Garden at AT&T Park will be the first functional garden in a Major League Baseball venue. Set to open in the 2014 Season, the project is a partnership between the San Francisco Giants and Bon Apetit Management (BAM), which has operated the high-end concessions in the field and club levels and suites since the ballpark opened in 2000.
Centerfield has become a playful hallmark of baseball fields around the country, with clubs featuring swimming pools, bars and other social arenas that can also double as event space. This project grew out of a desire to create something emblematic for San Francisco at the Giants’ home field. An Edible Garden was a natural solution, and combined community outreach with culinary culture in a fun outdoor environment for fans.
Located at field level behind the center field wall between the left and right bleachers, the garden accommodates aeroponic towers (these help plants to grow twice as fast, without soil) and traditional plant beds, as well as flowers and fruit trees to make the 3,000-sq.-ft. organic garden more welcoming. Until recently, this space was used for growing replacement sod and storage of equipment, and these uses will be incorporated in the new design.
To maximize the garden’s exposure to sunlight, the concession stand is tucked under the bleachers. The concession stand within the garden will feature the food that’s grown there. There are two concession windows for hot foods like flatbreads, and two cold food windows for smoothies, salads, and other seasonal fare. There is also a central bar area.
Guests have several seating options. A concrete ‘herb table’ has recesses in it for trays of live herbs that guests can pick from to garnish their dishes. Guests can also use pull out seating at the bar area, benches, and two fire pits.
Another exciting aspect of this project is the potential for connecting with the community at large. Most notably, there is an educational component, and the Junior Giants are among those that will be engaged to experience the garden—from seedling through to eating. The garden will cut down on the venue’s fuel costs by reducing trucking of produce from farms off-site and enhance AT&T Park’s stature as a LEED Silver facility.
When guests walk through the Marina Gate, the Edible Garden will be visible and welcoming. On non-game nights it will be used as an event space. Since many events take place on the field itself, the garden will have the ability to open onto the field, and will further establish AT&T Park as a trend-setter in the sports arena arena.