MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Win or lose, Minnesotans love their sports teams.

But a new report from ESPN’s Outside the Lines may cause you to think twice about eating at the game.

ESPN looked at over 100 professional sports venues in North America and reviewed nearly 17 thousand inspection reports from 2016 to 2017. Venues were then ranked by the number of health code violations within a facility — giving stadiums a higher violation rate for each outlet within the venue that failed a health inspection.

Across the country, ESPN found that 28 percent of the venues had high-level violations at more than half of the outlets inspected.

In Minnesota, each of the professional sports facilities reviewed were found to have significant health violations — with the worst being it’s newest venue, US Bank Stadium.

Health violations at US Bank include: unsanitary meal prep, food temperature issues and employees not washing their hands due to a lack of access to water.

Out of the 195 outlets inspected at US Bank Stadium, the report found that 116 of them had high-level violations — giving the venue an overall score of 59.5 percent.

Target Field didn’t rank much better, scoring a 50.4 percent due to reports of rodents and insects, food temperature issues and lack of hand washing at the ballpark’s outlets.

And even Minnesota’s ‘most clean’ venues didn’t score all that great.

Target Center received a score of 48.2 percent due to reports of sick employees and pests and rodents in the main kitchen.

So which Twin Cities venue is the safest to eat at?

According the ESPN report, that would be the Xcel Energy Center.

The Xcel received a score of 43 percent for high-level violations, with 34 out of 74 outlets inspected within the venue breaking a health code. And even this is still a poor score when compared to other venues across the country.

The report found the top three venues with the lowest violation rates to be: California’s Oracle arena — scoring 1.1 percent, Atlanta’s State Farm Arena — scoring at 4.2 percent and Houston’s NRG Stadium receiving a score of 4.4 percent.


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