Report: Hornets, Mavericks Arenas Among Stadiums with Highest Rates of Food Safety Violations

You may want to think twice about ordering food at these stadiums.
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You may want to think twice about ordering food at these professional teams's stadiums in the future.

A new ESPN's Outside the Lines report revealed stadium venues that had the highest and lowest percentages of food service outlets where inspectors found at least one or more high-level violation. 

ESPN reviewed more than 16,000 food-safety inspection reports from 2016 and 2017 from health departments for the 111 professional football, baseball, basketball and hockey facilities in North America. According to the report, at about 28 percent of the venues, half or more of the food service outlets incurred a high-level violation—meaning one that poses a potential threat for foodborne illness.

Violations across the country included live mice and cockroaches, food at unsafe temperatures and employees wiping their faces with their hands and then handling food. There was even beer leaking from the ceiling at one arena.

The three venues with the highest violation rates were Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C. (92%), the now closed Palace of Auburn Hills near Detroit (86.11%) and American Airlines Center in Dallas (83.08%). 

The three venues with the lowest violation rates were NRG Stadium in Houston (4.44%), State Farm Arena in Atlanta (4.17%) and Oracle Arena in Oakland (1.12%).

Four venues were not included in the data — Washington D.C.'s Capitol One Arena, Houston's Toyota Center, Atlanta's Mercedes-Benz Stadium and Montreal's Bell Center. 

In August 2017, Sports Illustratedpublished a list of MLB stadiums food safety rankings. SI used a different metric than Outside the Lines.