By ALAN SNEL
They came hungry for hungry for bull riding and red meat at T-Mobile Arena and Levy Restaurants executive chef Garry DeLucia was ready.
When the Vegas Golden Knights left T-Mobile Arena for a two-week road trip and the professional bull riders took over the venue for the PBR World Finals from Wednesday to Sunday, DeLucia had to shift gears and re-calibrate his arena dining menu.
And at the top of the list, it was meat — red meat.
DeLucia ordered a beefy 2,000 pounds of brisket — a whole ton of the stuff — to meet the meat-eating needs of the 10,000 nightly PBR fans who came hungry to watch the best bull riders in the world and eat the best $13 brisket sandwiches on the circuit.
DeLucia said his serving stations sold about 800 brisket sandwiches nightly.
To offer perspective on the PBR fans’ brisket-eating ways, T-Mobile Arena sells less than one-fourth of the brisket sandwiches sold at PBR at the Golden Knights hockey games. By the way, the popular tuna veggie bowls that are popular at Golden Knights games were yanked from the PBR line-up. Talk about a healthy scratch.
“We’re selling 800 brisket sandwiches a night,” DeLucia told LVSportsBiz.com as he showed one of the carving stations at Saturday night’s PBR event. “That’s a lot, my friend.”
T-Mobile Arena has a single brisket cooker, so Levy Restaurants staffers smoked the brisket during 18-hour batches at “250 pounds a pop,” as DeLucia put it.
The briskets are then moved from the cooker to three main locations — a main concourse concession stand called the Carvery and serving locations in the Bud Light and Jack Daniels lounges. Each serving spot has a carving and heat lamp unit to keep the brisket warm.
The sandwich is served with a serving of brisket on a torta bun with jalapeno coleslaw stuffed in there, too.
“We give you a nice chunk of brisket,” DeLucia said.
If the PBR fans want other food, they can hit the Shake Shack counter for a burger or the Pizza Forte stand for a slice on the concourse. T-Mobile Arena even has rented space to a BBQ joint, too — Rollin Smoke. Rollin Smoke is a third party at the arena and is run by its own kitchen manager.
DeLucia also rolled out some new items for the bull riding fans. A buffet on the suite level, for example, even includes corn dogs for the blue jean and boots crowd — an offering not seen when the Golden Knights are skating on home ice.
“The cowboys ain’t eating vegan here,” DeLucia said. “They’re more into meat and potatoes and beer.”
DeLucia noted a new offering will be a sushi burrito stand down the road.
No sense rolling out sushi for the meat-hungry PBRers this week.
Contact LVSportsBiz.com founder/writer Alan Snel at asnel@LVSportsBiz.com