Much to many Syracuse Orange fans’ chagrin, the ACC Tournament will not be held in New York this season, and instead moves back to the typical confines of North Carolina — Charlotte’s Spectrum Center, in this case.
Maybe you’re already planning to go. Perhaps you are still waiting to see how the SU men’s basketball team’s season shakes out before making the decision. Before you go any further, though, might be a good idea to read ESPN’s lengthy health inspection report on the big four sports leagues’ stadiums.
The worst offender in terms of high-level violations was... the Spectrum Center, typically home to the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets.
ESPN found that 92 percent of the arena’s violations were of the high-level variety. And they ran down some of the worst parts in the article:
On Dec. 20, 2016, inspectors saw beer leaking from the ceiling in the bar area of the Front Court Restaurant and Bar.
Feb. 3, 2016, inspectors saw multiple bartender stations with no options to place cocktail garnishes without touching them by hand. Managers took forks to all stations to use with the garnishes, but inspectors then saw a bartender picking up a lime with a bare hand and putting it in a glass. This was one of four priority violations at the Backcourt Club that day.
At a couple inspections on March 16, 2016, inspectors noted that throughout the arena “there has been a consistent failure to properly” document when food should be cooked, served or discarded because it was no longer safe to serve. The violation was noted using all capital letters.
Of the 25 violations that occurred, 23 were high-level. Though it is worth noting that a) these highlights are from more than two years ago, b) I’m not too worried about the bare hand stuff, and c) the total violations were lower even if the percentage was higher.
Given the excuses above, however, that doesn’t mean they — or any venue gets a free pass, either. Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, which hosted the last two ACC Tournaments, scored a 63.16% (93rd), but also had 38 total violations and 24 high-level ones. Among those was a note on mice, which was apparently corrected between 2016 and 2017.
Like you (hopefully) would at any stadium, just be wary of food and drink conditions if you choose to venture to Charlotte come March. We don’t need anyone getting sick from anything but Syracuse’s early exit — should it happen (please no) — after all.