A few hours before the Blues win the State Of Origin for the first time in nine years, more than $43,000 worth of beer will be used just to fill all 288 beer lines ANZ Stadium in Homebush.
That’s just one of the amazing statistics the stadium’s head of catering and hospitality services, Andreas Breitfuss, shared with Business Insider in the lead up to the historic clash.
And Andreas has good news for Queenslanders: for the first time ANZ stadium is offering them a beer: XXXX Gold, alongside the Hahn Super Dry. Is this just part of a cunning plan by Andreas, hoping Justin Hodges or Nate Myles might hit the paddock after a few shandies of their home brew?
“It was a pretty easy decision to put XXXX Gold on at the Stadium because of its status as one of the State’s highest selling mid strength beers, but also for the fact that we have to give the Queenslanders something to console themselves with,” he explained.
Such is the thought and planning that goes into a major event like this, a majority of fonts will pour XXXX Gold at ANZ Stadium’s southern end, where the Cane Toad supporters will be camped, while most of the northern end fonts will have the Hahn Super Dry 3.5 for Cockroach fans.
But the fact that it takes 45 kegs of beer just to fill the lines, which will be drained off and thrown away after the game, goes some way to explain why a 425ml beer costs $7.40.
It’s been a huge few days for Breitfuss and his team, with two NRL games held over the weekend too. It normally takes around 10 days to set up ANZ Stadium for a major event, but Breitfuss doesn’t mind a challenge and adversity – two years ago he climbed Mt Everest and later this year plans to trek to the South Pole.
With the 83,500-capacity stadium expected to be sold out on Wednesday night, there’ll be 1200 kegs of beer on hand and organisers are expecting at least 800 to be empty when Paul Gallen lifts the shield above his head for NSW for the first time since Twitter was invented.
While most people think of State of Origin as a huge sporting event, it’s also a major night out on the hospitality front. More than 1800 catering and hospitality service staff will be at ANZ stadium on the night, helping serve 15,600 buckets of chips, 7000 hot dogs and 6000 hot pies, among other things.
On the corporate side, a team of 287 chefs are working in the production kitchen, plus 23 satellite kitchens and 55 suite kitchens. They’ll produce around around 8600 corporate meals for 224 function rooms, including restaurants and corporate suites.
Some 526 corporate hospitality staff will look after the corporate guests and it takes 826 person-hours to set up those 224 spaces to entertain.
So what does Andreas enjoy most about his job?
“What gives me the most pleasure is seeing the entire ANZ Stadium team pull off one of the biggest sporting events in Australia, the machine is really well-oiled,” he said.
Is there anything he doesn’t like?
“What gives me the most grief is not being able to sit and dine on the night to enjoy the great wine, fantastic food and the best Stadium service you will find anywhere in the world,” he said.
So who does Andreas this will win the Sydney clash?
“Oh… predictions, I’m not too good at that! However my NSW patriotic heart tells me it will be the Blues, but I really don’t know by how much.”
We’ll raise a glass of Hahn Super Dry to that.
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