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Rating Hot Dogs At Every Penn State Athletics Venue

Last year, Onward State showed off its love for hot dogs during the famous Dollar Dog Nights at Penn State baseball games at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. That place proved to sell a great hot dog, and that made me ask the question, “What venue sells the best hot dogs?”

So as a self-proclaimed hot dog connoisseur, I decided to do the most rational thing: try a hot dog at every single Penn State sports venue.

Over the past school year, every time I attended a Penn State sports game that sold hot dogs, I would buy one and rate it. Whether it was indoors, outdoors, in an arena, or in a stadium, I had a glizzy because I wanted the people to know which sporting event has the best dogs.

I rated the glizzies on the following things: the hot dog taste, the snap of the dog, the bun, the container/holder the hot dog came in, whether the venue had mustard (mustard is the only condiment that belongs on a hot dog), and the price. So after over six months and several hot dogs later, here are my results.

Char Morett-Curtiss Field – 5.9

First up, we have the newly-named Char Morett-Curtiss Field, which the Penn State field hockey team calls home. This was the first hot dog that I tried for this list, and it had the chance to set the tone for the rest of the year. Unfortunately, it did not hold up well.

To acquire a dog at a field hockey game, you have to walk into Pegula Ice Arena and purchase it at one of the open concession stands in the arena. I can accept this because the field hockey stadium was under construction, so the fact that Penn State had food available was great.

However, when I walked into Pegula to grab a glizzy, the workers seemed shocked to see me. It felt like not many people were buying food. I ordered a dog for $5, as you will see is a norm for this experiment, and was handed a smaller-sized dog in a paper dish.

I asked the workers at the counter if they had condiments for me and they did not, so I had to walk around Pegula until I found some at a nearby Subway. I grabbed my mustard packets and walked back outside to eat the dog.

Overall, this hot dog was just OK. The bun was a little hard and about to be stale, and the dog itself was just barely warm with basically no snap. The quality of the hot dog, the location of where to buy it, and the fact that I had to walk to Subway for mustard put this dog at a 5.9 overall. I hope to retry a dog for field hockey when the renovations at the field are complete.

Beaver Stadium – 7.7

Next up was Beaver Stadium, home to Penn State football. It was a rainy day when I bought this hot dog, and I went walking around the stadium searching for a spot to buy a glizzy. I eventually landed on a spot called the Two-Minute Drill, a concession spot on the northeast side of the stadium.

While ordering, I noticed it had a footlong hot dog for $8 and I knew that was the one I had to try. It came wrapped in aluminum foil and after I purchased it, I grabbed some mustard at a table that was right next to the spot and dug in.

Walking around with a footlong hot dog was a little awkward, but the frankfurter was pretty good. It was a little much, it turned into one of the only things I ate that day. The bun was fine, it was falling apart as I was eating. However, the dog, despite being so long, was good and had a little bit of a snap. For $8, it was a pretty good deal, and overall it gets a 7.7.

Jeffery Field – 8.7

I moved on to Jeffery Field, home of Penn State men’s and women’s soccer. This was no doubt the coldest outdoor stadium I went to, so I was hoping that a warm hot dog would toast me up. It did just that and more.

I grabbed my dog for $5 and went to find my seat. The hot dog was given to me in an aluminum foil bag so that it would stay warm. Because of this, the hot dog as a whole was outstanding.

The hot dog, while not crazily juicy, had a great snap and great taste overall. The bun was outstanding, warm, and fluffy — the best one I had up to this point. Mustard was located right next to the stand, so that was easy to get, and overall this hot dog was great. On the rating scale, I gave it an 8.7. Penn State, if there’s one thing you take out of this, use these aluminum foil bags for all of your stadiums. It keeps the dogs in their best shape.

Bryce Jordan Center – 6.2

Next up was the Bryce Jordan Center, home to Penn State men’s and women’s basketball. These dogs were sold all over the arena on the event level.

Overall, these hot dogs were not bad, but not good. There was nothing crazy about them, and they didn’t stand out from the other venues at all. They were $5, like most other places, and came wrapped in an aluminum paper wrapper.

Mustard was across the way from the concession stand in squirt bottles, a first for this review. The dog of the hot dog had a very good snap, but the bun is where this dog fell apart. It was hard in parts and just wasn’t a good bun. It was also just warm and not as hot as I was hoping it to be. I gave this wiener a 6.2 overall.

Rec Hall – 8.9 & 9.1

I moved to Rec Hall, and for the first time since Beaver Stadium, we had a special hot dog. At Rec Hall, they have two options of glizzies for purchase, a regular dog and a fiesta dog. I was intrigued by the fiesta dog and asked the nice lady at the concession stand what a fiesta dog entailed.

She told me it was a cheese and jalapeno stuffed dog. After hearing that, I knew I needed to try it. I ordered one normal dog for $5 and one fiesta dog for $7. They came in paper dishes and mustard was right next to the stand.

I was blown away when I tried these hot dogs. The normal glizzy was juicy, had a fantastic snap, and was warm even minutes after I purchased it. The bun wasn’t the greatest, but the hot dog made up for it. I gave the controlled normal hot dog an 8.9.

As for the fiesta dog, let me say that it was great. It was a huge stuffed hot dog and folks, don’t let the jalapeños scare you. It wasn’t too hot and was very cheesy. Like the normal dog, the buns were OK. However, Rec Hall had a stuffed hot dog and I couldn’t pass it up. For a bonus rating, I gave the fiesta dog a 9.1 overall. If you’re at Rec Hall, get this.

Pegula Ice Arena – 6.1

Pegula Ice Arena was next, and this was the second time I got a hot dog from Pegula during this run. Unfortunately for Pegula, this hot dog wasn’t very different than the one that I bought earlier in the year.

It was $5 and it came in a paper dish like the previous one. The bun was not good, and the hot dog was not juicy and had no snap. However, this time when I ordered a hot dog, the mustard packets were right near the concession. Because of that, it gets a slight boost over the field hockey one for a score of 6.1.

Panzer Stadium – 8.2

Later in the year, I made my way to Panzer Stadium, the home of Penn State men’s and women’s lacrosse. I truly feel Panzer is one of the most underrated sports venues that Penn State has to offer as it’s a beautiful stadium that hosts a sport, that if you watch, is truly enjoyable.

For $5, I grabbed another hot dog, and the ones at Panzer came in the same bag as the one from Jeffery Field. It kept the dog super warm and extremely juicy. Mustard was right next to the stand, and while the snap wasn’t the greatest and the bun was a little hard, it being so warm made for all of that. Panzer received an 8.2.

Beard Field At Nittany Lions Softball Park – 7.6

On one of my final stops, I headed over to Beard Field, home to Penn State softball. Like Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, Beard Field also had a Dollar Dog Night this season. I was unfortunately unable to make it that night. Penn State softball, host more Dollar Dog Nights.

Like most places, the dogs were $5. These came in paper dishes, like most of the venues, and while the other times I had glizzies in paper dishes were not good, this one was decent. It deserved an overall C+ if I was giving out letter grades. Mustard right next to the stand, the snap was OK, it was somewhat juicy, and the bun wasn’t terrible. A passing grade overall — Beard Field gets a 7.6.

Medlar Field at Lubrano Park – 9.5

Finally, we get to the clear winner of this experiment: hot dogs from Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, more specifically dollar dogs. This is the can’t-miss deal of the year for Penn State students and fans. There’s just something about going to a ballpark with some friends and crushing a bunch of hot dogs that cost only $1.

Typically, hot dogs come in aluminum wrapping and this was similar on the Dollar Dog Night I went to. I ordered three dogs right away, but you could order up to eight at a time, grabbed my mustard from the cart near the concession stand, and sat down. Despite being in aluminum wrapping, these dogs were warm and delicious.

The snap was excellent, the bun was squishy but warm, and it was one of the juiciest dogs I’ve had. I am biased, as this post likely wouldn’t happened without Medlar giving us Dollar Dog Nights, but these glizzies were perfect. They check the box when it comes to stadium hot dogs. Nothing is a 10, but these hot dogs come close, clocking in at a 9.5 overall and coming in the clear winner.

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About the Author

Matt Brown

Matt is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism and minoring in sports studies from Bensalem, Pa. Matt is a huge Philadelphia sports fan and an overall sports fan in general. When not watching sports, you'll find him taking down any Dollar Dog challenge or rewatching the Big Ten Maps Commercial. To reach him, follow him on Twitter and Instagram: @matt_brown63, or email him at [email protected].

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