The media landscape in 2015 is rough.
No one denies this. Jobs that used to pay a living wage are getting cut, many newspaper staffers are taking buyouts instead of risking a firing later, and journalists are expected to do much more work for less.
Thankfully, one brave organization is willing to offer a perk for coverage of its affairs, not normally found in the worldwide media landscape (seriously): free meals on game night.
Fans of those who cover the New York Red Bulls have been rooting for two things as this season has wound down: 1. the continued advancement of the team in the 2015 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs and 2. the increasing quality of food that appears in the press box meal.
Don't believe me, take a look:
Saturday’s Red Bull Arena media meal for the #NYvCLB match - Salad Bar, Pulled Chicken Tacos, Rice & Beans and Churros— Jason Baum (@JasonBaumPR) October 2, 2015
Tonight’s media meal in the Red Bull Arena press room - Salad Bar, Fried Chicken, Mac & Cheese, Green Beans & Brownies #NYvMTL— Jason Baum (@JasonBaumPR) October 7, 2015
Today’s Red Bull Arena media meal - Salad Bar, Grandma's Sunday Meatballs, Penne ala Vodka, Broccoli Rabe & Cannolis #NYvPHI— Jason Baum (@JasonBaumPR) October 18, 2015
RBA media meal for Sunday - Flatiron Steak, Roasted Steakhouse Potato Wedges, Sautéed Green Beans, Salad Bar, Assorted Cookies & Brownies— Jason Baum (@JasonBaumPR) November 4, 2015
Wow. Just wow.
I can only imagine what the Red Bulls will pull out if the team advances to play the winner of the Columbus Crew SC or the Montreal Impact. I don't want to get ahead of myself, but I am salivating at the prospect of a media meal during the 2015 MLS Cup.
My mealtime snack for this weekend will be the three bags of Utz potato chips I stole at the last media workroom I was in. I kissed the feet of the hosts because this was a most gracious meal.
Go Red Bulls go.