This Saturday’s Northwestern Wildcats versus the Minnesota Golden Gophers game at Ryan Field in Evanston, Ill., will be the first ever peanut-free football game.
Cutting peanuts from the game is meant to raise awareness of food allergies and how many families they affect, and to give allergic fans a chance to focus on the game instead of worry about the popular stadium snack and how it might affect their reactions. Peanut allergies affect five of every 1,000 Americans, and for most people with an allergy, the smell of peanuts is enough to cause a mild to severe reaction.
An allergy-friendly football game
A peanut-free sports game is not an unusual phenomenon today. Several baseball teams in both the major and minor leagues have banned peanuts altogether or have peanut-free sections in the stands, as do some hockey teams and venues. The Wildcats, however, are the first college team to host an allergy-friendly game.
Before the game, seats will have been power washed to remove any peanut residue, peanuts and peanut products will not be allowed in-stadium or in any of the vendor’s gear. Stadium officials still caution attendees to take precautions and bring their EpiPens, but the game should be a chance to relax and enjoy without fear of peanut allergy reactions.