daffodils in front of the Feliciano School of Business

A Pitch That Connects

Posted in: Feliciano School of Business

Yogi Berra Stadium opened a new feature at its facilities on March 22, 2024. Overseen by Josh Lupinek, Associate Professor in the Hospitality and Tourism Department of the Feliciano School of Business, forty-seven Feliciano undergraduate students helped conceive, execute, and operate a lively community concession area as part of a capstone project for their senior seminar course. The student-led effort reached out to local food and beer vendors about offering their menus on a rotating basis during the stadium’s sporting events. In the Fall 2023 semester, students analyzed keywords and researched names for the new area before settling on The Hill—evoking both the name of the St. Louis neighborhood where Berra grew up and the elevated hill site at Montclair where the stadium was built.

Students surveyed their peers and campus personnel to identify preferred food and beverage tastes—including asking what foods and beer would make them come to the stadium even if they were not interested in baseball. The students then put together customized one-page proposals for local organizations describing their goals and their interest in connecting with the surrounding community. Eight food vendors and five breweries agreed to participate. Each vendor had the concession area to themselves for a week, before the program ended on May 18. “The Hill gives students practical, hands-on experiential experience through community engaged learning and, most importantly, a new line on their resumé. Gaining professional experience as a student is one of the most impactful things when students are trying to get jobs,” Lupinek says.