MEMPHIS, Tennessee - The unmistakable aromas of Rendezvous' famous barbecue, a Memphis tradition since 1948, will once again waft through AutoZone Park, as the Memphis Redbirds are pleased to announce the restaurant will return as the official barbecue supplier of the downtown ballpark as part of a multi-year agreement.
Beginning again in 2017, the legendary "Rendezvous experience" of smoky Memphis-style meats will once again go hand-in-hand with the "Redbirds experience" of a beautiful night at the ballpark with family and friends, laughter, good conversation, and memories that will last well beyond the game's nine innings. Located just one block from the stadium, Rendezvous and its "perfectly-seasoned southern heaven" have been a quintessential part of Memphis' world-renowned barbecue culture since its founding by the Vergos family in 1948.
"For Memphians, the saying 'as American as baseball and apple pie' can also be 'as Memphis as baseball and barbecue,'" Redbirds President and General Manager Craig Unger said. "Barbecue has been a hot topic at the ballpark over the past couple of years, and we have a little 'sauce on our face,' so to speak, from the last few seasons without Rendezvous. You can pass us a napkin, because we cannot wait to dig into the world-famous Rendezvous BBQ Nachos with everyone this season!"
"When we made the decision to rebrand the Redbirds this offseason as authentically Memphis, we did so with a mission of connecting to the soul of the city known for its iconic music history and famous barbecue," Redbirds Principal Owner Peter Freund said. "And I can think of no better way to accomplish this than to welcome Rendezvous Barbecue back inside AutoZone Park."
For nearly 70 years, the Vergos family has been serving their signature dry rub ribs in a basement through a downtown alley across from the Peabody Hotel and down the block from AutoZone Park, which in many ways set the gold standard for the barbecue experience in Memphis. Multiple United States Presidents, British Princes William and Harry, the Manning family, Justin Timberlake, and countless other celebrities and dignitaries have all dined on Rendezvous' food when visiting Memphis and raved about the experience.
"We were thrilled when the Redbirds reached out to us," Rendezvous Co-Owner John Vergos said. "The Redbirds are our neighbors, friends, and a Memphis tradition. We are excited to see everyone at AutoZone Park on Opening Day."
"With our renewed partnership with Rendezvous, we will have some new Rendezvous-themed items in AutoZone Park this season," Unger said. "Every couple of weeks we plan on rolling out some new creative concession items that incorporate Rendezvous. Think Rendezvous BBQ Tacos, Rendezvous BBQ Pizza and even a Rendezvous BBQ Hot Dog."
Rendezvous will be served from four concession stands, in all-inclusive areas including the Redbird Club and the 4-Top Tables, and as part of the barbecue menus offered with select group picnics and in suites.
The 2017 season begins on Thursday, March 30 against the St. Louis Cardinals in a "Battle of the Birds" exhibition game. The regular-season home opener is Tuesday, April 11 against Colorado Springs.
Multiple season and mini-membership ticket options for the 2017 season are on sale now, and all include the "Battle of the Birds" exhibition game. For more information on season memberships and mini-memberships, visit www.memphisredbirds.com. For more information on "Battle of the Birds," visit www.memphisredbirds.com/battleofthebirds.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.