4 Rivers fans, rejoice: Your favorite barbecue is slated to be served at the Carl Black & Gold Cabana inside Bright House Networks Stadium this season.
UCF Athletics announced Tuesday that 4 Rivers Smokehouse will be the exclusive food vendor in the new premium seating area, according to a press release.
“We’re all excited about the football season beginning and this news gives our fans in the Cabana one more thing to be excited about,” said UCF head football coach and interim Director of Athletics George O’Leary in the release. “We’re keeping it local with Orlando and Central Florida-based companies. This should add even more to the experience of sitting in the Carl Black & Gold Cabana.”
John Rivers, founder and owner of 4 Rivers Smokehouse, said that UCF went far beyond expectations to make football games special for the fans and he is excited to work with the Carl Black & Gold Cabana.
“To be a part of that, especially in the inaugural year of it, is an honor. It really is a thrill for us" Rivers said in the release. "This is our backyard. This is where we started. To be able to do something like this at home really means a lot to us. It’s rooting for the home team, in a very literal sense. It’s a personal experience and relationship.”
While the menu is set to vary from game to game, Rivers said fan favorites such as brisket and pulled-pork sandwiches will usually be included. Additionally, 4 Rivers will provide snacks and sweets from the 4 Rivers Sweet Shop.
Rivers' involvement isn't stopping at the Carl Black & Gold Cabana, though. He is also helping UCF student-athletes by sponsoring an Everyday Champions scholarship, a completely philanthropic fundraising initiative "designed to help UCF student-athletes receive a quality education and a championship experience during their time as a Knight," according to the release.
“I’m very passionate about that,” Rivers said. “The thing that I found appealing was 100 percent of the dollars we’re donating go toward scholarships to help young student-athletes get through school. I had to pay my way through college and I know how difficult that is. When there’s an opportunity to make that kind of impact in a young student’s life, that speaks to my heart.”
Additionally, Red Top Productions, which for years has operated event spaces and VIP experiences in Orlando, will manage the Carl Black & Gold Cabana, according to the release. Red Top Productions has also managed the Black & Gold Club at the CFE Arena for the past seven years.
UCF Athletics and Red Top Productions are also working on new, UCF-exclusive beverages that will be available at the Cabana. The Citronaut is a frozen mango-flavored drink, the new Bounce House Brew is a red lager and the Cabana Cocktail will be a Coca-Cola based premium beverage, the release states.
UCF's football season kicks off Sept. 3 at Bright House Networks Stadium, when the Knights face off against FIU at 6 p.m.
For information on Carl Black & Gold Cabana memberships, call UCF Athletics Sales and Service at 407-823-1000 or visit www.UCFKnights.com.
Danielle Hendrix is a News Editor for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @dhendrix21 or email her at DanielleH@CentralFloridaFuture.com.