March 4, 2015
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces New "Farm to Fan" Partnership Between "Taste NY" and the Times Union Center in Albany

TOP Governor Cuomo Announces New "Farm to Fan...

First Promotion of Its Kind to Feature "Taste NY" Branding, New Food Offerings and Beverages Year-Round at All Events

Governor Encourages Other Venues Across the State to Adopt Similar Marketing Strategy


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a new "farm to fan" partnership between the highly-successful "Taste NY" program and the Times Union Center in Albany to promote New York agricultural products at this entertainment venue. This new agreement represents the first such partnership between "Taste NY" and a large-scale entertainment complex and will feature New York food and beverage options for visitors, as well as "Taste NY" branding throughout the arena.


"New York is home to the best food and beverage products in the world, and Taste NY's rapid expansion continues to help our hard working farmers reach new customers and grow this state's economy," said Governor Cuomo. "The Times Union Center and Taste NY are a perfect match and this new partnership will help introduce hundreds of thousands of visitors to some of the best agricultural products this state has to offer. We hope that this newfound enterprise will serve as a model for similar venues across New York State to help our farm economy continue its rapid growth."


“By launching strategic partnerships with large-scale entertainment destinations, New York State is well positioned to better market local businesses that sell home-grown products, help create jobs and grow our economy,” said Lieutenant Governor Hochul.  “Governor Cuomo’s Taste NY initiative has already brought unprecedented attention and widespread demand for New York-based food and beverages, and today’s announcement takes this to the next level.  I would like to thank the Times Union Center for their collaboration on this important program and I am confident that this arrangement will produce dividends for years to come.”


The Capital Kitchen and the Knickerbocker Grill at the Times Union Center will offer fans Empire and Red Delicious apples from Yonder Farms in Valatie, NY. Empire Apples will also be available with caramel on the side. In addition, a variety of New York cheese and cracker assortments from Adirondack Cheese Company (Barneveld), Cooperstown Cheese Company (Milford), Harpersfield Cheese (Jefferson), and Nettle Meadow Farm (Warrensburg) will be for sale. Seasonal harvest salads and turkey club wraps (turkey from Old World Provisions in Troy and wraps from Rockland Bakery in Nanuet) will be available at Northside Snacks and the Red Star Bar. Six rotating flavors of New York hard ice creams will be available at the two ice cream stands on the North and South Side, including ice cream from The Ice Cream Man in Greenwich, NY. One of these stands will feature soft ice cream from Upstate Farms in Buffalo.


A brand new Taste NY bar will feature a variety of craft beers, including Captain Lawrence IPA, Brooklyn Lager, Brown's Oatmeal Stout and Saranac Pale Ale. Northside Snacks will offer fans Riesling, Chardonnay and Petit Noir from Salmon Run Wines of the Finger Lakes Region. The Capital Kitchen and Knickerbocker Grill will also offer fans Saranac Pale Ale. More New York craft beers will be rotated in throughout the year.


Newly-produced sectional banners are now installed throughout the concourse of the Times Union Center. Every one of them includes the "Taste NY" logo combined with a logo for a craft beer produced in New York State. Two 135' long LED ribbon board digital units and the circular LED ribbon board at the bottom of the scoreboard will feature the "Taste NY" logo. The marquee located on the Southwest corner of the arena's roofline facing the ramp leading to the Empire State Plaza and the marquee located in the atrium on South Pearl Street will feature the "Taste NY" logo. In addition, the "Taste NY" logo has been inserted into the ice at the arena.


Senator Neil Breslin said, "I am very excited to see such a collaborative partnership come together between the Taste NY program and the Times Union Center. Partnering these two growing New York state assets just makes sense. Visitors and patrons who come to the Capital Region’s premier entertainment center will now have access to some of New York’s greatest products. I thank the Governor for his commitment to Taste NY."


Member of Assembly Patricia Fahy said, "New York’s agricultural industry is a cornerstone of the economy, and the environmentally friendly Farm to Fan program makes these products more accessible to the growing and vibrant Capital Region market. I congratulate the Governor on his leadership and I am confident that this partnership will make a difference for local economies and farmers across the state."


Member of Assembly William Magee said, "The Farm to Fan initiative is another important step forward in growing the market for New York’s agriculture that is sure to strengthen the connection between farms and large-scale venues. I commend the Governor for his administration's continued efforts to grow this partnership and boost our state’s agricultural economy through initiatives like Taste NY."


State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, "This is an exciting new promotion in the continuing development of Governor Cuomo's Taste NY program. The Times Union Center in Albany has a built-in fan base and unlimited potential to reach people of all ages and introduce them to new foods and beverages made right here in New York State. This is a partnership that makes a lot of sense and also helps our world class agricultural producers. While this is the first such partnership of its kind between Taste NY and a large-scale arena, I'm optimistic that it won't be the last."


Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy said, “It’s exciting that the Taste NY Farm to Fan Program is launching its first partnership with the Times Union Center. Local business is the cornerstone to growing our economy and promoting New York State foods and beverages at the arena will introduce our TU customers to the flavors of New York State while adding to the fan experience.  This joint venture will also encourage those who try our local foods at the TU to visit the businesses themselves.”


Albany Mayor Kathy M. Sheehan said, “What a wonderful and innovative program. Now we can watch a basketball game or a concert, have a tasty, locally-grown dinner or snack, and support the hard-working farmers in the entire Capital Region. Congratulations to the Times Union Center and the New York State Agriculture Department for making a night out in Albany better than ever.”


SMG Regional General Manager Bob Belber said, "SMG is honored to work with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets to develop this first-of-its-kind "Taste NY – Farm to Fan" arena concession program in NY State. Our goal is to help support the farmers and producers of products within the State of NY while offering our patrons "Healthy Choice" menu options. Many of the families who operate farms and produce products in Upstate NY have been attending events presented in the Times Union Center for years. It is time that we support these hard working families, which will help our Upstate NY economy and this program will refresh our food and beverage menu here at the Times Union Center." 


Annual attendance at the Times Union Center ranges between 550,000 and 650,000. Taste NY sponsors and participates in a number of statewide, national and international events that highlight and market New York foods and beverages. For more information on the program, please visit:

Contact the Governor's Press Office
Contact the Governor's Press Office

NYC Press Office:  212.681.4640

Albany Press Office:  518.474.8418