By Jimmy Carlton Sportswriter Published Feb 17, 2017 at 3:02 PM

The Milwaukee Admirals and Saz’s Hospitality Group announced on Friday the addition of a Saz’s concession stand at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena. The move continues the venue’s efforts to improve its food and beverage selection since the Admirals moved in last fall, establishes Saz’s first permanent location outside of the State House restaurant – it operates temporary stands during Summerfest and State Fair – and extends the longstanding relationship between the two local partners.

And that’s all great, really, but what it means most of all is this: There’s now another, closer, easily available place to get Saz’s incredible Sampler Combination Platter.

Opening tonight for the Admirals’ home game against the Charlotte Checkers, the Saz’s stand will be outside section 214 at the Arena and will offer festival favorites like the top-selling combo platter – consisting of delicious mozzarella marinara, savory sour cream & chive fries, and unmatched Leinie’s beer-battered Wisconsin cheese curds – as well as beef brisket and barbecued pulled pork sandwiches, a smoked turkey honey wrap and individual sides. There will also be a variety of cold beers by MillerCoors.

"We are excited to expand our relationship with Saz’s and to offer our fans the signature items that have made them a staple of Milwaukee festivals for many years," Admirals Owner/CEO Harris Turer said in a statement. "Saz’s has been a valued partner of ours for many years, so it was a natural fit when we saw the need for new food options at Panther Arena."

Besides being at all Admirals home games, Saz’s will serve concessions at select other events, including UWM Panthers and Wave games, in cooperation with the Wisconsin Center District, which owns and operates the Arena.

"While we’ve always had a solid partnership, we’re very excited to expand our relationship with the Admirals," said Steve Sazama, founder and owner of Saz’s State House Restaurant. "We love and support all of our Wisconsin and Milwaukee sports teams, but there’s something special about this organization. After many years of sponsorship, it’s only natural that we bring the taste of summer to the Admirals fans at Panther Arena."

In advance of the Admirals returning to the Arena for the first time in more than 30 years this season – they played at the BMO Harris Bradley Center since 1988 – the District and its concessionaire Levy Restaurants enhanced the concessions offerings and introduced new food options.

The Saz’s stand addition continues the renovation of the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena, which began last summer with $6.3 million in upgrades and improvements.

"We at the Wisconsin Center District are proud to have brought in such great culinary partners over the past year to the UW Milwaukee Panther Arena," said Russell Staerkel, Wisconsin Center District CEO. "We know our customers and fans will appreciate having Saz's, one of Milwaukee’s favorite restaurants, represented at the Arena."

There’s truly nothing like ice hockey and barbecue. And lots of fried cheese.

Born in Milwaukee but a product of Shorewood High School (go ‘Hounds!) and Northwestern University (go ‘Cats!), Jimmy never knew the schoolboy bliss of cheering for a winning football, basketball or baseball team. So he ditched being a fan in order to cover sports professionally - occasionally objectively, always passionately. He's lived in Chicago, New York and Dallas, but now resides again in his beloved Brew City and is an ardent attacker of the notorious Milwaukee Inferiority Complex.

After interning at print publications like Birds and Blooms (official motto: "America's #1 backyard birding and gardening magazine!"), Sports Illustrated (unofficial motto: "Subscribe and save up to 90% off the cover price!") and The Dallas Morning News (a newspaper!), Jimmy worked for web outlets like, where he was a Packers beat reporter, and FOX Sports Wisconsin, where he managed digital content. He's a proponent and frequent user of em dashes, parenthetical asides, descriptive appositives and, really, anything that makes his sentences longer and more needlessly complex.

Jimmy appreciates references to late '90s Brewers and Bucks players and is the curator of the unofficial John Jaha Hall of Fame. He also enjoys running, biking and soccer, but isn't too annoying about them. He writes about sports - both mainstream and unconventional - and non-sports, including history, music, food, art and even golf (just kidding!), and welcomes reader suggestions for off-the-beaten-path story ideas.