What do you get when you combine local food, family pride, plenty of folklore, and rich, Northeastern Wisconsin tradition? Booyah!
The phrase resonates with many sports fans around the country as an expression for an intense and amazing play. ESPN analyst Stuart Scott popularized the phrase describing a tremendous dunk: Booyah! When a player crushed a home run: Booyah! A one-handed touchdown catch on the football field on a throw from Aaron Rodgers: Booyah!
Green Bay knows plenty about the last statement, but the community also knows Booyah as something that typically has nothing to do with sports. Families around Northeastern Wisconsin know Booyah as a Belgian style stew that has been a local favorite for over a century. There are many varieties, and each chef adds their own flair to every batch of the stew, traditionally comprised of mixed vegetables, thick broth, with the meat usually consisting of chicken, with an ox tail added for extra flavor. Booyah can take multiple days and many hands to prepare, often cooked in a large cast iron kettle over a fire and is featured as the main dish in a plethora of fundraisers, church picnics, and large family gatherings.
The stories about why Booyah is called Booyah vary, but most likely stem from local resident Andrew Rentmeester deciding to cook a large batch of soup to sell as a fundraiser to purchase school supplies for kids. Rentmeester spoke with a journalist from the Green Bay Press Gazette to promote his fundraiser and told her he would be serving “bouillon” which is the French word for soup. The journalist asked him to spell the word, to which he phonetically spelled b-o-o-y-a-h. The newspaper printed it that way and a simple, misspelled word has become a local fixture in the area since.
At the team’s logo unveil in November 2018, John Fanta, the team’s Vice President, said “We’re extremely excited to unveil a brand that is not only fun but has a meaningful connection to the community we call home. The name speaks to the rich tradition in Northeast Wisconsin and fans will really enjoy how we plan to integrate the Booyah theme at the ballpark. I can’t wait to shout the phrase after our first home run at Capital Credit Union Park!”
Chicken is the most common ingredient in Booyah, which inspired the fierce rooster featured in the team logos. The team colors include royal blue, sky blue, gold, orange and gray. The Booyah also have a variety of alternative logos that are featured on merchandise and are included in branding around Capital Credit Union Park.
Part of the fun with the team name began when team officials debuted the World’s Largest Booyah Kettle at the team name unveil in November 2018. The 2,000 gallon kettle features hand painted versions of the team logos and is displayed in front of the entrance to Capital Credit Union Park.
The Booyah played their first ever home game at Capital Credit Union Park on June 1st, 2019 in front of a sold out crowd of 2,317. Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones was on hand for the celebration and to throw out the first pitch.