Shaq’s Food Empire Grows Even Bigger As His Big Chicken Franchise Heads To A $1.5B Sports Arena
Photo Credit: Big Chicken

Shaq’s Food Empire Grows Even Bigger As His Big Chicken Franchise Heads To A $1.5B Sports Arena

Shaq may have an estimated $400 million fortune, but he shows no signs of slowing down. 

Throughout the years we have seen Shaquille O’Neal tap into various business ventures and rack up an impressive financial portfolio with ownership of over 50 brands, AfroTech previously reported.

No stranger to the food industry, though, the Hall of Famer even reportedly became co-owner of Big Chicken with a Las Vegas, NV location alongside his friend Matt Silverman and agent Perry Rogers three years ago. However, it was new territory for O’Neal as it was his first time building a franchise from the ground up. And it seems as though he is faring well, having already launched a second location just last year in Glendale, CA.

Plus, CNBC reports that in 2021, Big Chicken started accepting applications for franchises with costs ranging from $450,000 to $1.4 million. In addition, there’s a $40,000 franchise fee, and the restaurant takes five percent of sales and two percent combined for national and local marketing.

In a full-circle moment for the NBA star, Big Chicken is expanding into sports arenas. According to CNBC, the franchise recently opened in an arena at Climate Pledge based in Seattle, home to the National Hockey League (NHL) Team, the Kraken. Now, Keeping his foot on the gas, O’Neal will be adding the $1.5 billion USB arena — home of the NHL New York Islanders — to serve as an additional location for the growing chicken franchise.

Big Chicken will sell its fried chicken sandwiches inside the UBS Arena during NHL games and other events. Its menu includes the “Uncle Jerome,” named in honor of Shaq’s uncle, and “Charles Barkley,” a toast to the 11-time NBA All-Star and O’Neal’s current broadcasting partner on “Inside the NBA.” A sandwich near and dear to the star athlete is the “MDE” (most dominant ever), which is a toast to the athlete’s time with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Fans will clearly be in for a treat as the first regular-season game is set for Nov. 20 when the Islanders prepare to face the Calgary Flames.