Archive for Wednesday, June 17, 2009

KU has new food vendor for games

Centerplate signs 10-year concession contract

June 17, 2009


Centerplate has a new contract to provide concessions at all Kansas Athletics events next season, replacing Mid-America Concessions, which had the contract since 1990.

Centerplate, a company with its executive offices in Connecticut, operates concessions for the Kansas City Chiefs, Kansas City T-Bones and Kansas City Wizards, along with many other professional and collegiate sports teams across the country.

“We consider ourselves a member of the community and we are thrilled to be extending our services to the university,” said Bob Pascal, Centerplate senior vice president for sales and marketing.

The contract covers concessions at all Kansas Athletics events, including football and basketball games.

The new 10-year agreement does not include a specific dollar amount; instead, Centerplate will pay a percentage of the net operating profits to KU, said Jim Marchiony, associate athletic director.

That percentage is still being determined, but will constitute at least a majority of the profits, he said.

Centerplate will also pay $1.1 million for improvements to concession facilities at several athletic complexes, including Allen Fieldhouse and Memorial Stadium.

While the company has made some proposals for food offerings that could be included, no final decisions have been made on what will be offered, Centerplate and KU officials said.

According to a Centerplate release, the company intends to introduce new menu concepts alongside traditional fare, paying homage to university athletic icons with concepts such as the Rock Chalk Grill and Phog’s Fieldhouse Favorites.

Mid-America Concessions employed 75 full- and part-time workers during the athletic season. The loss of the Kansas Athletics contract, which served as the main source of revenue for the company, means the company will shut down.

Pascal said Centerplate has named a new general manager for the area, and would be interviewing employees from Mid-America for new positions to determine whether they would be a good fit.

Centerplate has already been in contact with several nonprofit groups that worked concessions under Mid-America, and intends to include the groups as part of their operations, Marchiony said.

The groups, which include youth sports teams and other local groups, worked concessions as part of fundraising efforts.

“We do work with nonprofits and pride ourselves with our ability to do so,” Pascal said.


JC 8 years, 7 months ago

The prices for concessions at KU baseball games were shockingly high. Four dollars for a hot dog or pop corn. I have been to about a hundred games over the last four years and I doubt I have spent more than $50 total at those games just because of the pricing. Hopefully the new company will reduce prices to a more reasonable level. If for no other reason the principle of not being taken advantage of kept me away from the vender booth most days.

Another problem was 25 cent hot dog day. The event was promoted all season but each of the last two years the 25 cent hot dogs ran out before the second inning. I am sure everyone can imagine how much ill will this caused among fans.

mom_of_three 8 years, 7 months ago

As for 25 cent hotdogs, the athletics department was paying the difference to the vendor, and the athletics department determined how many hotdogs would be sold. Don't blame the vendor.

bb837988 8 years, 7 months ago

JC (Anonymous) says…

The prices for concessions at KU baseball games were shockingly high.

Could it because there are two companies taking a profit? The concession company has to make a profit and according to the article, the athletic department will be getting a majority of the new vendors profit. I don't think that will lead to lower prices.

The article also says that the vendor is paying for 1.1 million in improvements to the facilities. A cheap hotdog isn't going to do much for the profit margin for a company who is giving most of the profit to athletics and subsidizing a renovation for a property that the company doesn't own.

hs_reader 8 years, 7 months ago

I doubt that the new food will be cheaper, and previously all of the games had the same prices, including baseball. And no wonder KU took Centerplate over Mid-America, they weren't going to pay for the new kitchen and new concession stands, although it's not like they were asked for. And I'm kind of expecting prices to go up to match a professional venue, like a Royal's game or Sprint Center. How could you even think of the prices going down?

sampierron 8 years, 7 months ago

I mostly fear that this means the death of the hot dog/sausage stand at the NE corner of the Field House.

hoosier 8 years, 7 months ago

I will be very interested in seeing if Centerplate allows local groups to continue using the concession stands as fundraisers. I have heard that they are going to, but my guess is that they will change the current format so the local groups make less money.

yankeevet 8 years, 7 months ago

Now if they could replace the red shirt crowd control people; they are so rude at these games;..........

Danimal 8 years, 7 months ago

"Centerplate, a company with its executive offices in Connecticut"

The Connecticut mafia continues to push into Lawrence...

dkbrown2006 8 years, 7 months ago

I doubt that prices will drop just because of griping. Do not mean to sound unsympathetic, but there are other solutions....

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