The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority on Friday announced that Aramark "will be the concessionaire" at the Vikings' new stadium, according to John Vomhof Jr. of the Minneapolis-St. Paul BUSINESS JOURNAL. Aramark, which beat out competing finalists Delaware North and Levy Restaurants, "has entered negotiations" with the MSFA on a final agreement. Aramark already "oversees the premium dinning services at the Metrodome and all of the concessions at TCF Bank Stadium." The Philadelphia-based company "will oversee all food and beverage operations at the new stadium -- both general concessions and premium dining" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 7/19). This is Aramark’s 11th NFL account tied to food and merchandise operations, and it has regained NFL market share in the past year after winning food deals for the Browns, Buccaneers and Bears. Cubs President of Business Operations Crane Kenney said that Aramark is one of three finalists to run concessions, premium dining and merchandise at Wrigley Field. He said that Legends and Cubs incumbent food/retail provider Levy Restaurants are the other two finalists (Don Muret, Staff Writer). In Minneapolis, Janet Moore noted Aramark is "no stranger to Minnesota" (Minneapolis STAR-TRIBUNE, 7/20).
METRODOME AIMING TO OFFLOAD ASSETS: In Minneapolis, Richard Meryhew reported Metrodome operators, who are six months away from seeing the stadium demolished, are "scrambling to come up with a plan to sell off its once-prized-but-no-longer-needed assets." MSFA officials on Friday said that the sale of much of the surplus property "probably will spread over a few months, starting this fall." Baseball and basketball equipment will "be the first to go, since the stadium is no longer used for either sport." Anything needed for football "won’t be dismantled or sold until after the Vikings complete their 2013 season" (Minneapolis STAR-TRIBUNE, 7/20).
The Packers are "spending hundreds of millions of dollars to make Lambeau Field a place where people want to watch a football game," but those efforts "could be for naught if they don’t solve cellphone/Wi-Fi issues at the stadium," according to Richard Ryman of the GREEN PAY PRESS-GAZETTE. Packers VP/Finance & Administration Paul Baniel said that Lambeau Field's bowl, while a "wonderful place to watch a football game, is a hard place to hide antennas and the like." Most stadiums "have several decks and lots of places to hide that stuff." Packers President & CEO Mark Murphy said Verizon Wireless invested “a considerable amount of money” to add boosters around the stadium bowl. They are in "gold-painted boxes mounted above exits." Fans "wouldn’t notice them if they weren’t pointed out." Murphy added that the Packers also are "working with AT&T on upgrades" (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE, 7/20).
Flames President & CEO Ken King said that the Scotiabank Saddledome "could be ready as early as Sept. 1" following flood waters in June that damaged portions of the arena. King said, "We’ll have to go real hard to make that date. The work plan has been very good. We have good people doing hard work." In Calgary, Scott Cruickshank noted the progress "means that even pre-season dates can be staged" at the arena (CALGARY HERALD, 7/20).
WHAT'S IN A NAME? New York-based Wandering Dago food truck co-Owner Brandon Snooks said that his truck, which had a "contract to operate at Saratoga Race Course this season, was told to leave the track after opening day on Friday because an unnamed state official found the name offensive." Co-Owner Andrea Loguidice said that she and Snooks "were told Saturday to remove the truck from the property or it would be towed." Loguidice said that "no concerns over the name were raised during six months of negotiations with the New York Racing Association, which manages the track, and Centerplate, which supervises food service there" (TIMESUNION.com, 7/21).
BREW CREW: In DC, Fritz Hahn noted after two seasons of "pleading from local fans, Nationals Park is upping its local beer lineup." Port City, DC Brau and 3 Stars said that their beers became available Saturday night outside section 139 in right field (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 7/19).