Sports Heavyweights Horn in on the Concessions Game

Cowboys-Yankees partnership means a major new presence in a lucrative segment.

The New York Yankees and the Dallas Cowboys, in combination with Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., have formed a concessions and retail management company called Legends Hospitality that will operate catering, concessions, retail merchandising and other services at the new venues the two teams will be opening next year.

Legends had already been announced as the new concessionaire for the new Yankee Stadium when it opens next April. It was rolled out as a new self-operated entity when the Yankees announced this past April that they would sever connections with current Yankee Stadium concessionaire Centerplate and manage their own foodservice and retail operations when they move into their new $1.3 billion ballpark for the 2009 season.

The Cowboys, who have been self-operating concessions at their current home in Texas Stadium for 20 years, will also debut a new facility next fall. Both teams are considered at or near the top in their respective sports in terms of revenue generation, a status likely to be reinforced by their new stadiums.

Based in Newark, NJ, Legends will be headed by former Pizza Hut president Michael Rawlings. It will compete for contracts at other professional venues as well as college and event facilities.