The Ohio State University has named Levy Restaurants its exclusive food and beverage partner for its athletic venues, including Ohio Stadium and the Jerome Schottenstein Center. Levy will take over when current contract holder Sodexo's deal expires on June 30. Levy, a unit of Compass Group North America, operates at more than 100 restaurants and sports/entertainment venues nationwide, including Churchill Downs in Louisville, the Staples Center in Los Angeles and Chicago"s Wrigley Field.
"Through this new, seven-year agreement with Levy, Ohio State has an opportunity to work with a recognized leader in premium sports and entertainment dining to take our overall experience to the next level," says Xen Riggs, Ohio State's associate vice president for business advancement. "Together we will broaden our offerings with new national and local culinary partners and leverage Levy's exceptional hospitality expertise to create something truly unique for Ohio Stadium and the Schottenstein Center."
"Ohio State is incredibly passionate about creating an exceptional experience for this vibrant community of students, faculty, family and fans," says Levy President/CEO Andy Lansing. "We are thrilled to work together with Ohio State in every aspect, from how we partner with the community and local businesses, to offering a new variety of culinary options and an exciting new level of hospitality that celebrates the spirit of this distinguished institution."
The contract includes a $2 million allocation to Schottenstein Center infrastructure improvements and $6 million for food service infrastructure enhancements for all facilities that will include rebranding, signage, technology and equipment upgrades.
Riggs added that additional revenue will be generated through increased sales driven by more variety of offerings as well as an enhanced commission structure that returns an average of 9 percent more to the university than the previous contract. The new blended commission rate will be 43 percent as opposed to the current rate of 32 percent.
The current concession agreement generated $11.4 million in gross sales for fiscal year 2012 and Ohio State received $3.5 million in commission. Based upon existing sales volume, Riggs said that the university estimates it will generate approximately $1 million in additional revenue annually just from the enhanced commission structure alone.
"The university is committed to keeping food and beverage prices affordable and any increases would be determined by changes in market conditions, just as they have in the past and no increases will occur as a direct result of our new vendor or contract terms," Riggs says.
Venues to be covered in the agreement include Ohio Stadium, the Jerome Schottenstein Center, St. John Arena, Bill Davis Stadium, Buckeye Field, Buckeye Varity Field, French Fieldhouse, Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion, Jack Nicklaus Museum, The Ohio State University Ice Rink and the Varsity Tennis Center.