Position: Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Rick Abramson’s journey with Delaware North began in Milwaukee, Wis., where he got his start as a teenage food vendor at the former Milwaukee County Stadium. Over the next 30 years, he rose through the ranks -- holding a variety of leadership roles within the company.
In his current role in Delaware North's Office of the Chief Executive, Abramson has management responsibility for the company’s business operations around the world. He is accountable for driving business performance through Delaware North's global portfolio of operations -- including its sports, parks, airports, gaming, restaurant and hospitality businesses.
Prior to his current role, Abramson served as president of Delaware North's parks and resorts division -- providing strategic direction and ensuring that short- and long-term plans were in place to drive business and enhance the company’s destination proprieties domestically and internationally. The Delaware North parks and resorts division provides hospitality services at state and national parks, historic attractions and Delaware North-owned resorts and hotels. He also served as executive chairman of Delaware North Australia and Asia, leading the company’s extensive sports venue, travel hospitality and resort businesses in those regions.
Prior to leading the parks and resorts business, Abramson served as president of Delaware North Sportservice, the company’s largest and longest-standing division. Under his leadership, the annual revenue of Delaware North Sportservice nearly tripled to exceed $760 million and grew to include operations at more than 50 professional sporting venues and entertainment complexes around the world. During this time, Delaware North Sportservice expanded its retail business exponentially by building award-winning stores such as Chicago Sports Depot outside U.S. Cellular Field, and one-of-a-kind retail experiences for the Jets and Giants at MetLife Stadium.
Abramson served as the president and chief operating officer of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. During his eight-year tenure, he turned the outdated museum into one of the most visited attractions in Central Florida. Of his achievements in Florida, Abramson is most proud of the $130 million redevelopment initiative he oversaw, which included opening the world-renowned Apollo/Saturn V Center, International Space Station Center and Launch Complex 39 Observation Gantry. Additionally, he managed the opening of several visitor complex educational programs and exhibits, such as Astronaut Encounter, Mad Mission to Mars 2025, Early Space Exploration, Exploration in the New Millennium, and the Dr. Kurt H. Debus Conference Facility.
His forward thinking and diligence poised Delaware North to be recipients of two Themed Entertainment Association awards for the Apollo/Saturn V Center and Exploration in the New Millennium attractions. Abramson also was awarded a NASA Public Service Medal, NASA’s highest achievement award for non-government employees. In 2002, he joined the ranks of some of the most respected members of the space program when he earned the Dr. Kurt H. Debus Award from the National Space Club Florida Committee for his role in educating and inspiring the visitor complex’s millions of guests.
He served as Delaware North’s chief executive officer of Australian Venue Services (AVS) in Melbourne, Australia, where he worked with Catering clients such as Melbourne Showgrounds, Sydney Entertainment Center and Royal Exhibition Buildings, the Melbourne Cup Race, Australian Grand Prix and the Australian Tennis Open.