Glen White, Delaware North Companies
Enhancing Fan Experience with More Freshly Prepared Food and Upscale Cuisine
BUFFALO, N.Y. (Oct. 4, 2007) – Teams and fans have not been alone the last few weeks in gearing up for the new National Hockey League season. The chefs and staffs of Delaware North Companies Sportservice have been working behind the scenes at six NHL venues to broaden menus – focused on further enhancing fans’ game experience.
Fresh fruit smoothies, live pasta stations, a baked potato bar, Thai lettuce wraps, smoked brisket subs, and gelato (Italian ice cream) are just a few of the many new selections on concession, suite, and club menus for the 2007-08 season.
“For nearly 100 years, Sportservice has been a leader in food, beverage and retail management, providing millions of sports fans with the menu items they crave,” said Sportservice President Rick Abramson. “As we continue to expand our menus and our concession items, we’re playing an important role in making the game experience more enjoyable.
“With concessions, we’re using fresh ingredients and having our staff prepare foods while interacting with the fans, in some cases even customizing their orders. In our clubs and suites, we’re continuing to provide more fans with a dining experience similar to what they have at the best restaurants in their cities,” Abramson said.
Sportservice operates concessions, dining for premium seating and suites, and clubs and restaurants at six NHL arenas: TD Banknorth Garden (Boston Bruins), HSBC Arena (Buffalo Sabres), Nationwide Arena (Columbus Blue Jackets), Rexall Place (Edmonton Oilers), the St. Pete Times Forum (Tampa Bay Lightning) and The Sommet Center (Nashville Predators).
Sportservice chefs develop menus in consultation with Sportservice Corporate Chef Rolf Baumann, a certified executive chef who has received a dozen medals in American Culinary Federation national competitions. In guiding Sportservice, Chef Baumann draws on the culinary expertise of Delaware North Companies Corporate Chef Roland Henin, one of only 60 certified master chefs in the United States.
“We are focusing on providing diverse and progressive menus because the fans are looking for much more than just traditional stadium favorites,” Baumann said. “At each of our NHL venues we feature a number of regional and ethnic dishes – many with new twists – and outstanding examples of emerging gourmet cuisine.”
Sportservice’s NHL venues contributed recipes to a new cookbook, “Home Plate: Hot Dogs to Haute Cuisine,” to celebrate Sportservice’s culinary excellence at the arenas, stadiums, and ballparks at which it operates across the country. The book will be available for purchase in late October at www.shopdelawarenorth.com and at Sportservice retail venues.
Here’s what’s new for the upcoming season in food and beverage at Sportservice’s six NHL venues:
TD Banknorth Garden is owned and operated by Delaware North Companies, whose chairman and CEO, Jeremy M. Jacobs, is owner of the Boston Bruins and also the newly elected chairman of the NHL Board of Governors.
The garden is introducing several new concession items this year, including sweet potato fries, breaded jumbo shrimp, onion pedals (onion pieces lightly breaded and fried), cheesy bread sticks, gelato, garlic fries, and hot, carved sandwiches.
Certified Executive Chef Kevin Doherty has introduced a number of healthy new menu items in the TD Banknorth Garden Premium Club such as fresh fruit smoothies, shrimp wraps, grilled vegetables with hummus, Odwalla natural fruit juices and a live pasta station.
The expanded Boardroom premium seating area is offering gourmet flat bread pizzas, thanks to a new giant hearth oven. Tapas-style hors d’oeuvres are also being added, as well as new desserts such as carrot cake and chocolate flan. The Legends club has added a Monte Cristo sandwich, triple-decker Rueben sandwich, salad nicoise, and Australian barramundi, a buttery-tasting tropical fish. Comfort foods such as turkey pot pie and cannelloni have been added to the suites menu, as well as a portable tabletop display of gelato.
Banners, a TD Banknorth Garden restaurant open to all fans, is adding pancetta prawns and duck pot stickers. A new party room created in place of two suites will feature food from the Banners kitchen.
Chef Doherty is a culinary industry veteran, beginning to learn the trade while working in his grandfather’s bakery. At TD Banknorth Garden he has cooked for the president of Ireland and top political officials at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.
At Rexall Place in Edmonton, Executive Chef Conrad Courchesne is introducing Oilers fans to several new premium dining delights this season, including international appetizers (Thai, Moroccan, Indian fillings in phyllo pastry), maple-glazed salmon skewers, bison strip loin, butter chicken and tandorri chicken wraps. Other new selections include a Pacific rim seafood sampler (cured salmon; ceviche, a citrus-marinated seafood salad; and poke, a Hawaiian influenced fish salad appetizer), smoked brisket sub and rack of lamb.
Chef Courchesne began his culinary career in the mid-1980s in the apprentice chef program at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. He was recognized for his menus in 2004 by the Culinary Institute of America.
New concessions items for the upcoming season include Philadelphia cheese steak sandwiches, custom-made quesadillas, chicken sandwiches and Starbucks coffee.
Tab Daulton, executive chef at Buffalo’s HSBC Arena, is unveiling several new suite menu items, including Italian deli baguettes, vegetarian baguettes, rosemary roasted pork tenderloin and a “South of the Border Sampler,” featuring beef chimichangas, chicken quesadillas, jalapeno poppers, guacamole and Mexican salsa.
In addition to feeding fans at the Stanley Cub playoffs, Daulton, a certified executive chef, has assisted Sportservice chefs during the World Series and once prepared food for then-President Bill Clinton during an appearance at HSBC Arena.
Sabres fans in Buffalo can also look forward to a unique event and unique menus when the team hosts the Pittsburgh Penguins on Jan. 1 in the “NHL Winter Classic,” an outdoor hockey game at Ralph Wilson Stadium, home of the Buffalo Bills. Stadium Executive Chef D. Christian Hipszer of Sportservice is developing special concessions, club and suite menus for the game.
The St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa will showcase a revamped suites menu and concession areas this season for Lightning fans. As part of the renovations, a number of brand restaurants are opening on various levels of the arena. The suites and club levels will feature an upgraded menu that will include both local and national delicacies.
The arena’s new concession stands will include 3 Scoops Italian Ice; Old Meeting House ice cream, which offers hand-dipped cones; Cinco de Bolt, providing fans with tacos, fajitas and other foods with a Mexican flair; High Stickin’ Chicken, serving up chicken tenders, Buffalo chicken wings and chicken Caesar salads; and Five Guys Famous Burgers and Fries, offering All-American grilled favorites.
Icons, one of the club-level restaurants, will offer a variety of dishes. Executive Chef Stephen Gary Jr. is introducing four new action stations, allowing guests to watch chefs prepare made-to-order marinated steaks, quesadillas, Cuban sandwiches and pasta dishes.
The Lightning’s suite holders will be treated to a considerably updated menu, offering delicacies from across the country. New featured items include grilled lamb chops, Maine lobster thermador, spicy Caribbean dip, Thai chicken and Mediterranean salad. New desserts include baked apple cobbler, mini-pints of Old Meeting House ice cream, and fried bites of cheesecake, truffles with cream filling, and bananas Foster.
The concession reconstruction and updated menus are expected to be available Oct. 4 for the Lightning’s home opener against the New Jersey Devils.
At Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Sportservice has installed a state-of-the-art point-of-sale system that will speed up concession sales transaction times and expedite credit card transactions.
New concession items include garden burgers, cheese steak sandwiches and kosher-style hot dogs. Sportservice, the Columbus Blue Jackets and Sugardale, the official hot dog of the Columbus Blue Jackets, are creating a promotion this season to let fans select the signature hot dog of the team and to choose a variety of hot dog toppings.
For the menu at the renamed and redecorated Time Warner HD Lounge and for the suites menus, new Chef Joseph Ditri has added several dishes, including vine-ripe tomato bruschetta, veggie spring rolls, loaded potato skins, miniature corn dogs, mandarin chicken salad, grilled chicken parmesan, a baked potato bar, macaroni and cheese, grilled burgers, cuban panini, grilled teriyaki chicken breast, smoked polish sausage, an ultimate arena deli platter, and grilled veggie wraps. For the first time, organic wines will be included on the wine list.
The Time Warner HD Lounge features a popular upscale buffet before each game, as well as a game-time buffet featuring tailgate items that can be eaten at the lounge or taken back to the seats. Pre-game buffet diners receive access to the game-time buffet, including at both intermissions, for no added cost.
Chef Ditri has 23 years of culinary experience, including time working for three certified master chefs and a culinary Olympic team chef. Twice he has cooked in four-star kitchens.
Nashville Predators fans will find enhanced and expanded concessions this fall at the Sommet Center. Renovations to the existing food court in the main concourse and several other concession areas are expected to be completed by mid-October. The renovations are being funded collaboratively by Sportservice and the Metropolitan Government of Nashville
The full-service bar in the main concourse at Atrium section 119 is being expanded. The old bar area was completely gutted and rebuilt with a more contemporary look, and the new bar will offer a broader line of products and more points of sale.
A new grill kiosk is being installed near the south entrance at section 114 for made-to-order grilled favorites such as cheese steaks, burgers, chicken tenders and fries. The hot dog kiosk in the food court at the main entrance is being remodeled to feature grills so that hot dogs, Italian sausages, bratwurst and regional favorites such as the Nashville Music City Dog and the Chicago Style Hot Dog, a new item this year, can be prepared hot and fresh for customers.
Rounding out the makeover is the expansion of the grill and pizza stand at section 325 to almost double its current size. Fans can be the first to taste the Sommet Center’s new style pizza and nachos con carne.
Sportservice also manages retail operations at TD Banknorth Garden, The Sommet Center and the St. Pete Times Forum. Thanks to new equipment at those retail shops, hockey fans will be able to purchase NHL jerseys and have them customized with their desired player or individual names and numbers within minutes.
Each NHL team will be wearing Reebok’s new Rbk Edge uniforms this season, and many teams – including the Bruins, Predators, and Lightning – are rolling out new uniforms and logos as a result. The uniforms are made of a light-weight fabric that repels moisture.
In Tampa, fans can now purchase game-worn jerseys and other equipment such as skates and sticks, some of which will be autographed by the players. Sportservice in at the Sommet Center in Nashville will also feature a mobile Reebok hat cart.
About Delaware North Companies Sportservice
Delaware North Companies Sportservice has been a global leader in food, beverage and retail management for nearly a century. The company provides concessions, gourmet catering and fine dining operations at more than 50 professional sporting venues for Major League Baseball, the National Football League and the National Hockey League, as well as at entertainment complexes and convention centers across the United States and Canada. From the Stanley Cup Championships and Major League Baseball's World Series to the Olympic Games and world-class entertainment, Sportservice continues to set the standard for innovation, creativity and customer service excellence.
Throughout its impressive history, Sportservice has kept its focus on the fans and evolved its facilities, operations and food and retail offerings to meet the ever-changing industry trends and consumer demands. Whether it’s introducing healthier food selections and signature cuisine to fresh takes on traditional fare and new organic options, Sportservice is committed to taking the fan experience to a whole new level.
About Delaware North Companies
Delaware North Companies is one of the world’s leading hospitality and food service providers. Its family of companies includes Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts, Delaware North Companies Gaming & Entertainment, Delaware North Companies Travel Hospitality Services, Delaware North Companies Sportservice, Delaware North Companies International, TD Banknorth Garden and American Park ‘n Swap. Delaware North Companies is one of the largest privately held companies in the United States with revenues exceeding $2 billion annually and 40,000 associates serving half a billion customers in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. For more information, visit www.DelawareNorth.com.