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Lou Jacobs speaks at global Football Talks event in Portugal

Delaware North Co-CEO Lou Jacobs was among a global group of sports industry executives who spoke this week during Football Talks 2017 in Portugal.

lou4-5807824For his part, Jacobs shared insights from both his father’s longtime ownership of the Boston Bruins and Delaware North’s expertise as an operator of food, beverage and retail services at sporting venues throughout the world, including iconic football (soccer) venues such as Wembley Stadium in London.

Jacobs also spoke at length about some of Delaware North’s recent happenings in the world of sports. Among many topics, he discussed the development project (The Hub on Causeway) adjacent to the company-owned-and-operated TD Garden in Boston, catering at the Australian Open, The Future of Sports publications and investing in the esports team Splyce.

“The Future of Sports predicts a need to increase opportunities for people to interact with likeminded fans, and with the teams they love, outside of and adjacent to the arena. That’s the inspiration for the major, mixed-use development project – named the Hub on Causeway – that Delaware North is constructing with our partners Boston Properties,” Jacobs said before going into detail about the 1.6-million-sqaure-foot, three-phase project that will include retail, residential and office space.

The three-day event brought together A-list executives from the global soccer community. Fellow speakers included FIFA President Gianni Infantino, UEFA President Aleksander ?eferin, CONCACAF President Victor Montagliani, CONMEBOL President Alejandro Domínguez and Gary Stevenson, president of the United States-based Major League Soccer.

“In the 100-plus years of our company’s existence, we have watched nearly everything that we know about sports change in a number of dramatic ways,” Jacobs said, discussing the impetus for The Future of Sports publications, which were commissioned by Delaware North and provided to sports clients. “Horse racing and boxing used to be North America’s preeminent spectator sports. Today, their popularity is greatly diminished and pales in comparison to other major leagues.”

According to Football Talk’s website, the purpose of the gathering is “keeping in step with the innovative advances of a globalized world. The event will include some surprises and also the forecast of the main future trends we can expect.”

Delaware North’s forward-looking business model – in particular its development of The Future of Sports – certainly fit the billing.

“Our intention was to move our company away from a retrospective mindset, and into a futuristic mode of thinking and operating,” Jacobs said.