COLUMBUS, OH – The Columbus Blue Jackets announced today that the hockey club has expanded its partnership with Delaware North Companies Sportservice, already the exclusive food service provider for the Columbus Blue Jackets and Nationwide Arena, to include management of the team's retail operations.
In this capacity, Sportservice will manage and operate the hockey club's FSN Ohio Blue Line retail store, inline stand and several kiosks at Nationwide Arena along with an additional FSN Ohio Blue Line location at The Mall at Tuttle Crossing in suburban Columbus.
The National Hockey League (NHL) team previously managed its own retail services. In January, the Blue Jackets announced an extension to 2026 of its partnership with Sportservice for concessions, club, and suite food service at Nationwide Arena. Sportservice has worked with the Blue Jackets since the team joined the NHL and the venue opened in 2000.
"We are excited to expand our long-standing partnership with Sportservice by utilizing their breadth of retail experience across multiple major league sports properties to enhance the retail experience for Blue Jackets fans everywhere," said Larry Hoepfner, Columbus Blue Jackets Senior Vice President of Business Operations.
Long known as an industry leader in operating concessions and premium food service at major professional sports venues nationwide, Sportservice in recent years has also built a considerable retail portfolio. In all, Sportservice now handles retail operations for four NHL teams (Columbus Blue Jackets, Boston Bruins, Nashville Predators and Tampa Bay Lightning); three NFL teams (Chicago Bears, St. Louis Rams, and the Buffalo Bills) and eight Major League Baseball teams (Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals, San Diego Padres and Minnesota Twins, beginning in 2010 at the Twins' new ballpark).
"We greatly value our relationship with the team and are very excited about contributing to another key aspect of the great experience that Blue Jackets fans have at Nationwide Arena," said Sportservice President Rick Abramson.
Sportservice will work with the Blue Jackets to redesign displays and lighting in the stores and broaden the selection of merchandise available, said Donna Genesky, Sportservice's director of retail. Sportservice will also implement the company's proprietary customer service program, Guestpath®.
Sportservice has also applied the retail expertise it has garnered from Delaware North's significant retail operations at several national and state parks and more than 20 airports. The company operates more than 300 retail outlets at locations in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia.
Deposits are now being accepted for the 2008-09 season. New 10 and 20 game plans also are available starting at $240. For information on season tickets, mini-plans or group tickets, call (614) 246-PUCK or 800-NHL-COLS.
About Delaware North Companies Sportservice
Delaware North Companies Sportservice is one of the nation's leading food, beverage and retail management companies, providing concessions, gourmet catering and fine dining operations at more than 50 professional sporting venues, entertainment complexes and convention centers across the United States and Canada. Sportservice is the provider of choice for an impressive client roster including the World Series, the National Hockey League and Major League Baseball's All-Star games, Stanley Cup Championships and the Olympic Games.
Throughout its 90-year history, Sportservice has demonstrated that it knows what it takes to effectively develop, operate and manage multi-faceted kitchens, restaurants, suites, fine dining and retail facilities in order to meet the changing demands of today's fans. From introducing healthier food selections and creative cuisine to twists on traditional fare and new organic options, Sportservice continues to innovate and enhance the fan experience.
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 and Delaware North Companies Boston, owner of TD Banknorth Garden. 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.