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3 Months 'til USGP, COTA hires new concessionaire


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3 months before USGP, COTA hires new concessionaire. Is Sodexo out?

 

Three months before the third annual U.S. Grand Prix takes place in Austin, Texas, Circuit of the Americas has hired a new concessionaire. Ryan Sanders Sports Services, in-house food provider at the Class AAA ballpark Dell Diamond, has signed a 10-year deal to run general concessions
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COTA switches concessions contract, chooses high-profile local vendor

by Chad Swiatecki, Staff Writer, Austin Business Journal

Circuit of The Americas has terminated its concessionaire contract with international vendor Sodexo and signed a new deal with Ryan Sanders Sports Services, the Round Rock company founded by famed baseball pitcher Nolan Ryan and his business partners. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

 

Street & Smith's Sports Business Journal reports COTA has signed a 10-year deal with Ryan Sanders. Jason Dial, COTA’s CEO, told SBJ that feedback from track customers indicated a need to improve food offerings. Several vendors were considered for the contract that was awarded to Ryan Sanders Sports Services, which was formed last fall and is a division of Ryan Sanders Baseball group that owns the Round Rock Express minor league baseball team.

 

The change comes nearly three months ahead of the 2014 Formula 1 race at COTA, which is the venue’s largest annual event and the principal reason the track was built.

 

In a statement about the cancellation of the contract, which was scheduled to run through 2022, Sodexo Leisure president Steve DiPrima said his company was caught off guard by COTA’s decision.

 

“We were surprised to hear about this new direction after enjoying a great partnership and helping create such outstanding fan experiences at Circuit of The Americas since its opening almost three years ago,” DiPrima said. “In managing nearly 40 marquis events including races, concerts and festivals, Sodexo consistently delivered above average per capita figures for COTA.”

 

Martin Thorson, Sodexo’s vice president in charge of the COTA account, told SBJ that the company had seen strong performance at recent events including a $30-per-customer average during the ESPN X Games and more than $20 per customer for 15 concerts at COTA’s Austin360 Amphitheater.

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