Bradley Center: Fans to “See, Feel and Taste” the Levy Difference for 2005-2006 Season


Evan N. Zeppos

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National Restaurateur and Sports and Entertainment Leader Levy Restaurants Will Assume Concession Operations and Premium Dining Program at Bradley Center

MILWAUKEE – Bradley Center sports fans and event patrons will “see, feel and taste” a new food and concession experience in the 2005 – 2006 season as a result of a new agreement announced today between the Downtown area’s leading entertainment and sports venue and the nation’s market leader in premium sports and entertainment dining, Levy Restaurants of Chicago.

Ulice Payne, Jr., voluntary board chairman of the Bradley Center Sports and Entertainment Corp., announced today at a news conference that the Bradley Center and Levy Restaurants have agreed to a 7-year contract to have the company assume management of the concession and premium dining programs at the facility that attracts about 1.6 million people to more than 150 events annually.

“Bradley Center fans will have a new dining experience they can see, feel and taste when the 2005 – 2006 season begins next fall,” Payne said. “Based on its award-winning track-record, we’re proud to have Levy Restaurants as our partner so we can elevate the hospitality experience for our fans and event attendees.”

Payne added that as part of the new agreement, Levy Restaurants will make a significant,
$1.5 million financial investment to enhance and expand some of the Bradley Center’s concession areas and introduce a new menu of dining options for those attending events at the Downtown area’s top entertainment venue.

“These enhancements will likely include remodeling of some of our concession stands and other food service areas,” explained Payne. “We look forward to working with Levy Restaurants to provide our fans with lively designs they can see, faster service they can feel and a new array of different and unique food items they can taste.”

Levy’s portfolio of other arena facilities include the Toyota Center in Houston, America West Arena in Phoenix, American Airlines Arena in Miami, Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, SBC Center in San Antonio and many others. Lansing noted Levy Restaurants had a busy and exciting February serving guests at Super Bowl XXXIV, (Alltel Stadium, Jacksonville) the 47th Grammy Awards, (STAPLES Center, Los Angeles) and the NBA All-Star Game (Pepsi Center, Denver.)

“We’re thrilled about this new partnership with the Bradley Center and are excited about the opportunity to create memorable dining experiences for all the guests who visit this outstanding facility,” said Andy Lansing, president and chief executive officer of Levy Restaurants, which also provides a dining experience to fans at Lambeau Field in Green Bay and 69 other sports and entertainment venues worldwide. “We’re excited to find out more about people’s food interests in this market, so we can bring to the Bradley Center an experience consistent with what fans want.”

Payne indicated that Levy Restaurants also provides catering services to three Wisconsin Center District buildings: the Milwaukee Theatre, the U.S. Cellular Arena and the Midwest Airlines Center.

“The Bradley Center’s new agreement with Levy Restaurants allows us the opportunity to increase our cooperative efforts with the Wisconsin Center District as we seek to build a stronger and more vibrant entertainment experience in the Downtown area,” Payne added. “Having the same partner makes sense, and the Bradley Center believes there are many ways we can work cooperatively with the Wisconsin Center District going forward.”

Payne pointed out there will be no impact on the amount of funds donated to the dozens of community groups who volunteer in the Bradley Center’s concession stands and benefit financially from concession sales at the facility.

“The community volunteers have been an important part of the Bradley Center since it opened in 1988, and our agreement with Levy Restaurants assures these organizations will remain a valued part of our concessions program,” Payne said. “Volunteers will still play an important role, and the financial commitment from the Bradley Center to the many worthwhile organizations will continue.”

Payne also noted that since 1988, community groups have gained more than $7.5 million from Bradley Center concession sales. Proceeds go directly to these groups in support of various social and civic endeavors, ranging from high school booster clubs and social service agencies, to youth and faith-based groups and organizations.

Steve Costello, president and chief executive officer at the Bradley Center, expressed his appreciation for the contributions of the Bradley Center’s many fine food and beverage staff and said that few if any positions would be eliminated, and that Levy Restaurants looked forward to welcoming existing staff to their company.

Costello added the anticipated new menu and facility and service enhancements will lead to a whole new experience for fans to enjoy next season and years to come.

“Patrons still will be able to get a brat and a beer when they visit the Bradley Center, but our fans have been asking for more options and different items,” he said. “We think Levy Restaurants is the perfect partner to enhance our building and elevate the fan experience by taking it to the next level and offering a variety of new hospitality options, whether fans are sitting in seats or suites.”