Quick Food Change For Denver Venues

Sources: Kroenke group chooses Legends after first picking Delaware North

  • by Don Muret
  • Published: December 12, 2018

Fans of the NHL's Colorado Avalanche line up at Pepsi Center in Denver for a game in April. (Getty Images)

Kroenke Sports & Entertainment has awarded Legends the food contract at its three Denver venues after originally selecting Delaware North Sportservice to run those operations, sources said.

The extensive agreement covers Pepsi Center, Dick’s Sporting Goods Park and the Paramount Theatre, all controlled by KSE, which is owned by sports team owner and billionaire Stan Kroenke.

The late switch is highly unusual and took Delaware North officials by surprise. Delaware North’s contract was in the “redline” stage of final revisions last week when Jerry Jacobs Jr., Delaware North’s co-CEO, got a call from Jim Martin, KSE’s president and CEO. Martin informed Jacobs that Stan Kroenke told him to give the deal to Legends, sources said.

Multiple food providers submitted proposals and gave presentations in competing for the business.

“Something happened … like a voice from above,” said one source familiar with the negotiations. “There was nothing unusual about the process or the selection.”

Martin said he could not comment on the situation other than to say Kroenke Sports & Entertainment had not made a final decision on a food provider. He did say the company may keep its current vendors in place. Aramark runs concessions at the three facilities and Levy operates premium dining at Pepsi Center. It’s unclear when the current deal expires and when a new agreement would take effect.

Jacobs, as well as Legends officials, declined to comment.

Stan Kroenke owns the NBA’s Denver Nuggets, the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche and Major League Soccer’s Colorado Rapids, as well as Pepsi Center and the Paramount. KSE, the teams’ parent firm, runs the arena, the theater and the soccer stadium, which is owned by the city of Commerce.

The new food deal consolidates all three venues into one comprehensive agreement. Previously, those deals were separate for each facility, sources said.

In addition, Stan Kroenke owns the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams and is building a new stadium in Inglewood, Calif., where Legends is selling premium seats and sponsorships and filling the role of owner’s representative. No announcement has been made on the concessionaire for the stadium, which the Rams will share with the Los Angeles Chargers when it opens in 2020.

Legends is primarily owned by the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys and MLB’s New York Yankees. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was a strong supporter of Kroenke’s proposal to build the $5 billion Inglewood stadium and entertainment complex. In January 2016, Jones was widely reported to have steered other NFL team owners to approve Kroenke’s plan over a joint-use stadium proposal in Carson.

KSE has plans to renovate food and beverage spaces at Pepsi Center, which opened in 1999, but to this point nothing has been determined, Martin said.

“It’s a 20-year-old building and they’re getting ready for major upgrades,” one source said. “This [new food agreement] was done way ahead of the expiration to give them time to start getting their plans together for design.”

Perkins + Will, formerly Sink Combs Dethlefs, has designed Pepsi Center’s most recent renovations, including suites and Club Lexus, an 11,000-square-foot premium lounge at event level. The all-inclusive club opened in 2016.

  • by Don Muret
  • Published: December 12, 2018