Cars race at Iowa Speedway in Newton.
Where its foodservice program is concerned, Iowa Speedway will continue to keep it ‘fresh’ for the next three years.
The venue recently announced that foodservice provider, Lutz, Fla.-based Ovations Food Services, will continue providing its Everything’s Fresh program for the speedway’s four permanent concession areas, as well as its club and suites service, through 2016.
“This was a competitive renewal of the contract, with terms that are slightly altered from the previous agreement,” said Charles Lawrence, Ovations vice president of business development. Financial details on the new contract were not disclosed.
“The main reason we renewed the contract is that Ovations provides a good amount of food and beverage choices, and their service is outstanding,” said Stan Clement, president of Iowa Speedway. “We are very happy to partner with them again.”
Iowa Speedway is a 7/8-mile asphalt-paved tri-oval racetrack and motorsport facility located in Newton, 30 miles east of Des Moines. The year-round track is owned and operated by U.S. Motorsport Corp. and designed by former NASCAR champion and current ABC-TV/ESPN anchor and analyst Rusty Wallace.
Iowa Speedway hosts a number of events throughout the racing season, including both the NASCAR K&N Pro and DuPont Pioneer 250 NASCAR Nationwide series, in addition to the Firestone Indy Light Series and IndyCar Qualifying events.
“It’s a pretty active track, so we’re also doing a decent amount of catering in the club and suites,” Lawrence said.
Ovations began operations at the 30,000-seat venue in 2008 and has increased the variety of concessions, retail and catering hospitality services over the last five years. In addition to the four stands, there are approximately 20 portable concessions areas at the speedway.
“The variety of selections and how Ovations treats our fans was paramount in the contract renewal,” said Doug Fritz, Iowa Speedway’s CEO. “Food concessions is a big part of the fan experience. We don’t take that lightly and neither does Ovations.”
The Everything’s Fresh program consists of concessions items finished on the grill and served open-face, fresh juice bars, infused water, build-your-own Panini stations, and seasonal fruit kabobs.
“It’s about the overall guest experience, and we have had a great relationship with Ovations since 2008,” Fritz said. “We’re excited about continuing it.”
Ovations also plans to upgrade the speedway’s catering program by including more open display ware, which is designed to help emphasize the Everything's Fresh program.
“With the track’s new investments, we have been able to continue upgrades to better market this program,” Lawrence said.
Other future plans include adding a beer garden to the infield and upgrading concessions areas. Local purveyors for Iowa’s specialty items, such as Maytag Blue Cheese, Graziano’s Italian Sausage and Iowa Corn and Pork, will also be incorporated.
“Our plan is to upgrade the concessions areas even further to give us the ability to put our Fresh program into additional areas at the facility,” Lawrence said. “We’re also upgrading the team merchandise store with new merchandise displays and graphics.”
“We look forward to new food options moving forward,” Fritz said. “We heard from fans through surveys, comments and emails who’ve enjoyed what we’ve provided in the past, so feel we don’t need to retool it.”
Interviewed for this article: Stan Clement, (641) 792-8722; Doug Fritz, (641) 791-8050; Charles Lawrence, (678) 480-4150