Industry News | April 11, 2013

Centerplate and The Lindley Group Join Forces

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Centerplate, the leading event hospitality partner to North America’s top sports stadiums, entertainment venues, and convention centers, announced that it has completed the acquisition of The Lindley Group, which serves many of United Kingdom’s premier sporting facilities and tourist destinations. 

The deal between Centerplate and The Lindley Group, individually recognized as industry leaders in guest-focused, locally inspired hospitality and strategic design services for each of their respective markets, creates a global leader in event hospitality.

Jointly, the new company will continue to provide food, beverage, and merchandise services to more than 115 million guests annually at many of the world’s most successful and iconic sporting facilities, convention centers, and attractions in North America and the U.K., including the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York; the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, home to the 2013 Super Bowl; and the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter.

Global expansion tops a period of significant growth for Centerplate. Combining the best in hospitality strategy from the U.S. and the U.K., the new Centerplate is positioned to pursue premier client venues in the United States, Great Britain, and Europe. 

With the addition of The Lindley Group, Centerplate’s revenues for the combined company are anticipated to exceed $1 billion in 2013. 

There are no plans to make reductions to the company’s combined workforce, which now exceeds 35,000 individuals worldwide, and each entity will continue to operate under its current name.

The Lindley Group’s CEO, Adam Elliott, will assume the title of president of The Lindley Group and executive vice president of Centerplate, reporting to Centerplate president and CEO Des Hague.

Hague, who was born and raised in the U.K. and began his career in hospitality leadership positions throughout Europe, will draw on his extensive personal and professional background in the United Kingdom as he leads the global organization. 

“From service innovation and culinary excellence to venue design, Centerplate has always put the guest and fan at the very center of everything we do, so we were thrilled to find a like-minded organization in The Lindley Group,” Hague says.

“With the addition of this vibrant and growing business, the new Centerplate will bring our passion for culinary and service excellence to best-in-class clients around the world, with a continued focus on results, not rhetoric,” he adds. “We are excited to expand globally and look forward to providing our best-in-class clients with unmatched hospitality experiences at prestigious and iconic venues across North America and the U.K.”

Elliot says, “Achieving global scale through this merger with Centerplate is a massive win for The Lindley Group. The Lindley Group will benefit from an infusion of resources and expertise, while enjoying the operational freedom to bring our U.K. clients, fans, and guests the food innovation and technology advances that Centerplate is pioneering at venues in America.

“Clients and fans will continue to see the same quality and service they know from The Lindley Group, and we are energized and excited to move forward with everyone in our current management team in place,” he continues.

Moving forward, Centerplate and The Lindley Group will partner with a notable list of the world’s top venues and attractions, which include more than 40 convention centers, nine National Football League stadiums, three of Major League Baseball’s top parks, three English Premier League venues, and nine English Championship League stadiums.

Select venues include: SunLife Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins; AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants and the 2012 World Series; Tanglewood, summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra; Stadium of Light, home of Sunderland AFC; Welford Road Stadium, home to Leicester Tigers rugby union club; University of Notre Dame Athletics; The University of Alabama’s Bryant-Denny Stadium, home of the 2013 National Champions, The Crimson Tide; Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter; and The Vancouver Convention Centre, two-time winner of the APEX award for the World’s Best Convention Centre.

Within the last year alone, Centerplate served more than 100 million guests at 250 prominent entertainment, sports, and convention venues in North America.

The company provided event hospitality services at the 2012 Super Bowl, 2012 NCAA Final Four, 2012 BCS National Championship Game, 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Finals, 2012 World Series, 2012 Horse Racing Triple Crown’s final leg, the 2013 Super Bowl, as well as President Obama’s official Presidential Inaugural Balls.

Last year also proved a banner year for The Lindley Group, as the company won the prestigious MIDAS award for Menu Innovation in the Sports and Leisure Category and also secured a series of prestigious new accounts, including event hospitality duties for: Rotherham United’s new stadium, Gloucestershire County Cricket Club, and the famous White Hart Lane, home of the English Premier League club, Tottenham Hotspur FC.