MILWAUKEE - The Milwaukee Brewers and hospitality partner Delaware North have agreed to a contract extension that will bring a dedicated development of the food and beverage experience at American Family Field and American Family Fields of Phoenix.
The new contract extends a partnership that began in 1970 when the Brewers began playing in Milwaukee.
Delaware North will continue managing concessions, suites, catering and premium areas, along with Restaurant to be Named Later.
"Delaware North has been a partner of the Brewers since Day 1, and that’s a major point of pride for our company," said Jerry Jacobs Jr., CEO of Delaware North. "From the original and memorable confines of the old Milwaukee County Stadium to the world-class American Family Field, it’s been an honor serving Brewers fans every step of the way. We are proud to have played a role in assisting Bud Selig in bringing the Brewers to Milwaukee, and we know the Brewers are in great hands with Principal Owner Mark Attanasio and leaders such as Rick Schlesinger, Brewers president-business operations and David Stearns, Brewers president-baseball operations. We look forward to working together to continue to evolve the fan experience."
Recent highlights of Delaware North’s hospitality operations at American Family Field include a $20 million renovation in 2017 to expand the food and beverage offerings and improve concessions and concourse layouts. The enhancements were recognized as the "Best New Concessions Experience" by Ballpark Digest. Delaware North also took over operations of Restaurant to be Named Later, a street-side sports bar and restaurant at the ballpark, in 2020.
"The Brewers history in Milwaukee is interweaved with our history with Delaware North. They have been with the franchise since the beginning, serving our fans and consistently providing a food and beverage program that is an essential part of the gameday experience," said Brewers President Business-Operations, Rick Schlesinger. "We are excited to extend this fruitful relationship for many years to come while committing to further developing and enhancing the hospitality experience at American Family Field."
"We are very proud of what we have built with the Brewers at American Family Field, but we’re also energized to help shape what’s coming next," said Jamie Obletz, president of Delaware North Sportservice. "The gameday experience continues to evolve at an incredible pace, so we’re excited to continue to work with the Brewers and leverage analytics and emerging technology in innovating our hospitality at the ballpark."
As part of its concessions program, Delaware North has also partnered with many local non-profit organizations to operate the ballpark’s concession stands as a fundraising opportunity with a percentage of sales benefiting their fundraising cause. More than $1 million is earned each year by local Milwaukee groups as part of the program.
In addition to its operations in Milwaukee, Delaware North has also provided concessions and premium dining services at American Family Fields of Phoenix, the Spring Training home of the Brewers, since 1997.
Rick Abramson, a Milwaukee native who worked for Delaware North for more than 50 years before retiring, including as executive vice president and chief operating officer, said: "I began my career as a teenage food vendor at the old Milwaukee County Stadium and learned quickly that constantly building relationships and creating trusting, transparent partnerships are the cornerstone to how the Jacobs family and Delaware North do business. The Brewers have always shared those same values, and it’s foremost among the reasons our partnership has thrived for more than five decades. I couldn’t be prouder for both the Brewers and Delaware North for this relationship to continue for many years to come."
Delaware North Sportservice operates food, beverage and retail operations at more than 50 sports and entertainment venues across the globe. The company has been serving MLB fans since 1930 and currently provides hospitality services at 11 MLB ballparks.