Sodexo steps up sport and leisure game with Centerplate acquisition

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The acquisition will position Sodexo as a leader in the sector, more than doubling its footprint

Quality of life services provider Sodexo has made a decisive move into the sports and leisure sector with the acquisition of Centerplate, the provider of food and beverage, merchandise and hospitality services at sports facilities, convention centres and entertainment facilities in the US, the UK, Canada and Spain.

“This acquisition is another step in our long-term strategy to become a leading player in every market in which we are present. Centerplate is an ideal partner with highly professional, dedicated teams who bring a wealth of industry expertise,” said Pierre Henry, vice president of the group executive committee and CEO sports & leisure worldwide for Sodexo. “We look forward to working together with Centerplate to bring exceptional quality of life experiences to tens of thousands of fans and spectators around the world.”

Centerplate is the fourth largest operator by revenues in the US sports & leisure market, which in turn is the largest globally. The company serves a wide portfolio of stadiums and ballparks, including Safeco Field, the home of Seattle Mariners; Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium, which hosts the Miami Dolphins; and Liverpool Echo Arena and Convention Centre in the UK. It has also hosted 14 Super Bowls, 36 US Presidential inaugural balls as well as championship games for a range of sports.

In the US, Chris Verros, CEO of Centerplate, will lead the new combined business while Centerplate’s European operations will be integrated into Sodexo’s existing Sports and Leisure business in the region.  “With Sodexo, we share the same vision to deliver a unique and memorable service for our clients and guests through our tailored food and beverage programs, unique hospitality design, rewarding event and retail services,” said Verros. “Centerplate’s clients will benefit from Sodexo’s global capabilities, solution innovations, other on site services and geographic reach.”

Tina Nielsen