Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 4/9/2018 (504 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The Keystone Centre has entered into a 10-year partnership with Centerplate, granting the global hospitality company exclusivity for all catering, food and beverage services.
Craig Vidal, district manager of Centerplate, said they have come to the table with numerous suggestions for venue enhancement improvements, which will evolve over time.
"This is a natural fit for us as an extension of our hospitality services with the province of Manitoba," Vidal said, noting they now serve Bell MTS Place and the Burton Cummings Theatre in Winnipeg, in addition to the Keystone Centre.
"We’re looking at the current offerings, looking how we can facilitate a better template, reduce the lines, increase the speeds and increase the offerings," Vidal said. "It is going to take a bit of time to make sure we’re taking the right steps at the right time."
The company plans to unveil new seasonal offerings, local selections and catering menus during the upcoming fall season.
Keystone Centre general manager Jeff Schumacher said it was his previous experience with Centerplate that made him want to pursue this partnership. He previously served as a general manager at a Western Hockey League arena in Washington state.
"I knew that we could get Centerplate in here and very quickly kind of become that A-level building that I know we’re capable of being," he said.
Schumacher said he is excited to bring in the professional company which will see a lot of investment and improvements at the Keystone over the next few months.
"Facelifts in our concession stands, nice visuals, digital signage. Things were lacking here," he said, adding a chef will be brought in to look after food quality across the entire venue.
The Keystone’s main 5,102-seat arena, Westoba Place, is home to the Brandon Wheat Kings. The regional centre boasts more than 1,500 event days annually, ranging from agricultural and musical to corporate activities. The venue will be the host of the 2019 Tim Hortons Brier.
"I think people forget how big this operation is," Schumacher said. "You really need one group that’s just focusing on (the food and beverage) part of the operation, to allow us as the management team with the Keystone Centre to focus on everything else."
Centerplate is a leader in live event hospitality, working with premier sports stadiums, convention centres and entertainment venues. Other high profile venues include BC Place, the Vancouver Convention Centre, St. John’s Convention Centre, the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax and Toronto’s Beanfield Centre.
» Twitter: @jillianaustin