Levy Gets New Omaha Ballpark

18 Jun

Rendering of T.D. Ameritrade Park, Omaha

T.D. Ameritrade Park Omaha, Neb.

Concessionaire: Levy Restaurants

Operator: Metropolitan Entertainment & Convention Authority (MECA)

Terms: Levy will be paid a management fee plus a bonus incentive under the new five-year deal. Levy will also be reimbursed for certain expenses.

Comments: Levy Restaurants and Centerplate answered the request for proposals. Roger Dixon, MECA president and CEO, noted that Levy is currently the concessionaire at the adjacent, similarly-managed Qwest Center Omaha, which includes an arena and convention center, but this was a legitimate RFP and the selection was based on financials and economics.

The new 24,000-seat ballpark opens in April 2011 and will be home to the NCAA Division I Men’s College World Series (17 games); Creighton University men’s baseball (20 games), and United Football League Omaha Nighthawks (four or five games). They are currently negotiating for an independent baseball league team, which would mean another 50-60 games. Dixon said they get the keys April 15 and the first event will probably be a university baseball game.

“It’s not going to be idle,” Dixon said. Levy, like MECA, will share some staff with the Qwest Center Omaha. The current arena hosts 110 events a year and the convention center holds another 450 events. Adding the stadium means the possibility of 760 events annually.

Wil Gorman is manager of the ballpark for MECA. Dixon said MECA currently has a fulltime staff of 85 and will bring on another 10 fulltime and five part time when the stadium opens. Levy will be adding an executive chef, a sous chef and a concessions manager for T.D. Ameritrade Park Omaha. Steven Deehag is the director of operations for Levy at MECA. —  Linda Deckard

Contact: Roger Dixon, (402) 599-6990

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