The New York Racing Association selected Chicago restaurant and concessions giant Levy as the new food and beverage vendor for Saratoga Race Course and Belmont Park.
The multi-year contract will bring several hospitality companies to the tracks, including Mazzone Hospitality of Clifton Park.
Levy is the concessions manager for the home stadiums of the National Football League’s San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs. The company also is the food and beverage vendor at several auto and thoroughbred racetracks including Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Churchill Downs in Kentucky.
“Few venues and events match the impact Saratoga Race Course and Belmont Park have had on our sports culture,” said Andy Lansing, Levy president and chief executive.
NYRA sought proposals from prospective food vendors in January, one year after the racing organization announced it was ending a 25-year relationship with Centerplate.
That opened up an opportunity that Mazzone Hospitality founder Angelo Mazzone has been pursuing for years: Managing food and beverage at the Fasig-Tipton thoroughbred auctions and hosting private events for the racing community.
“These kind of deals are the whole reason we partnered with Compass,” Mazzone said. “Before that, we weren’t big enough to go after them.”
Mazzone partnered with Compass Group of England in July 2017. That positioned him to expand his catering and corporate food service businesses and develop relationships with large arena concession companies like Levy.
“It took a lot of work to put this together, but it is well worth it for such a prestigious account,” Mazzone said.
Levy and Mazzone Hospitality are working out logistics for the upcoming racing seasons. Mazzone expects the concessions and food and beverage contract will employ a combination of 300 Levy and Mazzone staff during the Saratoga summer meet.
Mazzone Hospitality will focus on high-end catering events and potentially will be involved with the track’s $30 million, 36,000-square-foot 1863 Club that opened last year.