Contract caterer Elior has scored an £18m deal to provide hospitality and catering at the brand new stadium of Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club, Caterersearch can exclusively reveal.
The five-year deal will see the French-owned operator start work at the venue from June next year, when the new American Express Community Stadium opens following two-and-a-half years of construction.
Elior will be responsible for the new ground's eight hospitality suites, which can accommodate 2,400 people; 15 kiosks; and 14 boxes. It will also be responsible for all non-match day conference and banqueting at the £93m stadium.
Malcolm Fox, Elior's sales manager, said there was a buzz of anticipation in Brighton over the club's new stadium, with 1,300 premium seats already sold. "Historically stadiums existed purely as football grounds, until clubs realised there is a lot of business to be gained in the 300-plus non-match days in a year and the grounds had to be adapted to become conference and banqueting facilities.
"But the American Express Community Stadium is a conference and banqueting centre that will become a fantastic football stadium when there's a match," he added. "We've already had numerous enquiries to book it for the launch month."
The football club has been without a permanent home since 1993 when the former board sold the club's previous home, the Goldstone Ground, to developers, with no new stadium arranged. Since then Brighton and Hove Albion were temporary tenants at Gillingham's Prestfield Stadium in Kent before moving to Brighton's Withdean Stadium.
By Janie Stamford
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