Sussex Cricket, home to the world’s oldest professional sports club, is embarking on a long-term partnership with world-class catering and live events hospitality provider, Centerplate, to bring an extra touch of pizazz to the club’s food and service offering and dial-up the development of its flourishing award-winning events business at the prestigious 1st Central County Ground in Hove.
Not resting on its laurels of scooping Best Place to Entertain Clients Award at the 2016 Sussex Business Awards, Sussex Cricket has taken the decision to enhance the fans’ and guests’ experience by drawing on Centerplate’s expertise in managing the catering and events services for some of the top UK, European and North American sports and entertainment venues, and the relationship it has established with local suppliers in Sussex through providing these services at the British Airways i360 in Brighton and the newly-reopened restaurant and café on Hastings Pier.
Under the partnership arrangement, Centerplate will work alongside Sussex Cricket’s commercial team in delivering outstanding public and hospitality catering on matchdays and maximising the revenue-earning potential of its flexible, recently extended and refurbished facilities which can accommodate parties from 14 up to 800 guests in five areas including The Spen Cama Pavilion which houses The Long Room and The Dining Room, both of which offer splendid panoramic views of the pitch, and The Museum dedicated to the history of cricket in Sussex and beyond.
Centerplate will be creating delicious new menus which focus on and showcase fresh, seasonal, locally- sourced ingredients and regional specialties with a contemporary twist, and expanding the choice of match-day food.
Jim May, Sussex Cricket Chairman, said: ‘We have run our own catering and events operation in house since 2007. We are very proud of the quality of our offering, which was recognised by winning the Best Place to Entertain Clients at the 2016 Sussex Business Awards. However, in view of the need to invest in the business we looked at options last year and decided that a partnership with Centerplate was the way forward.”
Chief Executive Rob Andrew added: ‘Centerplate has an outstanding reputation across a whole range of venues in the UK. They are particularly strong in the field of professional sports organisations, including several First Class County Cricket Clubs. We are looking forward to working with their very experienced management team to drive service standards and delivery for our customers to even higher levels. We are proud of our achievements to date in catering and hospitality events, but we must strive for greater levels of excellence across all parts of our business. We also need to expand our non matchday business and we believe our partnership with Centerplate will allow us to do this.”
Adrian Dishington, Chief Operating Officer Centerplate UK, commented: “We are delighted to be partnering with Sussex Cricket, a highly respected and very well established club located in the beautiful Brighton and Hove area. With a strong foundation at these county grounds already in place we have created a food and drink offering that is perfect for their variety of audiences depending on the games being played.
“The conference, wedding and leisure business will be catered for with delicious menus of locally sourced, seasonal fare all created by our head chef and served by our professional events team. By working in close partnership with Sussex Cricket team we will ensure that together we will provide an experience that cricket fans will never forget.”