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NFL stadiums reinvent concessions to protect fans, leaving some workers aside

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NFL stadiums reinvent concessions to protect fans, leaving some workers aside

Hot dog and beer sellers will become rare. NFL Stadium passes this season as officials work to overhaul concession operations and create a safe environment for fans during coronavirus pandemic

Only a small group of 32 NFL teams will have a fan base when the season kicks off this weekend. With a mandate for social distancing, several NFL stadiums have ditched food and drink peddlers altogether in favor of contactless and, in many cases, cashless models to limit potential exposure and set fans up for their favorite game day snacks as safely as possible.

The closures, attendance restrictions and necessary security measures have had a major impact on stadium workers, many of whom will not operate at all during the first weeks of the season. Even at NFL stadiums that host fans, it is expected that there will be limited staffing for privileged staff for the foreseeable future.

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“The salesperson, the guy who sells the beer, if they’re there at all, they will certainly get hurt,” said Mike Plutino, CEO and founder of Food Service Matters, a consulting firm specializing in stadium concessions. “We don’t expect long queues for a lot of things right now.”

Pre-packaged food show at Hard Rock Stadium. (Center Plate / Hard Rock Stadium)

Currently, four teams – the Kansas City Chieftain, Jacksonville Jaguars, Indianapolis Colts and Miami Dolphins – have announced specific attendance plans. The Dolphins admit a maximum of 13,000 fans to their first home game, or 20 percent of the Hard Rock Stadium capacity. The Chiefs and Jaguars are home stadiums with a maximum of 16,000 fans, while the Colts will play just 2,500 in their first home game.

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NFL teams typically generate $ 1 million to $ 2 million in game-day concession sales, Plutino said. This revenue figure will drop significantly at the expected level of attendance, even if the fans in attendance spend more than usual to make up for the lack of additional features.

“I think the food service guys were in full swing trying to rethink, rethink and rethink the business, and make sure it was safe for fans and employees within the company,” Plutino said.

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Under normal circumstances, most football stadiums offer non-profit groups the opportunity to work on assignments to raise money for their own purposes, such as fundraising for a school group. Stadium vendors – workers who walk down the aisles with hot dogs, beer, and other snacks – usually earn most of their income from sales commissions and tips, while floor workers usually get hourly wages. Traders are often hired through a third party firm.

Workers at Hard Rock Stadium will have access to glove machines. (Center Plate / Hard Rock Stadium)

The pandemic has triggered a massive shift in the way business is done in sports stadiums, accelerating the transition to technically advanced fan services that is already under way at many venues.

Centerplate Inc., a food and beverage partner for Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium and Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium, has been developing service plans for its NFL customers for several months now. Security measures at both teams’ games include non-cash transactions, mobile ordering of portioned food in closed containers and plexiglass screens on counters.

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“We don’t want fans to feel like this is a limited experience,” said Centerplate CEO Steve Pangburn. “We want them to have a very unique experience because they are coming back after a very difficult time and we want them to say, ‘Wow! “And we remembered this experience.”

Pre-packaged food show at Hard Rock Stadium. (Center Plate / Hard Rock Stadium.)

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The Hard Rock Stadium will not have dolphin game food and drink peddlers in order to maintain social distancing guidelines. Centerplate also limits the number of workers at cooking stations and optimizes menus to include only fan favorite foods so fans don’t have to wait in lines.

Pangburn admitted that Centerplate will have fewer staff compared to a typical Sunday in the NFL, but noted that the staff-to-fan ratio will actually be higher than usual and the reduction rate will not come close to the fan attendance limits. Workers will receive their regular hourly rate. Eliminating security delays means stadiums will open earlier than usual, allowing for more hours for working staff.

“It’s about the fan experience. We are not reducing the number of points of sale to this level, ”added Pangburn. “We are really trying to make it look almost like it does in normal times.”

Jaguars and its catering partner, Delaware North Sportservice, have taken similar steps at TIAA Bank Stadium. There will be no food or drink vendors on site, and the seasoning kiosks will be closed for the foreseeable future.

In addition to cashless payments, stadium officials will serve all food in closed containers, install plexiglass barriers and allow fans to bring their own reusable water bottles to the site.

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“We are working to define our level of rebate and staffing without changing the hourly wages of our employees,” Delaware North Sportservice said in a statement.

Executives have moved to a cashless model at all concession centers and retail outlets at Arrowhead Stadium as part of a partnership with payment services firm Tappit. In addition, the team increased the point of sale to fan ratio so that they could disperse and place orders without fear of breaking social distancing rules.

“There will be a variety of limited contact and contactless concession options available, including ‘Grab N’ Go ‘, self-service, order picking and ordering kiosks throughout the stadium,” reads a message detailing their stadium policies.

Aramark, a partner at Chiefs Nutrition Services, did not respond to a request for comment.

The NFL requires fans to wear masks at all times to games this season. Although initially only a few teams will have crowds, league officials have left open the possibility of adjusting attendance rules as the season progresses.

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More fans will require more stadium staff, although it’s unclear when conditions will allow hawkers and other traditional live performance elements to return.

“The amount of livelihoods that go into sports, just in catering, is incredible,” said Plutino, a stadium concession consultant. “I don’t know if anyone has counted the number of hands that the sport is serving, but this is an incredible number of hands.”

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″I couldn’t leave without winning this award″

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″I couldn't leave without winning this award″

Statements from Otavio, the player of FC Porto, who this Monday received the Golden Dragon as Footballer of the Year.

Speech: “I thought and I didn’t say anything that I thought. It happened by itself, I’m very happy, I was looking for [o prémio] a lot of time. I saw others, I couldn’t leave without winning this prize. Thank God I won and now it’s time to make the most of it.”

Did you tell the President that you want the Golden Dragon? “I never commented, asking for an award was not my style, it was deserved, I was very happy, many could have won. I am very happy”.

Feeling: “This is something to be proud of, this is the best person in the club, everyone wants to win, this will go down in history. It will be kept under lock and key in the museum that I have. It will get worse.” , nothing will come of it, it will be well stored.

Gala: “It’s always great, because of covid-19, the gala concert has not been held for many years. It is always special, everyone wants to be part of the gala concert. Being a dragonado, he is even more special. We did a good job and this is proof.”

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″Most competitive costume required, Pepe’s costume″

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″Most competitive costume required, Pepe's costume″

Statements by Sergio Conceiçao after receiving the Golden Coach of the Year award at the Golden Dragons Gala

Golden Dragon cost: “I represent many people in this Golden Dragon. The first time I went to Olival with the president in 2017, he named the four essential pillars of FC Porto: rigor, competence, ambition and passion. Looking at it and being with it every day. My players, who don’t usually wear a formal suit as they do today, but the most competitive suit that is required, which is Pepe’s suit, give me great joy when I get up and go to work.”

Technical team and others: “With a super competent technical team, a health department, where there is not only Dr. Nelson Puga and therapists, but also an optometrist, pedologist, a number of people who work daily so that the players do not miss anything. and so that year after year they can get better and win, which is what we want.”

Techniques: “Victory. Not forgetting the people in the kitchen, in the restaurant, the people involved in analysis and observation, the equipment technicians, because today everyone is a technician… [risos]🇧🇷 Lawn techniques too, because I am very picky about the height of the lawn. I think that every detail is important and matters. Finally, a number of people who contribute to making this possible. This is not mine, this belongs to the people of Olival, who are always led by our great, my friend and godfather, the president.”

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A family: “Finally, to paraphrase our Gonzalinho [Borges], I want to dedicate it completely to my family, which is not easy, and parents, as always. Not being among us, they will certainly be very proud, not least because they have received two more extremely important people in the life of the club and that together they are up there watching us so that FC Porto becomes bigger , was getting better. , become stronger and win. And let’s keep it up. Is always. Because we deserve it. We are also honest, serious, dedicated and competent workers.”

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BALL – Enzo and Otamendi: world champion exceptions (Argentina)

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BALL - Enzo and Otamendi: world champion exceptions (Argentina)

Portuguese football has reason to rejoice as two more world champions will enter the national stages, the first to win the title as part of the Portuguese team, the only ones on the field yesterday, in Qatar, among 35 players who play in one of the top five leagues in the world, so called big 5.

Enzo Fernandez, 21-year-old midfielder, and Nicolás Otamendi, 34-year-old central defender, played 120 minutes for Argentina. would advance to the Argentine penalty as Montiel quickly put an end to doubts – and represented not only Benfica in the list of clubs of great prestige, but also a league of lesser expression, such as the Portuguese, the only one of the less media and powerful ones that had players in the final.

Neither in the starting lineup (see tables), nor in the 13 options used by the coaches – Montiel (Sevilla), Pezzella (Betis), Acuña (Sevilla), Leandro Paredes (PSG), Lautaro Martinez ( Inter) and Dybala (Roma) entered Argentina, from the French side they were also called Disasi (Monaco), Conate (Liverpool), Fofana (Monaco), Camavinga (Real Madrid), Kingsley Coman (Bavaria), Muani (Eintracht) and Thuram (Borussia). M’gladbach) – if they found other players who didn’t play in the leagues of England, Spain, Italy, France or Germany, that’s a clear sign of where the money and power come from to attract great players.
Some, like Enzo and Otamendi, are just over the top.ig 5 – if the midfielder was already in vogue among the richest in Europe, followed by Liverpool and Real Madrid, among others, now that he has won the World Cup and the best young player trophy in the competition … – but they shine enough to guarantee yourself a place in the best team in the world.

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