NYRA selects Levy-led hospitality team to manage food and beverage at Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course
by Pat McKenna, Kevin Memolo
The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) today announced the selection of Levy as the food-and-beverage provider at Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course.
Pursuant to the Request for Proposal issued by NYRA in January 2020, Levy will begin servicing Belmont with the opening of the spring meet on April 24, as part of a multi-year agreement. Highlighted by the three-day Belmont Stakes Racing Festival from June 4-6, the 51-day spring meet will run from Friday, April 24 through Sunday, July 12 and includes 58 total stakes races worth $18.65 million in total purses.
Following the conclusion of the spring meet on July 12, live racing shifts to historic Saratoga Race Course, where Levy will manage all concessions and hospitality areas including the 1863 Club, The Stretch, Turf Terrace, Club Terrace, The Porch and Easy Goer.
The 2020 meet at Saratoga will begin on Opening Day, Thursday, July 16 and run through Labor Day, Monday, September 7. Following Opening Weekend, July 16-19, racing will be conducted five days per week, Wednesdays through Sundays. The final day of the season will be Labor Day, Monday, September 7.
An industry leader at the country's top sports and entertainment venues, Levy will manage a deeply experienced hospitality team comprised of CxRA, Mazzone Hospitality and Union Square Events. Racing fans will recognize Levy as the dining and hospitality partner at Churchill Downs, where Levy has partnered to create one of the true signature sports food and beverage experiences. Levy oversees all concessions, VIP suites and clubs, and on-site restaurants during Kentucky Derby Week and the full racing calendar.
"This new partnership between NYRA and Levy demonstrates our commitment to providing racing fans in New York with the highest quality hospitality offerings available today," said NYRA CEO & President Dave O'Rourke. "Levy's depth of experience operating in significant, well-known sports and entertainment venues here in New York and around the country makes this an ideal arrangement for NYRA and our fans."
"Few venues and events match the impact Saratoga Race Course and Belmont Park have had on our sports culture," said Andy Lansing, President and CEO of Levy. "We're excited to be partners with the New York Racing Association and entrusted to elevate the hospitality experience at two of the country's most iconic venues. We'll honor that tradition and set the bar within and outside the racing world with a truly world-class collection of hospitality and culinary talent."
Levy, known for serving guests at iconic sporting events such as the Rose Bowl, U.S. Open Tennis Championships and the Ryder Cup, has also set down roots in New York, recently partnering with Javits Center and the upcoming LEGOLAND New York Resort in Goshen. Levy continues to be a major presence at metropolitan-area sports venues, including the Barclays Center and the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, as well as at the U.S. Open in Queens.
Levy's technology and analytics company, E15 Group, will help develop food and beverage options at Belmont and Saratoga based on fan preferences and dining trends.
CxRA and Mazzone Hospitality will be involved in catering and event operations at Belmont and Saratoga. The collective will work to build on its reputation for providing world-class catering in premium spaces and large-scale private events.
CxRA is part of the Restaurant Associates family and is known for delivering unparalleled events at New York institutions including Lincoln Center, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, among others.
Mazzone Hospitality is headquartered in upstate New York and has 30 years of experience in dining and catering at restaurants, social gatherings, and special events.
Union Square Events, which has previously served fans at Saratoga, will continue to play a role in the venue's food and beverage offerings.
For additional information on Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course, please visit NYRA.com.
About the New York Racing Association (NYRA)
The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) holds the exclusive franchise to conduct thoroughbred racing at Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course. NYRA tracks are the cornerstone of New York State's thoroughbred industry, which is responsible for 19,000 jobs and more than $3 billion in annual statewide economic impact.
Accredited by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Safety and Integrity Alliance, NYRA is a founding member of the Thoroughbred Safety Coalition, a group of the nation's leading racing organizations working collaboratively to advance safety reforms across the sport.
Over the course of 217 days of live racing in 2019, NYRA generated more than $2.1 billion in all-sources wagering handle with paid attendance exceeding 1.5 million.
The disruptor in defining the sports and entertainment hospitality experience, Levy is recognized as the market leader and most critically acclaimed hospitality company in its industry. Twice named one of the 10 most innovative companies in sports by Fast Company magazine and one of the top three Best Employers for Diversity in America by Forbes, Levy's diverse portfolio includes award-winning restaurants; iconic sports and entertainment venues, zoos and cultural institutions, theaters, and convention centers; as well as the Super Bowl, Grammy Awards, PGA Championship, US Open Tennis Tournament, Kentucky Derby, and NHL, MLB, NBA, NFL, and MLS All-Star Games. For more, visitwww.levyrestaurants.com or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.