The Rugby Football Union and Levy Restaurants UK, the sports, leisure and hospitality sector of Compass Group UK & Ireland today announced the renewal of contracts, to continue their joint venture, Twickenham Experience Ltd (TEL). The partnership provides all match day catering, hospitality and bar services, as well as non-match day catering, conference and event management at Twickenham Stadium and has been in existence since 2000.
The 10 year contract extension is worth over £30m in annual revenues to the RFU Group; the profits from which facilitates investment back into the game at all levels. The renewed venture will deliver all match day retail and hospitality food and beverage operations for the 82,000 capacity stadium as well as continuing to grow the non match day conference and events business at the venue.
The operational functions of TEL will continue to be supported by Levy Restaurants UK’s sales specialists – Lime Venue Portfolio, the UK’s largest collection of unique, unusual, cultural and sporting venues. Lime Venue will work with the partnership to deliver non match day events and Keith Prowse will continue to promote the match day hospitality sales function.
As part of the RFU’s £76m commitment into creating a state-of-the-art, connected stadium there has been significant investment in the delivery of catering and hospitality services at Twickenham. In the past year 17 public bars at the stadium have been upgraded, there has been continued investment into the West Car Park Fan Village facilities, as well as the latest technologies being incorporated, to ultimately enhance customer experience.
Stephen Brown, Chief Financial Officer, RFU and Chairman of TEL said: “We are not only committed to delivering a unique and inspiring experience for fans attending Twickenham Stadium on match day, but also creating the same quality of experience for customers attending the many other non-match day events and conferences that occur throughout the year at our venue. There has been a long and successful partnership over the past 14 years with Compass Group UK & Ireland, who have extensive experience in delivering the very best in catering, hospitality and retail services. This strong relationship has instilled a great deal of confidence in our joint venture and has facilitated the bringing forward of the contract renewal process 12 months to this year. The new ten year contract will allow us to continue to develop and innovate our match day and conference and events offering as well as to set an ambitious, standard setting long term strategy for the Twickenham Experience Limited business.”
Colin Bailey, Managing Director, sports, leisure and hospitality, Compass Group UK & Ireland said: “As a partnership we have made a considerable investment to the development of facilities and staff at Twickenham. The contract renewal is testament to the partnership we have with the RFU and the commitment we share to delivering an exceptional experience for visitors to the stadium.”
Last year TEL’s public bars and catering units served in excess of 1 million event day guests, at 19 events and over 49,000 hospitality covers catered for on match days. TEL’s non-match day Conference and Events business achieved revenues of £4.5m, with the world class conferencing facilities being utilised for a range of events from small lunch meetings to international conferences, product launches, weddings and awards dinners for over 800 people.