Football Trade Directory

Centerplate announces Integration and Expansion of Hospitality Design Services


Centerplate, the hospitality provider which serves premier sports, convention, entertainment and heritage venues across North America and Europe, has integrated the teams handling facility design and construction, capital project planning, equipment procurement and strategic consulting into a single, comprehensive division — the Hospitality Solutions Group (HSG).

Created to meet the growing needs of clients for a seamless, end-to-end strategy, design, build, and service delivery function in hospitality services, the new division aligns several disciplines, including strategic consulting, capital planning, architecture and interior design, equipment procurement, and construction. 

Centerplate has expanded dramatically in these areas in recent years, taking on larger capital projects in collaboration with its clients, ranging from major renovations to new building openings. Recent major projects which demonstrate the increasing size and scope of activity managed by Centerplate have included significant projects such as ACC Liverpool and Echo Arena, Sunderland AFC’s Stadium of Light, Liverpool Philharmonic, Sage Gateshead, The RAF Museum in Hendon and Twycross Zoo in the UK;   Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara; and consulting on the new Atlético de Madrid stadium, in Spain..

“This is an exciting time for Centerplate, and for event hospitality, which is increasingly becoming a key component of the brand for a team or venue,” said Chris Verros, President and CEO of Centerplate. “We were the first in the industry to have an in-house design group, and this move is a natural next step in integrating the growing discipline and practice areas into our overall strategy to make hospitality design a central part of our core offerings and promise of making it better to be there at live gatherings.”

Industry leader Eric Wooden will assume responsibility for the division in the newly-created position of Senior Vice President, Hospitality Solutions. Wooden has been with Centerplate since 1989, and has more than 25 years of experience managing hospitality operations in professional sports and entertainment venues, as well as facility design and capital projects for Centerplate on behalf of its clients, overseeing all venue enhancements in the company’s portfolio.

Centerplate’s UK-based Director of Projects, Steve Lelitka, and Manager of Projects, Gayle Ogilvie, will also join the team directing the company’s new construction, renovation and service mobilisation projects in Europe. Lelitka has over 20 years of experience in food service operations and project management gained whilst working with premier restaurants, caterers and hotels throughout the UK. Ogilvie, who began her career in catering operations and transitioned into project management, has also assisted in shaping Centerplate’s major renovation projects, including updates to several Premier League operations such as those at the Stadium of Light and White Hart Lane, home of Tottenham Hotspur.

The company has also recruited Dennis Martinez, former Chief Operating Officer of RevEquip, as the HSG’s Facility Design Director. Martinez has worked within  the foodservice design and consulting industries for 20 years bringing a wealth of  international experience in design ranging from hotel projects in Mecca for Jabal Omar Development and restaurant design for Fifth Dining at Saks Fifth Avenue, to concepts for San Francisco’s iconic AT&T Park.

 “I am honoured to lead this team of talented and passionate professionals,” said Eric Wooden. “Centerplate’s success in hospitality project management has helped to establish us as a leader in 21st century event hospitality and I look forward to better connecting event destinations with their guests and enhancing their brands and business.”


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