Melbourne Cricket Ground appoints Delaware North as Hospitality Services Provider

Delaware North, a global hospitality and entertainment company with significant operations in Australia for more than 30 years, has been appointed the hospitality services provider for the historic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

The seven-year contract with stadium operator Melbourne Cricket Club is set to begin in April 2022. With a capacity of more than 100,000, the MCG is the largest sporting stadium in the Southern Hemisphere. It hosts several Australian Football League (AFL) teams, as well as cricket matches, concerts, other special events and non-event-day functions.

Delaware North will manage the hospitality services at the MCG across event days, non-event days and for all corporate suites and functions.

This appointment, combined with Delaware North’s longstanding partnerships with Marvel Stadium in Melbourne and Melbourne & Olympic Parks, home of the Australian Open Tennis Championships, increases the company’s status as a leader within the Australian stadia hospitality industry.

Gary Brown, Managing Director of Delaware North in Australia, New Zealand and Asia, said:

We’re thrilled to have been appointed as the new hospitality services provider at the MCG. The MCG is steeped in a rich history and is one of the most iconic stadiums in the world. It’s truly an honour for Delaware North to serve as the stadium’s hospitality partner.

Delaware North anticipates the new partnership with the MCG will broaden and deepen its pool of talent in Melbourne, affording team members more career opportunities across multiple venues. The company will also seek to retain current MCG hospitality team members.

Winning tender

Stuart Fox, Chief Executive of the Melbourne Cricket Club, manager of the MCG, said Delaware North won the tender selection process by demonstrating an unrivalled proposal to provide exceptional customer service to members and fans:

We’re pleased to welcome Delaware North to the MCG family, their vision for the fan’s experience mirrored our strategic vision and we look forward to bringing that to life over the next seven years.

In addition to its Australian stadia operations, Delaware North operates hospitality at more than 50 major sports and entertainment venues in the United States, United Kingdom, New Zealand and Asia, including London’s Wembley Stadium, MetLife Stadium near New York City, Busch Stadium in St. Louis and 10 other Major League Baseball ballparks, Wellington’s Sky Stadium, the Singapore Sports Hub and Boston’s TD Garden, which the company also owns and operates.

Chris Maddison, Commercial Director, Delaware North UK, joined a panel session on “The Future of Hospitality” alongside Becci Thomson, Head of Premium Sales, Co-op Live, Megan Ashfield, Principal, Populous and Liam Doyle, Principal, Jump Studios. Watch the session online here.

Delaware North is also the food and beverage services partner at the recently opened Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle and the soon-to-open UBS Arena on Long Island, both of which are hosting National Hockey League teams.

Delaware North plans to create a mix of locally recognised brands that encompass a best-of-Melbourne approach to complement fan favourites and enhance the guest and member experience. Additionally, the company will bring new service styles and customer-facing technologies to the MCG that have proven highly successful in speeding food and beverage service at sports venues in the United States.

Mr. Brown said:

We have global experience in providing stadium hospitality with operations across four continents. It is this expertise that Delaware North will bring to the MCG, ensuring that we deliver a world-class service to members, fans and visitors in the coming years.

The company’s other operations in Australia and New Zealand include the luxurious Lizard Island Resort on the Great Barrier Reef, Mindil Beach Casino Resort in Darwin, and restaurants at Melbourne Airport, Adelaide Airport, Perth Airport and Sydney Central Station.

Source & imagery, courtesy: Delaware North

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