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Compass at the RBC Centre a move in right direction: Mayor

Published on

Jack Poirier

Special to The Journal

Sarnians can expect better food, customer service and a major overhaul of the concession areas at the RBC Centre later this year.

And that includes an entirely new menu, said Saira Husain, a spokesperson with Compass Group Canada.

“Our executive chef will work closely with the onsite team to create new, exciting and delicious suite, restaurant and concession menus,” she said.

Company architects and designers have already been working behind the scenes preparing several design schemes, she added.

“As you can appreciate, we are planning an unveiling prior to the start of the 2015 – 2016 hockey season.”

Sarnia, which owns the arena, recently approved a deal with Compass that guarantees the city $1.5 million in revenue over 10 years.  The company will also invest $310,000 in upgrades to the concessions, restaurant and suites, Husain said.

Both figures far surpassed bids from other three other companies. For overall value, city staff gave the Compass proposal a score of 99, with the second-highest rating 57.

Husain said Compass has a solid business model contingent on consistent attendance at RBC events.

Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley said 3,000 fans is the magic number for Sting hockey games, something the team managed during its first 10 years of operation.

Attendance this year has ranged from 2,482 to 3,582 fans per games.

Bradley said the Compass deal is much better financially than what previously existed at the RBC Centre.

“Due diligence was done by our staff,” he said, adding, “These estimates are doable.”

Compass will have a dedicated Food and Beverage Director onsite overseeing a team of associates and supervisors, Husain said.

Asked if food and beverage prices will rise to cover the investment, Husain said the company would review OHL arena pricing to include local restaurants. The findings will be shared with the city to ensure both parties agree on pricing before moving forward, she said.

The upgrades will begin after the current hockey season ends.




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