Hawkers will still be hitting ISC stands
While Blazers fans will still have to hit the concession stand for beer, some hawking is coming to the Interior Savings Centre stands.
City parks, recreation facilities and business operations manager Jeff Putnam said plans to sell popcorn, hotdogs and other food and beverages in the stands are going ahead.
“In other venues, we’ve seen that it does alleviate waiting times and lineups at concessions,” he said.
In a 5-3 vote last week, council declined to back a plan to allow beer and wine sales in the stands.
Putnam said the beer idea was one of many that came out of discussions with the city’s food contractor and the Kamloops Blazers.
While the Blazers supported the idea, team director of sales and marketing Dave Chyzowski said the decision isn’t going to cause any hard feelings.
“We thought, you know what? If it’s a good thing for our fans and they wanted to offer an added service in the building, we were fine with it,” he said.
“It doesn’t affect us really at all.”
Putnam said the NHL lockout could see the Blazers drawing bigger crowds and more food and beverage sales.
Even without the beer, he expects hawkers could generate $500 in sales per game.
Other changes for the new season include installing electronic menu boards and opening a new lounge on the upper floor.
The city tested out a similar lounge operation during the Blazer’s playoff run last season, Putnam said, and is now bringing it back on a more permanent basis.
“It’s going to be a place people can come prior to the game and get a great deal on a steak sandwich or a barbecued burger,” he said.
“Then, during the breaks between periods, it’s going to serve patrons who want a little bit more of an upscale experience.”
Big year expected
Food and beverage sales typically pull in about $700,000 a year in revenue at Interior Savings Centre, but Putnam thinks this could be an above-average year for the venue.
“We think we’re going to have bigger crowds and a strong concert season in 2012-2013,” he said.
“So, we would at least hit those numbers and I think we’ll even be higher this year with the changes being made.”
In the past, the city has taken a 26 per cent cut of profits, with the rest going to contractor Compass Group Canada.
A revised contract approved by council earlier this year will see that amount shrink to 20 per cent.
The city’s cut, which in past has amounted to about $160,000 goes to offset taxpayer costs for running the facility, Putnam said.