The New York Racing Association and Centerplate, a food and beverage service corporation, announced that they would be ending their 25-year hospitality partnership this spring. Centerplate provided more than 600 seasonal employees for NYRA at the Belmont Park, Aqueduct and Saratoga racetracks.
Centerplate and NYRA communications officials said the two organizations had been discussing a future contract together for several months, but they were unable to come to an agreement on the terms of a new contract.
“We respect and appreciate the long-term relationship we maintained with NYRA and their passionate racing fans,” Centerplate Communications Director Paul Pettas said. “This is a business decision based on a strategic process to find a mutually beneficial outcome, and we wish NYRA nothing but success in the future.”
Pettas added that Centerplate had helped introduce new menus to the racetracks as they oversaw an influx of more local, farm-fresh fare for NYRA. Centerplate officials said that the more than 600 employees currently working for them at NYRA’s racetracks, about 200 of which are at Belmont, would most likely be able to continue to work there under the new vendor NYRA finds.
“Additionally, NYRA maintains a strong relationship with Local 6 of the New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council; AFL-CIO, the union for hotel and gaming workers in New York; and will work with them accordingly on this matter,” NYRA Communications Director Patrick McKenna said.
Centerplate officials added that they would also help in maintaining the current workforce at the racetrack. NYRA and Centerplate’s contract ends at the conclusion of the Aqueduct spring meet in April.