Wakefield Wildcats sign up Lindley to grow catering & hospitality business

Wakefield Trinity Wildcats has brought Lindley Venue Catering on board as its catering partner as part of the professional Super League club’s plans to develop and expand its catering and hospitality business at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium – the Wildcats’ home ground until the club’s planned relocation to a new 12,000 capacity community stadium in 2015.

With immediate effect Lindley Venue Catering assumes responsibility for all of the match-day and non match-day catering which has been managed in-house, and the specialist sports catering division of The Lindley Group is also introducing a proactive sales and marketing programme to promote the use of the stadium’s facilities for private parties and functions, with bookings now being taken for Christmas.

Lindley Venue Catering has been signed up on a rolling contract and expects to generate an annual turnover of over £400,000 from combined match day and non-match day sales at the 10,250 capacity ground which is equipped with five function rooms capable of accommodating between 50 and 200 guests.

Established in 1873 as the Wakefield Trinity Club, the Wakefield Wildcats is one of the oldest rugby league clubs in the country and was one of the initial 22 clubs to form the Northern Union after the split from the Rugby Football Union in 1895. The club plans to move from its current Rapid Solicitors Stadium after the 2014 season. The Secretary of State granted planning approval for the development of the 240-acre Newmarket site just north of Wakefield in June, and Wakefield Trinity Wildcats will become the primary tenant at the new stadium which is scheduled to open for the start of the 2015 season.

James Elston, Wakefield Trinity Wildcats’ CEO, says: “The club has made great strides in the last 18 months and we have been able to focus on looking at further opportunities to grow and develop the club. We feel that the club could benefit from the experience and expertise of a specialist sports caterer, and Lindley Venue Catering is well-established and highly regarded within the sports industry where it manages a number of professional rugby, premiership football and county cricket and horse-racing catering contracts.

“We’ve been very impressed with the results Lindley has achieved at other rugby league grounds including Warrington Wolves and The John Smith’s Stadium at Huddersfield, and they are also attuned to the needs of the locality. There will be more emphasis on serving locally-sourced seasonal produce and menus in the hospitality suites and at private functions will feature the deliciouslyorkshire accreditation awarded by the Yorkshire Regional Food Group which has recognised The Lindley Group’s commitment of to using local produce at five other venues in Yorkshire, including The Hepworth Wakefield.”

Jonathan Davies, The Lindley Group’s Sales & Marketing Director, says: “Being awarded the Wakefield Trinity Wildcats catering contract at this pivotal stage in the development of the club provides us with a fantastic opportunity to help lay the foundations for the future growth and prosperity of one of rugby league’s most established teams.

“To enhance the matchday experience for home and visiting fans at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium, in readiness for the new season we will be installing new kiosks which will speed up service and sell our award-winning pies, hotdogs and burgers, and we will be creating new bespoke menus for the hospitality suites.

“We will also be actively encouraging fans and local residents to think of the Stadium as a ‘top box’ choice for their birthday, wedding, anniversary and other celebrations, and we will be organising events such as our ‘All Inclusive Christmas Party Nights’ and a ‘New Year’s Eve Family Party’ with the aim of getting more people to visit and take advantage of the facilities available at the stadium.”

The appointment also strengthens Lindley Venue Catering’s portfolio of rugby club clients which includes The John Smith’s Stadium in Huddersfield, Leicester Tigers and Warrington Wolves; and reinforces The Lindley Group’s presence in Yorkshire where it also manages catering services at Barnsley FC, Bradford City FC, Sheffield Wednesday FC, Rotherham FC, York City FC and The Hepworth Wakefield.

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