Food and beverage provider for the venue – in place since May 2013 – secures brand new agreement with local Convention Center Authority

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (May 18, 2021) – The Convention Center Authority has voted to confirm a brand new contract with Centerplate – food and beverage partner for the Music City Center and leading hospitality partner to North America's premier convention centers and meetings venues. The new, multi-year agreement will still encompass all retail and catering at the convention center that highlights local Nashville purveyors and Diverse Business Enterprises (DBEs).  

"Every Centerplate team member goes above and beyond to make the guest experience unforgettable and we are proud to maintain our relationship together,” said Charles Starks, President/CEO, Music City Center. "Providing exceptional food and beverage for best-in-class events that creates positive memories and generates economic benefits for stakeholders throughout the city and state is a key imperative, and we look forward to continuing to do so together.”

Centerplate first took over the food service for the Music City Center as the inaugural provider shortly before the venue opened in May 2013. Led by General Manager Doug Zimmerman and Executive Chef Max Knoepfel, the onsite team curates a program rooted in delicious menu items, community inclusion, industry-leading sustainability and extraordinary customer service. It is supported by a broader network of subject matter experts from Centerplate and its parent company Sodexo, ranging from emerging payments to design infrastructure to sustainability best practices and more.  

“We are thrilled to be chosen to continue serving the Music City Center, as this has been and will continue to be an important, long-term relationship for us,” said Steve Pangburn, Chief Executive Officer, Centerplate / Sodexo Sports & Leisure. “Through high-quality service, partnerships with premium local partners and innovative new design, we were thrilled to earn high scores amid this competitive bidding process, and appreciate the forward-facing, high-level vision of our venue partners.”

The Music City Center is a local icon, and local engagement taps into relationships with groups like the Boy Scouts, YWCA and Junior Achievement. The culinary efforts specifically, led by Chef Max, also:  

  • Reduces the building’s carbon footprint by sourcing 99% of produce from more than 60 regional farms through a supplier partnership with Creation Gardens
  • Works with the local Hunters Lane High School Academy of Hospitality, to introduce students to careers in hospitality by annually offering them a full day of job shadowing in the kitchen and throughout the broader F&B operations
  • Teams with the Nashville State Community College Culinary and Hospitality programs through advisory board participation and opportunity provision
  • Commits to continue tapping into a respected local council of esteemed restaurateurs, tastemakers, distillers, brewers and farmers to fully capture the pulse of the local culinary landscape.  

In fact, the Music City Center was the first convention center to become REAL-certified, doing so in 2014. REAL stands for Responsible, Epicurean, and Agricultural Leadership, and is a nationally recognized mark of excellence for food and foodservice operators committed to holistic nutrition and environmental stewardship. 

Centerplate is proud to serve many of PCMA’s top 10 convention centers in North America and looks forward to continue helping to mold the future of guest hospitality for all those who come to Nashville to enjoy meetings, events and social gatherings of all shapes and sizes.

the Music City Center


About Centerplate / Sodexo Sports & Leisure 

Each year, the combination of Sodexo and Centerplate enhances the level of services provided to more than 116 million guests across premier venues in North America, such as stadiums, arenas, convention centers, museums, zoos, aquariums and more. Through consumer research, innovations and local personalization, we are positioned to deliver an unrivaled array of services to successfully contribute to offer a memorable experience for the guests in our partner venues. 

From hosting VIPs at the Super Bowl to superheroes at Comic Con, the company provides hospitality services to North America’s premier events. Learn more about Sodexo Sports and Leisure


About the Music City Center 

The Music City Center is Nashville's convention center located in the heart of downtown. The 2.1 million square foot facility opened in 2013 and was built so that Nashville could host large, city-wide conventions in the downtown area. The mission of the Music City Center is to create significant economic benefit for the citizens of the greater Nashville region by attracting local and national events while focusing on community inclusion, sustainability and exceptional customer service delivered by our talented team members. 


Media Contacts 

Paul Pettas, Centerplate, Director, Communications 

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