Gainesville, Fla. (September 29, 2020) – The University of Florida and Centerplate, the exclusive food and beverage provider for Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, have announced new health and safety protocols for Gators fans this season. Centerplate, the leading hospitality partner to North America’s premier sports entertainment venues, has already been practicing welcoming guests safely for the NFL season, and has been working closely with UF to prepare to welcome guests into the Swamp on Saturday, October 3rd against the South Carolina Gamecocks.

"As we have throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we worked hand in hand with UF Health, the SEC and its Medical Guidance Task Force, and campus officials to create the safest environment possible for the student-athletes, staff and fans," Athletics Director Scott Stricklin said. “We look forward to working with Centerplate to provide a safe fan experience this season.”

Due to the ongoing pandemic, the Florida Gators announced earlier this month their Game Day Protocols for the 2020 season, including limiting fan capacity to approximately 20 percent resulting in a maximum of 17,000 fans in attendance. Guests will be required to socially distance while inside the stadium, as well as wear their face coverings at all times with the exception of when consuming food and beverage. The dining and concession experience at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium has also undergone extensive new protocols to ensure a safe environment for all fans.

Among the specific changes to the food and beverage program:

  • Gloves and masks required for all food-service employees
  • Face shields for concessions workers
  • Health screenings for all employees prior to their shifts
  • All food and beverage will be pre-packaged in closed containers
  • Sneeze guards and plexiglass barriers in suite areas
  • Elimination of self-service buffets
  • Elimination of condiment stands on the concourse
  • Elimination of vendors walking up and down aisles

Further, all menu items have been simplified by design to prevent crowding and reduce person-to-person contact. The new suite menus, for example, include “small plate concepts” which help to eliminate the need for reusable utensils.

“We are so fortunate to have the support and leadership from our global network of Sodexo and Centerplate experts to help us effectively and safely implement these new protocols. The new protocols are in place to help everyone feel confident, safe and comfortable when coming to Gainesville to enjoy a seamless experience,” said Centerplate Executive Vice President Sal Ferrulo.

About Centerplate

Centerplate is a leader in live event hospitality, "Making It Better To Be There®" for more than 115 million guests each year at more than 200 prominent entertainment, sports and convention venues—including Hard Rock Stadium and the Miami Beach Convention Center. From hosting VIPs at the Super Bowl to superheroes at Comic Con, the company provides hospitality services to North America's premier events. A Sodexo company, Centerplate creates unique, locally-inspired menus, best-in-class guest service, and one-of-a-kind experiences backed by world-class design and insights teams. Visit the company online, connect via Twitter @centerplate, Instagram @Centerplate_ or Facebook.com/centerplate.

Media Contact

Paul Pettas, Communications Director, Centerplate / Sodexo Sports & Leisure Paul.pettas@centerplate.com

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