Record attendance sends concession sells through roof

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    The jam-packed crowd of more than 45,000 at Amon Carter Stadium Saturday meant more than record attendance and a traffic nightmare. Hungry and thirsty fans bought between $120,000 to $140,000 worth of food and drinks, more than double the average of last years’ home games, according to estimates by TCU Dining Services. Typically, sales average anywhere from $50,000 to $60,000, said Rick Flores, general manager for Dining Services. The average attendance for the 2005 football season was 31,254 and the UC Davis game had 25,277 attend, said Sean Conner, director of ticket operations for TCU athletics.

    Because of the high number of Texas Tech University and TCU fans, Dining Services increased the number of items ordered for concession stands by more than 120 percent, said Legia Abato, marketing manager for Dining Services.

    Temperatures Saturday reached 95 degrees, according to weather.com, and Flores estimated 18,000 bottles of water were sold.

    Sodexho food services, which has a contract with Dining Services, found additional concession stands and staff needed to handle the overflow crowd. Approximately 50 extra staff members were called in from different organizations. Additional supervising managers were called in from several universities sharing contracts with Sodexho including the University of North Texas, the University of Texas at Austin and Texas Tech University, Flores said.

    Considering the mass quantities of concessions ordered, Flores said, the staff anticipated the necessary amounts well.

    “The hardest part was trying to find a benchmark because we didn’t have another game that size to model the order after,” Flores said.

    The order, especially for beverages, was the largest order Dining Services has placed, he said.

    Attendance at the Texas Tech game reached 45,647, including members of the media and stadium workers, which is why the 44,008 seating capacity at the stadium was surpassed, Conner said.

    The 88 degree weather at the UC Davis game on Sept. 9, along with a smaller crowd, may have contributed to the lower number of bottled water sales, Flores said.

    When ordering for concession stands, Dining Services pays close attention to the number of people attending, the weather and the time of the game, Flores said.

    “If a game is played in rainy weather, we don’t sell as many concessions,” Flores said. “If it’s cooler, we have to order less soft drinks and serve coffee and hot cocoa instead.”

    Also serving food and beverages are non-profit organizations raising money for their group by serving beverages to people in the stands, Flores said.

    Some of the organizations include the Faith Temple Church and a Boy Scouts of America troop, Abato said.

    The order for the UC Davis game was similar to the concession stand orders for most games, Abato said.