49ERS END STADIUM-WIDE FOOD-DELIVERY SERVICE

The San Francisco 49ers have ended a stadium-wide, in-seat, food delivery service that failed to catch on with fans at Levi’s Stadium. While the team has yet to comment on the decision, it does not make sense to continue staffing a service that was failing to gain traction or generate a profit. Fans sitting in premium sections will continue to have access to the service. It is worth noting that VenueNext (platform that powers the service) does not have another client that offers stadium-wide in-seat concession delivery, as Grubhub (GRUB) and competing food delivery companies look to enter the space.

Howie Long-Short: VenueNext, originally formed in 2013 to help the 49ers develop the mobile application for their new stadium, raised a $9 million Series A round in January 2015. Live Nation Entertainment (LYV) and Twitter Ventures (TWTR) participated in the round. The company raised an additional $15 million in October 2016 to expand its offerings beyond sports & entertainment, having since added clientele within the hospitality and healthcare verticals, and into Europe.

Fan Marino: VenueNext isn’t just a platform to support a food delivery service, but a way for teams to enhance the in-stadium fan experience. Fans can find parking help, their way around the building, mobile ticketing, exclusive team content and merchandise within a team’s custom app. Teams will market these apps as a way to enhance the fan experience, but call them for what they are, a way to gather data on attendees so they can turn around and market to them.

Delivery of food and beverage to all seats off the menu at Levi’s Stadium

 

SEAT SIDE FOOD SERVICE COMING TO STADIUMS/ARENA AROUND THE COUNTRY

Grubhub (GRUB) and competing delivery companies are pursuing contracts with stadium operators that will enable them to provide food delivery to all fans; not just the ones sitting in premium seats. Ordering would take place through a mobile application, with delivery directly to the fan’s seat. While many are excited about the prospects of avoiding long concession lines, some remain concerned vendors will get in the way of the game action. No timeframe has been given for roll-out of the program.

You’ll never have to get up for food at the game again

Howie Long-Short: Looking for a way to invest in stadium food delivery besides GRUB? OLO, which handles digital ordering for 35,000 restaurants, may be looking to get into the space. While OLO remains private, Paypal (PYPL) lead a $5 million series B funding round back in 2013.

Fan Marino: Sounds as if the Jets & Giants are going to be among the first teams to try this out (49ers have been doing it for years), this fall. As a Jets fanatic, this new service will help ensure I don’t miss a Hackenberg interception all year.