New purveyor of tasty treats racing to famed Brickyard

January 7, 2010
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Outsourcing efforts at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway continue.
This month, negotiations are heating up between IMS officials and Levy Restaurants for the Chicago-based firm to take over food services at the famed race track.

“Nothing is set in stone, but we are in discussions with Levy,” IMS spokesman Eric Powell told IBJ this morning.
That deal could include catering to the IMS suites as well as operating concession stands during the month of May, during the Brickyard 400 NASCAR race and MotoGP motorcycle race.

It’s all part of IMS President Jeff Belskus’ plan to return the Speedway’s focus to racing. Under Tony George, the IMS handled its own food service and even sought to grow that division by taking on jobs at the Indiana State Fairgrounds and other outside venues.

Levy is no stranger to Indianapolis, having several deals here, including food service at Conseco Fieldhouse.

Belskus, who was the IMS’ chief financial officer before taking over for George last summer, is far from done overhauling the Speedway’s business.

Belskus also is taking a hard look at operations of the Speedway’s golf course and an announcement regarding that is expected in the coming weeks. Belskus stressed there are no plans to sell or close the course, which has been part of the Speedway for more than eight decades and once hosted a PGA Senior Tour event.

During his tenure, George sought to return a big-time event, possibly even the Ryder Cup, to the Brickyard Crossing course. But that seems less likely now.

  • While that will probably bring more money to IMS, I wonder if they will still staff the conession stands with not for profits earning money for their groups.

    • Levy
      Levy does use some volunteers at Conseco Fieldhouse, but I don't think to the level that IMS did.
    • Golf or racing?
      They need to decide which is more important. After seeing a race at Daytona, I haven't been back to IMS. You can see the whole track at Daytona, and only a small part of the IMS because of the golf course, museum, etc.
    • IMS

      What the hell? The Taj Mahal ain't Buckingham Palace either. Oh, so they are supposed to cut down the trees and infield stands and museum so you can see around a 2 1/2 mile track? Are you kidding me? It's an institution; open your eyes, boy.

    • IMS
      Been to Daytona for the 500. They want to be the INDY 500 of NASCAR. Not near the excitement as Indy!! Bristol was close, but I will take the MONTH OF MAY over Nascar!!
    • Levy
      Middle class and poor class families may as well not plan on going to the races if they bring Levy in, we will not be able to afford to bring our families! They will not allow coolers to come inside the gates, and will also raise prices on what is sold inside. So their attendance will suffer!!!
    • IMS
      Are you freakin kidding me? If IMS gives up their name and turns their concessions and everything over to an outside contractor, that is the biggest mistake they would dealings and know how on how Levy's works, is...They will come in and stop all coolers and they don't really care on what things look like. It will look like a circus instead of a race track. The food and beverages will cost an arm and a leg where the fans will not be able to afford them. They are the ones that run Conceco, everyone knows the prices there....that's why no one can afford to go there....You might as well say goodbye to the "Most Famouse Motor Speedway" because they will not have the fan base that they are so badly in need of. BIG, BIG MISTAKE !!!!!!!!
    • Hopefully this is not part of Belaskus's plans to cut costs and increase profit. Bringing your beer and sandwiches is all part of the tradition.
    • Levy
      I have to make a comment about bringing more money to the hell do you figure? When the prices go up, IMS will go broke, because people are not going to be able to afford to go, therefore NO money will be going to IMS....DUH !!! This is most crazy thing they could do, This track has always been a family runned track, I cannot imagine them giving up that and the prestiage of this. NOT A GOOD THING. I think the person that thought of this, should be FIRED>
    • No Coolers!
      Yikes! That's no good at all. But, who cares about tradition, right. Unless tradition has a value and a price tag. In any event, I think change is in the air and the bean counter is going to outlaw coolers in an effort to raise revenue at the track.
    • IMS
      Not only will the not for profit groups more than likely lose out but this will also be putting a number of IMS employees out of a job if this decision is made. Which will hurt families in Indiana even more along with raising the prices of the concessions and not allowing cooler in the track.
      What happened to the family saying that the track would always be an affordable place to bring your family? Well if you bring in Levy you are going back on what you have always said!! Families will not be able to afford the prices of drinks or food. And if anyone knows anything at all about Levy they know that they come in these places and automatically band coolers!!! So go right ahead and do what you think will bring more revenue and see how much of your fan base that you lose!!!
    • Greedy
      What are they thinking? Have you been to Atlanta Speedway and some of the others? Pop $5, hot dogs $6, turkey legs $10. I think the family is starting to be greedy and not care about their fans! But reality is the FANS DOES NOT NEED THE TRACK, THE TRACK NEEDS THE FANS!!!!!!!!!!!!
    • IMS
      I whole heartly agree with greedy...THE TRACK DOES NEED THE FANS, NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND...and further more, IF it raises revenue which I don't see it will go to Chicago instead of staying at IMS. This is a big mistake, and soon if it does take place IMS will see this, the first race will tell ALL........then see how hard it will be to get their fans to come back.
    • Ok, if IMS does not see this as either a money maker, or a cost saver, then why would they do it? Belaskus is slashing costs no matter what it does to tradition.
    • Oy Vey!!
      I for one applaud this move, as it appears to be alienating some of the very few 'fans' left. :lol:

      If you think anyone in the Hulman-George cabal cares about 'fans', you are delusional.

      Here's hoping it's one more step on the way to IMS becoming the Speedway Super WalMart.

      code = wy22r
    • The nice thing about Stan is unlike most of the haters, he says what he really feels. most haters here would love for IMS to become a parking lot. Truly sad.

    Post a comment to this blog

    We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
    You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
    Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
    No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
    We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

    Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

    Sponsored by
    1. Really, taking someone managing the regulation of Alcohol and making himthe President of an IVY Tech regional campus. Does he have an education background?

    2. Jan, great rant. Now how about you review the report and offer rebuttal of the memo. This might be more conducive to civil discourse than a wild rant with no supporting facts. Perhaps some links to support your assertions would be helpful

    3. I've lived in Indianapolis my whole and been to the track 3 times. Once for a Brickyard, once last year on a practice day for Indy 500, and once when I was a high school student to pick up trash for community service. In the past 11 years, I would say while the IMS is a great venue, there are some upgrades that would show that it's changing with the times, just like the city is. First, take out the bleachers and put in individual seats. Kentucky Motor Speedway has individual seats and they look cool. Fix up the restrooms. Add wi-fi. Like others have suggested, look at bringing in concerts leading up to events. Don't just stick with the country music genre. Pop music would work well too I believe. This will attract more young celebrities to the Indy 500 like the kind that go to the Kentucky Derby. Work with Indy Go to increase the frequency of the bus route to the track during high end events. That way people have other options than worrying about where to park and paying for parking. Then after all of this, look at getting night lights. I think the aforementioned strategies are more necessary than night racing at this point in time.

    4. Talking about congestion ANYWHERE in Indianapolis is absolutely laughable. Sure you may have to wait in 5 minutes of traffic to travel down BR avenue during *peak* times. But that is absolutely nothing compared to actual big cities. Indy is way too suburban to have actual congestion problems. So please, never bring up "congestion" as an excuse to avoid development in Indianapolis. If anything, we could use a little more.

    5. Oh wait. Never mind.