Starting this week, Syracuse University Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives and Innovation J. Michael Haynie will host “SU Safe Weekly Roundup,” a series of weekly virtual update sessions to assist University community members in preparing for the Fall 2020 semester….
Hospitality Advisor for Yankees, Rams, Cowboys Will Look to Improve Fan Experience at the Dome
In an ongoing effort to provide an enhanced fan experience at the Dome, Auxiliary Services engaged Michael Bekolay of Venue Hospitality Solutions to provide feedback on the facility’s food service operations and capabilities. He began his work on campus in November when he took in a home football game and examined all aspects of the concessions infrastructure. He’ll soon attend basketball games to assess how facility operations adjust to a smaller crowd and a different layout. Bekolay will also gather feedback from the Athletics department, and most importantly, from fans and visitors to the Dome.
“It’s exciting to bring someone with Michael’s background to campus,” said Jennifer Uryniak, interim director of Auxiliary Services. “We want our game-day experience to be second to none, so we look forward to hearing his recommendations as we move forward on our planned renovations.”
The Dome is in the early stages of a multiyear renovation, with a new fixed roof, a vertically hung scoreboard, state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems, improved accessibility and added Wi-Fi capabilities on tap for fans beginning in fall 2020.
Uryniak and her staff are looking ahead to fall 2022, when the stadium’s new concessions spaces are revealed. They are turning to Bekolay to frame out and guide the planned improvements. The approach is holistic, according to Uryniak, who says everything from the physical footprint of the concessions stands to the number of staff behind the counters is under scrutiny.
“We’re constantly hiring new staff to fill positions at concessions and merchandise stands,” said Mark Tewksbury, director of residential dining and Dome operations. “We know it will be beneficial to set a baseline, to hear from our fans to see what level of customer service they need.”
Bekolay has worked with some of the world’s most popular sports franchises, including the New York Yankees, Dallas Cowboys and Manchester City Football Club in the English Premier League. Venue Hospitality Solutions, based out of Miami, will bring more than 35 years of experience in the hospitality business as they assess Syracuse University’s stadium experience.