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Concessionaires prepare for slow 2009

The recession has concessionaires worried about making their numbers for this coming season.

While Major League Baseball and many minor-league teams brace for a slow 2009, another part of the baseball economy worried about the coming season as well.

Concessionaires say they’re not expecting a particularly good year, as they’re hit on two levels. First, everyone expects fewer fans to be buying tickets to the ballpark, though several teams we’re in contact with actually expect attendance increases in terms of turnstyle counts. Once there, they are likely to spend less on concessions or seek one of the all-you-can-eat offerings found at most MLB and many MiLB facilities.

The other part of the business that’s sure to suffer: business-oriented catering on the suite levels. Concessionaires like Aramark, Centerplate, Ovations and Levy Restaurants have carved out a nice business offering high-end food to suites and club-level areas, but we’re guessing many corporations will decide to go with the shrimp platter instead of the prime-rib carving station and bypassing desserts completely.

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