Business Directory

Browse the Directory

Sign Up to the Directory

FC Business Twitter
FC business Linked in
FC Business facebook
FC Business Youtube


Fri 24th May 2013 | Football Stadiums & Facilities

Following a hugely successful season both on and off-the pitch Watford FC and Lindley Venue Catering have forged a new £18 million deal extending the caterer’s original five-year contract at Vicarage Road to a new 10-year partnership agreement which will see Lindley providing catering, hospitality, sales, marketing and event management services through to 2023-24.

At the heart of the long-term commitment is the development of the south west corner facilities at the stadium.  The £1 million development, will see the creation and completion of two flexible hospitality areas in the South West Corner of Vicarage Road by the middle of next season, and this will kick-start Watford FC’s long-term plans to undertake a complete refurbishment of the whole stadium which currently has a match day capacity of 17,500.

Lindley Venue Catering will be responsible for overseeing the design and installation of new kitchens and two floors of new hospitality facilities. The top floor, which will provide great pitch-side viewing, will feature a casual, informal dining area equipped with LCD screens giving it the ambience of a premium sports bar. 

The area has also been designed with the dual objective of attracting revenue from non-match day private hire business as well as enhancing the hospitality facilities for match-goers.  A flexible, open plan hospitality suite will be established on the first floor.  Lindley Venue Catering is ringing the changes by moving away from the traditional match day three/four-course hospitality fine-dining experience offered by most stadia, and will be introducing a high-quality authentic Italian restaurant concept.  

The hospitality suite has been designed so that on non-match days it can be converted into an exhibition or conference space, or, alternatively, it can provide a 150 cover dining area for formal banquets, weddings and balls.  It will also host club award nights and to maximise usage of the suite, Lindley plans to develop a programme of events such as sportsman dinners and offer premium, all-inclusive Christmas packages.

Scott Duxbury, Watford FC’s CEO, says:  “We appointed Lindley Venue Catering at the start of the season to bring a professional approach to developing all aspects of the catering, hospitality and events business at Vicarage Road.  From day one, they have worked with us to step change the way the club manages its catering and event business and after just the first season, Lindley has demonstrated the positive impact partnering with a specialist caterer can have on enhancing our fans’ match day experience, and their vast experience in the UK sports stadia environment has enabled them to identify further revenue-generating opportunities for the club.

“It is this joint approach and the common goal of establishing Vicarage Road as a stadium appropriate to meet the needs of the club which has led to us mutually agreeing to extend the initial four-year contract into a 10-year partnership with both parties benefiting from the arrangement.”

Jonathan Davies, The Lindley Group’s Sales & Marketing Director, adds:  “When Lindley Venue Catering was appointed by Watford FC, it was evident that the new owners and management were on a very determined mission to turnaround the fortunes of the club and return the team to the premiership.

“Watford FC had made clear that its ambition is to completely refurbish the stadium and whilst Vicarage Road has some very good public concourse facilities, including a large public bar and modern kiosks, we felt that the hospitality areas needed to be developed if they are to realise their full potential and match the standard offered at other Premiership and Championship grounds.

“We could see a number of opportunities for the club to create a unique offering and with the financial backing and support of our new American owners – Centerplate - we were prepared to invest in the infrastructure of the stadium as part of a long-term partnership.  We also strongly believe the type of mid-market casual dining experience we are proposing for the top floor of the new hospitality facilities will be the future of sports hospitality – a view which has been reinforced by seeing the results of similar concepts developed by Centerplate in other stadia around the globe, most notably the US and Canada.

“We shared our vision with the management team at Watford FC who are forward-thinking and fully bought into the proposition as they are keen to take a ground-breaking approach to bringing in new ideas which will ultimately benefit both the club and its followers.”


Posted by: Aaron Gourley

To subscribe to our range of football newsletters including news, products and jobs CLICK HERE.




If you have any football business related news stories you’d like to share then please contact us – agourley@fcbusiness.co.uk

Add to: Google Google | Yahoo Yahoo | Live Live | del.icio.us del.icio | Digg Digg |

Related Articles

In Focus: SISGrass Shows Its Strength

Mon 10th Apr 2017 | Football Stadiums & Facilities

From Russia 2018 World Cup venues to Derby County, 2016 was the year to remember for SISGrass. fcbusiness speaks to Phil Blackwell, UK Project Director for the Cumbria based company about their...

AFC Fylde Lay Foundations For New Education Centre

Thu 6th Apr 2017 | Football Stadiums & Facilities

AFC Fylde’s Community Foundation has revealed further details about its new £400,000 Education Centre, which is due to open at the £25m Mill Farm Sports Village later this year....

Wembley Stadium: Experiencing Club Wembley

Fri 31st Mar 2017 | Football Stadiums & Facilities

Wembley Stadium is one of the most famous football grounds anywhere in the world. The new stadium opened in 2007, and as this was our first visit, we wanted to do it in style with some hospitality....

Sweden Gets First Taste of SISGrass

Tue 28th Mar 2017 | Football Stadiums & Facilities

Sweden has had its first taste of the revolutionary SISGrass hybrid system following the turfing of the Gamla Ullevi football stadium in Gothenburg. Premier Pitches removed the pitch and SIS installed...