Canucks Sports and Entertainment has announced it will terminate its contract with long-time food-services provider Aramark at the end of June, and the organization says fans who attend hockey games next season can expect a radically different food experience.
Aramark says the move will cost approximately 1,000 company employees their jobs – though the Canucks say they expect to hire that same number for their new program.
"We are committed to providing extraordinary experiences for our fans at Rogers Arena," Victor de Bonis, chief operating officer for Canucks Sports and Entertainment, wrote in a statement.
"With that in mind, we're excited about some big changes with our food and beverage program that will offer fresh and innovative new options at every event here at our arena."
Mr. de Bonis said the organization is still working on the new program and won't unveil it until July 1.
Aramark has been the arena's food-services provider since the facility opened nearly two decades ago. Mr. de Bonis thanked the employees for their service and said all are welcome to apply for the new positions. He said plans for a job fair will be announced soon.
While other sports venues – such as nearby BC Place Stadium – have diversified their menus in recent years, the food at Rogers Arena has largely stayed the same, consisting of the usual sports fare.
David Freireich, an Aramark spokesman, wrote in an e-mail that the company was notified of the termination last week. The contract had been scheduled to run into 2015.
Mr. Freireich suggested Aramark would fight the move, saying there is "a dispute related to this notice." He declined to provide further details and would not say whether the company was considering legal action.
"Aramark is proud of its partnership with the Canucks and the food and beverage programs we've provided at the arena since 1995 to enhance the fan experience," Mr. Freireich wrote in the e-mail.
"We are particularly proud of our employees' dedication and the outstanding service they have delivered at this location."
A union spokesperson did not return a message seeking comment.