TOLEDO HAS DOUBLE THE FUN AS BASEBALL AND GOLF COINCIDE
For the first time ever and in tandem with
another major event, the small city of Toledo was the site of the
Triple-A All-Star baseball game. The Jamie Farr Owens Corning
Classic golf tournament took place the same weekend.
?It was a very busy time, probably our busiest
week ever, but we managed to cover all the bases, so to speak,?
said Tim Gladieux, owner of the Toledo Sports Arena whose food
service company catered both events.
The highlight of the event was a joint dinner
July 11 for both groups held at the arena. The sold-out event drew
upwards of 2,500 people who paid $200 a ticket.
?They considered doing separate dinners but
thought it would be hard to sell 2,500 tickets twice in one week
for two different events, so they decided to combine it,? Gladieux
Almost a third of the 1,200 employees of
Gladieux?s company, V/Gladieux Enterprises inc., were involved in
the two events. V/Gladieux Enterprises is the official food and
beverage operator for Fifth Third Field, home of the minor league
Toledo Mud Hens.
The sit-down dinner utilized the arena?s various
upper and lower concourses as well as some private meeting rooms.
It took a year of careful planning.
?We had maybe 20 management meetings,? Gladieux
said. The event also involved four full days of preparation such as
cooking and decorating.
?It was a major production,? said Gladieux,
involving 80 members of his wait staff, 35 bartenders, 20 caterers
and 12 managers. There were 14,000 pieces of various table
?We rolled out a red carpet over the concrete
floors,? he said.
Diners ate 4,000 pounds of food that included 80
roasted turkeys, 150 whole beef tenderloins, 100 gallons of
Gazpacho soup, 85 cases of vegetables and 350 pounds of Red Bliss
?We planned for it and it all went off without a
glitch,? Gladieux said. A major reason, he believes, is that he and
his staff regularly handle large crowds while catering sporting
events at the nearby University of Michigan.
He and Bob Vita, vice president of operations in
charge of concessions, regularly worked 12-hour days in the weeks
before the two events.
Since Gladieux has been catering to the Farr
golf tournament for more than 20 years, he said, that has become
somewhat routine. His company regularly provides all on-course
concessions at the Highland Meadows Country Club for the golf
tournament that is a non-profit fund-raiser.
?We also did the VIP and the clubhouse dining,
as always,? Gladieux said.
He said he was pleased with how both events
turned out. ?I wish we could do this every week,? he said.
Many of his employees earned overtime pay. The
events were also very profitable, he said.
?We don?t have all the numbers yet, but the
All-Star game was a record in overall sales [for Gladieux],? he
said, adding that concessions sales were higher than normal in part
because of the crowds attending the multiple baseball events, such
as the Home Run Derby.
?All of the businesses that rent suites also
spent a lot of money entertaining. They wanted to make sure they
made an impression,? he said.
Mud Hen fans were offered All-Star packages for
$95. They included tickets to the 19th Annual Pro Medica Health
System Triple A-All-Star Game, the Home Run Derby and a FanFest
that included an auction of jerseys and baseballs autographed by
celebrities such as Toledo?s own Jamie Farr, LeBron James of the
Cleveland Cavaliers and others. Proceeds from that event went to
the Helping Hens Fund, the charitable foundation of the Toledo Mud
Hens that helps bring underprivileged children to baseball games,
among other activities.
If he has any advice for others in the same
position, Gladieux says: ?It would be to make sure you have enough
of a catering staff to handle everything, even if you have to bring
in extra people.?
Media attention to the two events was positive.
ESPN and other major media covered both the All-Star game and the
The only problem over the weekend was heavy rain
that washed out the second day?s play at the golf tournament. ?I?ve
never seen a storm like we had that day,? said Vita.
Golfers played extra holes on succeeding days
and the final 18 holes on Sunday had sunny weather. ? David
Interviewed for this story: Tim Gladieux and Bob
Vita, (419) 473-3009