KU and Oak View Group Enter into Transformational Partnership to Elevate Stadium and Venue Experience

OVG to Serve as Stadium Operator for Gateway District and Food and Beverage Provider for All Kansas Athletics Venues


LAWRENCE, Kan. – The University of Kansas announced Thursday it has embarked on a groundbreaking partnership with Oak View Group (OVG), a leader in global sports and entertainment, as the stadium operator for the Gateway District and reimagined David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. Oak View Group will also manage food and beverage services and suite catering for all Kansas Athletics venues.

In its new partnership with KU, Oak View Group will oversee the day-to-day operations of both the football stadium and conference center when Phase I of the Gateway District opens in August 2025. The group will lead the bookings of conference events, special events and concerts, while operating a membership-only dining club in one of the club levels of the stadium. OVG will also play an integral role in the current Allen Fieldhouse upgrades, managing all food and beverage and hospitality in the world-famous arena. Allen Fieldhouse began the first phase of upgrades prior to the 2023-24 season, and is currently undergoing a second phase that will be unveiled prior to the 2024-25 season.

In its role as the new food and beverage provider for Kansas Athletics, OVG Hospitality will bring a reimagined customer service focused approach to all venues.

“We are thrilled to partner with such a proven and innovative team in OVG,” Kansas Director of Athletics Travis Goff said. “A generational project like this requires best-in-class partnerships, and that is what this relationship reflects. The Gateway District and David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium, along with a transformed Allen Fieldhouse, will have an everlasting impact on KU and the Lawrence community, and OVG will be at the center of a world-class fan experience. We are incredibly excited about what this partnership means for our season ticket holders, donors, students, and campus community.”

OVG has several other successful partnerships in the Big 12 and college athletics, and will look to transform the Gateway District and David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium into a destination for events through their emphasis on stadium and conference center bookings. The group will work closely with Jayhawk Hospitality, the KU office that currently manages full-service events and conference rentals on campus, to book events that draw tourism to Lawrence that benefit campus and community partners.

“The Gateway District represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform our campus in a way that benefits students, faculty, staff and the broader region,” said Chancellor Douglas A. Girod. “In particular, this project will create a new gathering place for our campus community, enable us to host conferences and events, and provide Kansas Football the facilities it needs to compete at the highest level. We are excited to be partnering with OVG to move this project forward.”

Beyond the Gateway District, OVG will have a major impact on all KU gameday experiences with its industry-leading food and beverage services being incorporated into all athletic venues, providing fans and guests with high-quality options, while making it a priority to work with partners on a variety of items that will reflect the local culture.

“We are excited to partner with one of the most respected college athletic programs in the nation,” said Chris Granger, President, OVG360. “We look forward to collaborating with the University of Kansas in setting a new standard that redefines the game-day experience for Jayhawk fans. Our joint dedication to culinary excellence and community impact will be showcased through elevated food & beverage offerings, an array of special events, world-class premium hospitality, and thoughtful local partnerships. We are honored and humbled to be a part of the Jayhawk family, and ready to get to work.”

Leveraging its experience as the premier venue management company and largest developer of live event venues in the world, OVG will assist KU in the development of the transformative Gateway District – the future home of Kansas Football and convention center events and conferences in the future. The partnership between the University of Kansas and Oak View Group represents a commitment to excellence and innovation in sports and entertainment, benefiting fans, the community, and campus partners.

About Oak View Group (OVG)

Oak View Group (OVG) is the global leader in live experience venue development, management, premium hospitality services, and 360-degree solutions for a collection of world-class owned venues and a client roster of arenas, convention centers, music festivals, performing arts centers, and cultural institutions. Founded by Tim Leiweke and Irving Azoff in 2015, OVG is the leading developer of major new venues either open or under development across four continents. Visit OakViewGroup.com, and follow OVG on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and X.

About Kansas Athletics

Kansas Athletics is a not for profit corporation which was organized in 1925 to foster development of intercollegiate athletics in conjunction with the educational activities of the University of Kansas. Kansas Athletics operates the varsity intercollegiate athletic programs (18 men’s and women’s intercollegiate teams) of the University of Kansas in facilities owned by the State of Kansas. A major comprehensive research and teaching university with an enrollment of approximately 27,000, the University provides outstanding excellence in education and research. Kansas Athletics is an Equal Opportunity Employer.