With final preparations underway for the opening of Georgia State Stadium on Aug. 31, GeorgiaStateSports.com will go behind the scenes and look at some of the folks and departments throughout the campus that made it possible. This is the third part of a six part series.

Panther Dining Services

Although all eyes will be on the field come Thursday night for the opening game of Georgia State Stadium, the thoughts of food and drink will also be on the minds of those fans in attendance.

That thought has been on the mind of Lenore Musick and the folks in Panther Dining Services for more than a year when the challenge was offered up to provide the concessions, catering and much more for Georgia State Stadium.

With so many moving parts and a tight deadline, Panther Dining Services faced a share of challenges like everyone else associated with the project. The biggest challenge was simply getting the stands and prep areas ready to operate effectively a few weeks in advance for both the GSU Fan Fest and Corky Kell Classic.

Taking over a stadium of this size required a lot of planning months in advance – from staffing the concession stands, to repairing/replacing the kitchen equipment, preparing menus and creating a look and feel unique to each concession stand.

The group replaced parts on the fryers, installed new kitchen equipment and data ports, cleaned each stand top to bottom, and had to ensure it was feasible to serve food.

“Our team really stepped up this summer, and knowing they were just as invested in this project really made all the challenges worth it” Musick said. “Dining and Athletics have always shared a very strong partnership and I’m really excited to be a part of the stadium’s inaugural season and providing the best food and experience to our guests.”

If getting a stadium ready in a matter of months wasn’t enough, the group also acquired two retail locations at the Student Center (Panther’s Club and The Courtyard) and worked to renovate Ray’s Pizza to a full-service Chick-fil-A (opening in September).

“It has been a very busy, but extremely rewarding summer,” Musick said. “For my staff and I, it will all be worth it when the team runs out on the field Thursday night and our fans are able to enjoy a wide selection of food and drinks at our concession stands.”

“We are very excited to partner with Panther Dining on the in-game experience,” Director of Athletics Charlie Cobb said. “Lenore and her staff focus on service and quality food and we feel confident fans will appreciate their commitment as well.”  

So as you are enjoying some chicken nachos, hamburgers or one of the other many offerings, just remember the crew of nearly 100 folks who helped make it possible months before toe-hit-leather on opening night.