BALTIMORE (JTA) – A certified kosher concession stand seems unlikely at the Orioles’ stadium for the first time since the facility opened in 1993.
Kosher Sports Inc., based in New York, confirmed to the Baltimore Jewish Times this week that it will not be returning to Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The company still runs a kosher stand for the National Football League’s Baltimore Ravens at the adjacent M & T Bank Ravens Stadium.
Jonathan Katz, the founder and owner of Kosher Sports, took the Camden Yards contract in 2005.
“There’s a poorly structured deal in terms of finances,” said Katz, who operates kosher food concessions at numerous other baseball and football stadiums.
To cut costs, the Orioles’ operation was reduced last season to a cart on the third-base side from its more familiar location in left field.
Katz told Aramark, concessionaire for the Orioles and the Ravens, that the contract had to be restructured, and if that could not happen, Kosher Sports “couldn’t operate here.”
"They didn’t blink an eye," Katz said. "This is a business, and we couldn’t operate at a loss.”
Aramark General Manager Charles Tillem had a different perspective.
“He’s decided not to stay,” Tillem said. “We welcomed him back. He was a good partner.”
Unless a new caterer steps forward, the Orioles will open the season without a certified kosher concession stand.