Bojangles’ exits Joel Coliseum

Popular fast-food eatery did not renew its contract with Wake Forest’s arena

Wake Forest's Ikenna Smart (35) reacts after a basket as Duke's Cam Reddish (2) walks past during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Winston-Salem, N.C., Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

WINSTON-SALEM — Wake Forest basketball fans looking to have some Cajun chicken and biscuits while watching the Deacons play will now have to stop at a local restaurant on the way to or from the game to satisfy their cravings.

That’s because Bojangles’ is no longer available at Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

The concession stand that once sold the popular North Carolina-based brand’s products was closed during Wake’s first home game of the new year, Jan. 2 against Cornell, taking some fans by surprise.

According Wake athletics spokesman Steve Shutt, the decision to end the concessions agreement to sell Bojangles’ at the coliseum was made last fall by the local franchise owners rather than the university.

“Bojangles’ sold and their new ownership group decided not to renew the contract,” Shutt said. “They told us on Oct. 31 that they would vacate their spot at the Coliseum as of Jan. 1.”

Joel Coliseum, which opened in 1989, was purchased by Wake Forest on May 20, 2013, for $8 million. The university subsequently bought the surrounding 33 acres as part of a plan that included numerous improvements and renovations to the multipurpose arena.

Although more local vendors such as Prissy Polly’s BBQ have been added as concession options at Deacons games in recent years, a corporate spokesman for Bojangles’ said the decision not to renew the company’s contract with Wake had nothing to do with any upcoming changes at LJVMC.

“Bojangles’ products are offered through concession agreements in a number of event facilities and sports arenas across the Southeast,” Brian K. Little, Bojangles’ senior corporate communications director, said in a statement. “Our concessions agreement for the LJVM Coliseum expired in 2018, and after being in that facility for more than 10 years we simply made a business decision not to renew that particular contract.”