U.S. Cellular Center issues open call for volunteer concession groups

With support from the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority and additional proceeds from a naming rights agreement with U.S. Cellular, the City of Asheville began executing a master plan of improvements to the facility in 2010. These renovations included expanding the Thomas Wolfe lobby, updating Arena seating, new scoreboards and electronic displays, sound and lighting improvements, and general interior refurbishing.

Asheville’s U.S. Cellular Center is currently accepting applications from qualified volunteer groups to assist in the concessions operations when needed at the U.S. Cellular Center.


Recruitment process

Applications must be submitted via email to Brian Candler, Food & Beverage Manager at bcandler@ashevillenc.gov or dropped off at the U.S. Cellular Center box office between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Tuesday – Friday by 5 p.m. September 1.

Questions must be submitted to Brian Candler via email by 3 p.m.  August 23.  Answers to all questions will be compiled and sent to all interested groups by 5 p.m. August 25.

Applications can be found here.


U.S. Cellular Center
concessions volunteer program goals

  • The primary goal:  Supplement paid part time and temporary/seasonal staffing for large events held at the facility.  Due to the infrequency of events requiring large numbers of staff, the center struggles to retain enough staff on payroll to fulfill all needs for a large arena concert or special event.  In the case of these large events, the center offers the opportunity for volunteer groups to work in concession stands as a fundraising opportunity.
  • The secondary goal:  Provide local volunteer groups with the opportunity to raise funds for their given organization.


Potential group earnings annually

Volunteer groups working with the U.S. Cellular Center will earn percentages of sales on a commission basis while volunteering with the facility.  Groups will earn 10% of gross food and nonalcoholic beverage sales and 5% of gross alcoholic beverage sales.  In 2014, staff researched statistics of the program’s previous 5 years.

In Fiscal Year 2016, the average group earned $900 per event worked, with the U.S. Cellular Center helping our groups raise a total of over $58,000 throughout the year.  Lowest group earnings for a given event was $250 and the highest was $6,024. Volunteer groups covered a total of 64 event shifts throughout the year.

In Fiscal Year 2017, the average group earned $980 per event worked, with the U.S. Cellular Center helping our groups raise a total of over $81,000 throughout the year. Lowest group earnings for a given event was $250 and the highest was $8,184. Volunteer groups covered a total of 69 event shifts throughout the year.

If a given event’s sales do not dictate a commission amount of greater than $250, the U.S. Cellular Center will provide a minimum commission of $250 for said event.

As a group becomes more experienced it can be expected that earnings will increase as experience typically breeds efficiency which in turn breeds increased sales volume and therefore increases commission amounts.

The above earnings averages include cash donations. Groups working in concession stand locations or at portable bars may place donation jars on the counter tops. This jars must be plastic and must clearly state that all donated funds are to be given directly to the group.


Scheduling expectations

Groups can expect on average to be requested to work 8 event shifts annually dependent on event schedule.  Total need for staffing levels in the facility is dictated by total ticket sales or expected sales leading into a given event.  There will be times that ticket sales in the last week prior to an event will require the addition of a volunteer group. When this occurs groups may be asked to work an event with less than 5 days notice. U.S. Cellular Center Food & Beverage staff commits to request volunteer groups for events with as much advance notice as possible, but short lead times prior to events may occur.

Upon signing up for the program, each group recognizes the below highlight events in which the group will be needed.


Event name Typical annual timeframe
Warren Haynes Christmas Jam Second weekend in December
Southern Conference Basketball Championships First full weekend in March (5 day event)
Concert(s) Halloween weekend
Concert(s) New Year’s Eve and December 30
Concert(s) Third full weekend in February


Scheduling will be handled by the facility’s Food & Beverage Manager or designee and will be handled over email and phone. There is no guarantee of a minimum number of shifts or earnings that a given group will receive annually.


For more information about upcoming events, including a full list of announced events at the U.S. Cellular Center Asheville, please visit USCellularCenterAsheville.com.