The Chargers may abandon Qualcomm Stadium but the city’s prepared to let a food and beverage company sink $6 million into building upgrades – and taxpayers could be on the hook to pay that company back if the team leaves.
A divided City Council subcommittee voted on Wednesday to push forward a contract with food and beverage provider Delaware North that calls for the company to upgrade kitchen and food sales areas, and for the city to pay that money back if the Chargers move to Los Angeles.
City staff says that regardless of whether the team leaves, it needs to keep the stadium operational and hosting events for at least a few more years.
Councilman Todd Gloria, who voted no along with Councilman David Alvarez, ripped what he dubbed a rushed proposal.
“Unless we want to talk out of both sides of our mouths, we know that there’s a strong desire to replace (Qualcomm Stadium) and one of the main barriers to replacing that facility is that we don’t have enough money to do it. So why on earth would we try and put another $6 million in debt on the taxpayer when we’re having a hard enough time funding a new facility?” Gloria said.
The budget committee voted 3-2 to send the contract to City Council, with Council members Myrtle Cole, Mark Kersey and Scott Sherman supporting it.
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Jason Roe needs to stop moonlighting ASAP and just focus on the mayor. Or quit the mayor, then go do whatever private sector job he wants. This current arrangement has lawsuit written all over it.
I think it's a good bet that the owner has nowhere to go and that Carson is 1st class Mickey Mouse business.
RFP losers frequently grouse, but it sure sounds like the fix was in for Delaware North. When the city wants a particular vendor, it's very easy for them to work the RFP process to that goal. I agree that no questions in 90 mins is unusual, but not entirely unheard of. The nonsense about the food exhibits could just be sloppy work on the part of P&C, but I can see the mayor's business office being involved with that bit of misdirection. As for somebody getting up in the middle of a presentation and leaving, again, it is not unheard of, but it is poor behavior on the RFP team and speaks to the organizational skills of the individual Procurement Specialist acting as Ringmaster. Some are more strict than others when it comes to interruptions.
To those people who believe that the city should outsource work, here's the rub: The city cannot be trusted to properly select a vendor and manage the subsequent contract. The city routinely ends up with less service, less quality, and higher costs, and that's after spending money and staff time to perform the RFP. Not to say that every instance is bad, but there are far too many bad results compared to successful ones.
The mayor stepping into fray trying to take advantage of the Centerplate CEO's dog abuse to get PR time? Silly. Including Jason Roe in anything related to the stadium at a time when the concessions contract is up for bid? Ill-considered. The questionable RFP process? Typical.
A bad deal, a dirty deal and a strong argument for getting the City of San Diego out of the business of running a stadium.
Then there are questions about Delaware North itself. In 2005, the State awarded a contract to Delaware North to operate what had been a supremely profitable (to the State) Bazaar del Mundo, instead of Diane Powers. Revenue plummeted and DN withdrew in 2009.
Even more troubling is the secretive action by Delaware North to obtain Trademark rights to the Awhanee Hotel, Curry Village, Wawona Hotel & even the name "Yosemite National Park". This is public property, not property owned by Delaware North or any private company. Their action wasn't disclosed until a news article last fall in a Bay area newspaper broke the story. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Concessionaire-Files-Trademark-Claim-to-Popular-Spots-Ahwahnee-Hotel-Yosemite-National-Park-286774931.html Delaware North is willing to sell these trademark rights to the National Park Service (to US) for $51 million!! This is NOT a company that we need to be associated with for a publicly-owned property. The City Council must REJECT this proposed contract and not just because of the $6 million DN wants us to be on the hook to reimburse if the Chargers move from SD.
Another story about this Trademark horror story: http://www.trademarkologist.com/2015/01/yosemite-trademarks-owned-by-delaware-north/
The article failed to mention the amount of kickback dollars that Faulconer will receive from Delaware North.
There's a lot of heat in the kitchen
This rush deal is clearly a mistake and likely a straight-on ripoff and sellout of the taxpayers. More transparency is desperately needed here.
The concession "upgrades" might just be nothing but replacing current kitchen facilities. It is my understanding that when Centerplate lost the contract, all the kitchen equipment in the stadium was owned by them, and they were taking it with them.
@David Crossley That would add an interesting angle to the story. If true, it would mean an investment in kitchen facilities would be required to keep the stadium running. Do you know if that can be confirmed?
@David Crossley I wonder if Lisa Halverstadt can confirm whether or not that's true.
Thompson says it's her understanding that Delaware North has negotiated with Centerplate to buy about $300,000 in necessary operating equipment. She estimated roughly $3 million total in upgrades - which includes that equipment - will ultimately be needed to continue serving food and drinks at the stadium. The big ticket items are related to the stadium's power supply and point of sale systems.
@Lisa Halverstadt Thanks for this update, and thanks to @David Crossley for raising the issue. If I understand correctly, it sounds like the $6 million wasn't a luxury item but rather necessary costs for continued stadium operation.
If so, it looks strikingly similar to our Convention Center. All the attention is put in raising money for expansion while necessary improvements and upkeep are largely ignored.