City Council and Stadium Authority Preview – New Concessionaire for Levi’s Stadium; Convention Center Operation

By Robert Haugh

Tomorrow’s Stadium Authority and City Council meetings focus on the sports and entertainment area of the Mission City, with key discussion regarding Levi’s Stadium and the Santa Clara Convention Center.

During the Stadium Authority meeting, the Council will weigh in on approving a 12-year contract with Levy Premium Foodservice Limited Partnership for concession services at Levi’s Stadium.

The Chicago-based company owns several Michelin-star restaurants and provides concessionaire services to 17 stadiums and dozens of arenas, including Mercedes-Benz Stadium (host of the Super Bowl in 2019) and Oracle Arena in Oakland.

The contract for current concessionaire, Centerplate, expires in April 2019.

Here’s the interesting issue. ManCo submitted a letter to Interim Stadium Authority Executive Director Rajeev Batra informing him of the RFP selection process for Food and Beverage Concessionaire on August 30, 2017. The City staff report indicates that “records show that Stadium Authority staff was not assigned to provide input regarding the process for selection and the determination of selection criteria.”  So Batra received the letter and didn’t act. He left the Stadium Authority Board and City staff in the dark about the concessionaire RFP.

Levy’s proposal “represents the most advantageous proposal for the Stadium Authority,” according to the staff report.

Centerplate’s bid would have lowered stadium concession revenue by over 50 percent, from 48 percent to 20 percent for large events.

Levi's Stadium Concessions
Levy’s concessionaire bid equals the current contract of Centerplate. Centerplate’s bid would cut revenue to the Stadium Authority by over 50 percent.

The ManCo letter addressing the concessionaire contract says that, “With increased points-of-sale, a more analytical team to drive smarter decisions, and higher quality food and beverage offerings, we expect to grow SCSA F&B revenues over time.” Let’s hope ManCo is right.

Levy’s agreed to comply with the City’s worker retention ordinance and is working with Local 19 and others to try and ensure a smooth transition.

Santa Clara Convention Center

The Special Council meeting includes a study session on Convention Center operations.

Jones Lang LaSalle was hired to review the operation of the Santa Clara Convention Center and the Convention-Visitors Bureau, and provide guidance on models of operation that would maximize fiscal performance and increase business.

The consultant will provide the first part of a two-part presentation on the operation of the Convention Center, focusing on the convention industry, the competitiveness of the Convention Center and current operation.

Part two, at a later date, will include discussion regarding the future direction and priorities of convention center operation and potential investment requirements.


Tonight’s Citizens Advisory Committee meeting includes a presentation

by the City Housing Division’s Jonathan Veach on the proposed budget for federal Community Development Block Grant funds. Eleven non-profits will make presentations seeking grant funds.


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