Youngstown council balks at changing Covelli Centre food vendor

Youngstown council members want a lot more information than they received today before deciding to change the food-and-beverage vendor at the city-owned Covelli Centre.

Eric Ryan, the center’s executive director, said his company, JAC Management, wants to replace Centerplate under a new deal that could begin as early as May 1.

But council members said a decision that large shouldn’t be rushed, particularly because there isn’t a proposed contract to review and few specifics on a deal are in place.

Under the proposal, the city would pay $467,762.32 to Centerplate to buyout the remainder of its 10-year contract, which expires September 2015.

Council members said other companies should be considered for the job because JAC has no experience as a food-and-drink vendor at a facility the size of the Covelli Centre.

Also proposed today was the construction of an amphitheater behind the center at a cost of about $600,000 to $1 million.

Council members question how the city could afford such a facility.

For the complete story, read Thursday’s Vindicator and

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