Covelli food-vendor deal finalized

By David Skolnick


The city board of control finalized deals to change the city-owned Covelli Centre’s food-and-beverage vendor April 17.

Centerplate, the center’s vendor since October 2005, will receive $383,269.68, the balance of the $1.2 million it is owed for food and beverage equipment and materials it bought 61/2 years ago. The payment is due no later than April 17.

Centerplate also agreed to pay $27,334.78 to the city no later than May 1 in unpaid commissions related to money unaccounted for from an embezzlement scheme by two former Centerplate employees.

JAC Management, the center’s day-to-day management company, will take over the food-and-beverage contract from Centerplate and retain the current staff. JAC and the city have negotiated for about a year with Centerplate for the latter company’s early departure from the center.

Centerplate had a 10-year contract for the service that was to expire in September 2015.

But Centerplate agreed to break the contract if it received the money it was owed from its initial investment.

Transferring the service to JAC would increase the city’s profit by about $50,000 annually, said Anthony Donofrio, the city’s deputy law director who handled this contract.

The city received 23 percent of the center’s net food-and-beverage profit with Centerplate receiving the rest. With JAC the city’s portion increases to 29 percent.

The city’s profit was $168,554 last year and $166,549 in 2010.

The board of control approved contracts Thursday to dissolve its deal with Centerplate and to enter into an agreement with JAC. The JAC contract expires Dec. 31, 2013, with a mutual option for a five-year extension.

“We finalized the agreements, and this wraps it all up,” Donofrio said.

The April 17 expiration date is 11 days before a concert by Sugarland that is expected to be well- attended, making it a profitable date for food-and-drink sales.

JAC’s liquor license should be done in time for the April 17 transfer, Donofrio said.

The board of control includes Mayor Charles Sammarone, Finance Director David Bozanich and Law Director Anthony Farris.

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