SBJ/July 21 - 27, 2003/Facilities

Miami picks Boston Concessions

Boston Concessions, already providing temporary food service at Orange Bowl Stadium in Miami, will be selected as the concessionaire on a permanent basis pending City Commission approval Thursday.

The Boston-based company is established in the South Florida market at Pro Player Stadium in Miami and Office Depot Center in Sunrise. The Orange Bowl was a $2 million account in 2002 under previous concessionaire Catering by David Lynn.

Boston Concessions has been in the building since late May after fulfilling an "emergency bid" and signing a three-month contract to work the 2003 Gold Cup Soccer Championship, a tournament with international teams, said Sal Ferrulo, the firm's regional vice president.

The city terminated its agreement with locally based Catering by David Lynn after six years at the Orange Bowl, said Christina Abrams, the city's director of public facilities.

"They had horrible service, terrible products and owed the city money, about $300,000," she said. "We went through the emergency bid so we could vacate them. Because we're a public body, we had to go through a formal bidding process."

Richard Lynn, co-owner of Catering by David Lynn, confirmed that the city was not satisfied with the company's service and that the company is in arrears with the city. He would not comment further.

As for the permanent contract, Boston Concessions will sign a seven-year commitment, three years with two two-year options, and pay the city an average of 47 percent of revenue. Catering by David Lynn paid 33 percent on average.

Under the new terms, the city receives 50 percent of beer sales. Last year, beer sales were $1,209,790, and the city received 35 percent of the total beverage gross. The new contract has separate categories for alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

The primary tenant, the University of Miami, has the right to select a caterer for premium food at its football games once 24 luxury suites open as planned in 2004.

Sportservice, Sodexho and Levy Restaurants were other bidders for the permanent contract. Levy also has a market presence at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami.

In 2002, Orange Bowl Stadium grossed $2,167,121 in concessions, according to the request for proposals posted online. The city's net income for food and beverage was $804,720.

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