Rays Sue Former Concessionaire Centerplate For Harming Team's Reputation
The Rays on Friday sued Centerplate for "breach of contract in federal court," alleging the company "harmed the team’s reputation, damaged its facilities and failed to pay a fair share of revenue," according to Patty Ryan of the TAMPA BAY TIMES. The lawsuit tells of inspectors and consultants "finding black mold, live insects, poor hand-washing, billing issues, reporting errors, high costs, profit-sharing failures, unusual commission statements and a 'sad history of failing to fulfill its obligations to provide ‘first class’ concession services.'" Centerplate's deal expires Dec. 31, and the lawsuit does "not specify the amount of damages sought, except to note that the amount is over $75,000, the threshold for federal jurisdiction." In a statement, Centerplate said that the suit was "without merit and will be fought in court." The Rays entered into a concession agreement with Centerplate in '98, "before the first home game" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 12/9). SI.com's Dan Gartland noted the suit comes four months after Tropicana Field "finished dead last" in SI's ballpark food safety rankings. In '17, Tropicana Field was "cited for a total of 241 food safety violations, including 105 critical violations, by far the worst of the 28 ballparks analyzed." Two weeks after the SI article was published, it was reported that Centerplate’s contract would "not be renewed" (SI.com 12/8). The Rays selected Levy to take over for Centerplate beginning next season (THE DAILY).