A five-year contract with Delaware North Sportservice Inc. to take over concessions at Qualcomm Stadium was approved Monday by the San Diego City Council.
The agreement includes a $6 million investment to upgrade concession areas, clubs, restaurants and kitchen equipment. City Real Estate Assets Director Cybele Thompson said $1 million of the work will be performed over the next six months.
A contract for the stadium’s long-standing concessionaire, Centerplate, expired in February. A committee of city executives chose Delaware North over three other bidders, including the incumbent.
Delaware North currently operates concession booths at Petco Park.
“Anybody who has visited Petco Park and Qualcomm Stadium has seen the differences in food options and beverage options,” Councilwoman Lorie Zapf said.
At a committee hearing earlier this month, some council members expressed concerns over Delaware North’s plans to interview Centerplate’s employees at the stadium instead of hiring them directly. The company had only promised to keep the workers — some of whom have worked the concession stands for a couple decades — for 90 days.
However, Thompson said Delaware North and a union representing the workers subsequently reached a deal, and former Centerplate employees will be retained without interviews. The company and union also began collective bargaining for a long-term agreement, she said.
The deal with Delaware North would be renegotiated if the Chargers leave, and the city would have to reimburse the firm for some of the initial $1 million capital outlay.
The proposal passed the council on an 8-1 vote. Councilman Todd Gloria said he was concerned about the contract’s potential impact on plans to build a new football stadium in Mission Valley, and that the item was rushed to the council without a full vetting.