Today the Beacon RFP for arena management was made public and is posted on the city’s website at http://www.glendaleaz.com/purchasing/bidopportunities.cfm. You can read the entire document for yourself.
One of the most important elements of the RFP is the duties of the manager. There is one that is the most telling and confirms that the new manager perhaps may not be the owner of a team/anchor tenant, “Act as agent for the City in executing the operational requirements of any license/lease agreements with professional sports team(s) and/or anchor tenant(s) (i.e. manage day of game activities and interact with the sports teams regarding use of the Arena).” As you can see, the city is seeking an entity to be its agent in dealing with any sports team that wishes to use the arena.
This manager would be responsible for booking all events, be a party to all marketing efforts and have control over the concessions.
In terms of qualifications, the manager must be a nationally recognized company (this banishes the very thought of the Phoenix Monarch Group forever); have three years experience in managing a facility with an NBA or NHL team; and “The Manager must have current experience in operating such a facility on behalf of a public entity, such as the City of Glendale.” Two entities immediately come to mind: AEG, which is managing the arena now for the NHL or Global Spectrum, which manages the University of Phoenix Stadium for the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority (AZSTA).
The preferred term of the arena manager contract is 5 years with 2 options to renew for additional 5 year terms. It is up to the prospective candidate to bid on the cost the city would pay for such management. It is clearly understood that it contains an “at-risk” provision meaning any losses would be borne by the manager. The city is also asking for an alternative compensation plan that would enhance revenues that the city gets. The city is also asking that the arena manager plan to invest in the arena, “State the amount of a proposed investment in the Arena that the respondent Manager is willing to provide (please review the Proposed Additions and Capital Repairs Schedule for the Fiscal Year ending June 30, 2014 for further details). Describe any restrictions/repayment requirements on any such investment. Also, describe any additional fees, restrictions, or incentives that may apply to any investment.”
The evaluation criteria are as follows:
- Business/Marketing/Transition plan worth 30%
- Compensation price worth 30%
- Experience and organizational structure worth 15%
- Personnel worth 10%
- Investment worth 10%
- References worth 5%
All responses are due no later than May 24, 2013 at 5 pm EDT. But perhaps the most interesting element of the proposal is, “INQUIRIES OR OTHER CONTACT WITH ANY OFFICER, AGENT, OR EMPLOYEE OF THE CITY OF GLENDALE REGARDING THE ARENA AND/OR THIS REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL, INCLUDING CONTACT BY PROPOSER’S CONTRACTORS, AGENTS, REPRESENTATIVES AND CONSULTANTS, COULD RESULT IN A PROPOSAL BEING DISQUALIFIED.” The very first question that occurs is why is Mayor Weiers scheduled to meet with Pastor and his group on Friday, April 19th? Either Pastor has no intention of managing the arena or he is not aware that such a meeting could disqualify him.
Well, there you have it. The RFP is pretty much what we expected it to be. Although at this point, Beacon and the RFP seem to have no relevance in an owner’s attempt to acquire the team. The NHL has staked out that territory and will let the city know whom it has chosen. With city council still holding fast to the notion of a $6M annual management fee to any prospective owner I dare say when they see current average annual revenues of $6M and current annual expenses of $12M, they may very well say Hmmmm.
Expect more commentary on this RFP after you and I have had more time to digest it. I thought it important to made public as quickly as possible so that it receives the widest public scrutiny and commentary as possible.