SANTA CLARA -- You can smell the garlic fries and beer now: The San Francisco 49ers and Santa Clara leaders have struck a $7 million-a-year deal with a major sports concessions company to sell food, drinks and souvenirs at the new stadium.
The contract with Centerplate, which operates concession stands at Candlestick and AT&T parks, will represent one of the biggest ongoing sources of revenue and jobs at the stadium once it opens in 2014. City officials expect to endorse the agreement on Tuesday.
It's not yet clear what goodies will be sold at the 750 concession stands at the stadium, as corporations are bidding on the exclusive rights to sell their beers, sodas, snacks and the like. But the 60-page agreement includes such provisions as celebrity chef meals in suites, a guarantee that all food ordered at stands be ready within 60 seconds and up to eight spots for local restaurants to sell food.
Stamford, Conn.-based Centerplate will provide $1 million toward construction of the $1.2 billion stadium, which began in April. The overall project budget includes up to $28 million to set up the concession stands.
The 49ers will rake in 55 percent of gameday concession and merchandise sales, or at least $6.8 million per year, during the five-year contract, which can be extended an additional decade. Centerplate also must give the team $75,000 to $125,000 for each NFC home playoff game and provide the Santa Clara Stadium Authority, the public agency planning the project, 40-48 percent commission during concerts and other events.
Al Guido, who is leading the 49ers seat sales campaign, said the Niners have visited ballparks, stadiums and arenas around the country to research how other pro sports teams feed their fans.
"We're limited right now at Candlestick just from an infrastructure standpoint with kitchen space and what can be cooked there," Guido said. "I think we have major benefits in the new building with how we can serve and service all our customers as it relates to food and beverage."
Centerplate must hire roughly 1,600 employees to work the typical NFL game. They must have at least one worker selling drinks for every 1,000 fans in the lower area of the 68,500-seat stadium, and at least one employee for every two suites.
"For the new stadium, we're developing a menu filled with local favorites, regional flavors, and world-class hospitality, all done in partnership with top local chefs, suppliers and purveyors," Greg Fender, senior vice president of Centerplate, said in a statement.
Centerplate was picked as the likely concessionaire a year ago, allowing the firm to research food and drink options and negotiate terms with the 49ers. The firm is the concessionaire for 250 venues and events, including 10 NFL teams and the Cow Palace.
Contact Mike Rosenberg at 408-920-5705. Follow him at twitter.com/rosenberg17.