Youngstown renews Covelli food service agreement

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Youngstown renewed its food service management agreement for the Covelli Centre on Thursday.

The contract with JAC Management Group runs for three years. Under the agreement, JAC will continue to oversee the site’s operations, marketing and other professional services.

City Finance Director David Bozanich said the relationship between the city and the company is strong and the center is covering its debt service. Both Bozanich and Mayor John McNally said JAC is doing a great job under the direction of Eric Ryan.

“We brought in a bunch of big-name acts that but for his efforts wouldn’t be there. We think that on a go-forward basis that the relationship is what it should be between JAC Management and the city,” Bozanich said.

Big name acts to come to the venue have included Carrie Underwood, Disney on Ice and Elton John, who returns to the center on Saturday for another sold-out show.

Also Thursday, Bozanich said the city is putting together funding proposals for the design of an outdoor facility at the Covelli Centre. Last month, the city approved spending $90,000 to hire a firm to design the amphitheater, which Bozanich said would help draw people to the city year-round.

“It’s what people want. They want that type of activity in the summer. People don’t want to be inside watching shows. If we can compete with the Blossoms of the world and bring people to downtown Youngstown, we’re happy to do it,” Boazanich said.

Officials have said they do not want to spend any general fund money on the project. Instead, they hope grants, state funding and private donations will cover the estimated $1 million to $2 million construction costs.

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