RFP - Operation and Management of the Blue Cross Arena at the War Memorial

Agency: City of Rochester
State: New York
Type of Government: State & Local
NAICS Category:
  • 541611 - Administrative Management and General Management Consulting Services
Posted Date: Apr 2, 2024
Due Date: May 17, 2024
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RFP - Operation and Management of the Blue Cross Arena at the War Memorial

The City of Rochester, New York (the “City”) is seeking proposals from qualified Venue Managers (“Manager(s)”) to provide sales, marketing, operations, and maintenance services for the Blue Cross Arena at the War Memorial (the “Arena”).

The intent of this RFP is to identify and select a Manager that is qualified and capable of managing the Arena on behalf of the City. Managers responding to this RFP must be prepared to undertake, in the most efficient manner possible, all aspects of management (e.g., sales, marketing, operations, maintenance, etc.) of the Arena. Respondents are expected to meet or exceed the minimum qualifications set forth in this RFP. The City is seeking to have a Manager assume full operating responsibilities of the Arena no later than October 15, 2024.

Click here to view the RFP and attachments .

Communications

All communications by parties who have indicated an intent to submit or have submitted a proposal in response to this RFP (“Respondents”), including any questions or requests for clarifications, submission of the proposal, requests for status updates about the proposal selection process and any other inquiries whatsoever concerning this RFP shall be sent, in writing, to the following City staff person (“City Contact”):

Brian Liberti, Director of Buildings and Parks
City of Rochester
965 Maple Street
Rochester, NY 14611
Telephone: 585 428-6971
Fax: 585 428-7204
Email: Brian.Liberti@cityofrochester.gov

No contact is permitted with any other City staff member with regard to this RFP during the RFP process unless specifically authorized in writing. Prohibited contact may be grounds for disqualification.

Key Dates
  • RFP release: April 2, 2024
  • Deadline for questions: May 1, 2024, at 5:00 p.m.
  • Responses to submitted questions: Continuous through May 8, 2024
  • Proposals due: May 17, 2024, at 4:00 p.m.
  • Award notification: August 21, 2024, at 12:00 p.m.

The dates above may be subject to change within the City of Rochester’s sole discretion and upon written notification as set forth herein. See the full RFP for additional activities and associated times/dates.

Attachment Preview

Issued by: City of Rochester, New York
Date Issued: April 2, 2024
Submission Deadline May 17, 2024 4:00 pm EST
OPERATION and MANAGEMENT
of the BLUE CROSS ARENA
at the WAR MEMORIAL
City of Rochester
Department of Environmental Services
City Hall Room 300B • 30 Church Street
Rochester, New York 14614
City of Rochester
Request for Proposals
OPERATION AND MANAGEMENT of the
BLUE CROSS ARENA at the WAR MEMORIAL
City Building ID No. 9.39
1 War Memorial Square, Rochester, NY 14614
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Purpose . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Description of Facility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Duties of the Manager . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Proposal Submission and Process
Minimum Requirements / Qualifications for Managers . . . . . . . . . .
Tour of Arena . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
RFP Submission Deadline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Point of Contact . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Schedule of Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Required Information to be Provided by Respondents . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Proposal Checklist . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Proposal Review and Selection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Rights Reserved . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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Attachments:
A. Bergmann MEP Conditions Assessment Blue Cross Arena, 2019
B. Johnson Consulting Economic Analysis of the War Memorial at the Blue
Cross Arena, 2015
C. City of Rochester Professional Services Agreement, template
D. 2023-24 Fiscal Year list of events to-date/public knowledge at the Arena as of
February 25, 2024
PURPOSE
,
The City of Rochester, New York (the “City”) is seeking proposals from qualified Venue Managers
(“Manager(s)”) to provide sales, marketing, operational, and maintenance services for the Blue Cross
Arena at the War Memorial (the “Arena”).
Managers responding to this RFP must be prepared to undertake, in the most efficient manner
possible, all aspects of management (e.g., sales, marketing, operations, maintenance, etc.) of the
Arena. Respondents to this RFP are expected to meet or exceed the minimum qualifications set forth
in this RFP. The intent of this RFP is to identify and select a Manager that is qualified and capable of
managing the Arena on behalf of the City. The City is seeking to have a Manager assume full operating
responsibilities of the Arena no later than October 15, 2024.
DESCRIPTION OF FACILITY
The Arena is the Rochester-Finger Lakes Region’s primary sports and entertainment complex, drawing
both local and regional visitors to downtown Rochester. The multi‐purpose indoor entertainment
arena first opened in 1955. Major renovations were completed in 1998 at a cost of $41 Million. At
that time, the facility (originally known as the Rochester Community War Memorial) was renamed as
the Blue Cross Arena at the War Memorial. In 2020, a locker room and concessions area addition was
completed on the Exchange Street side. As part of the City’s ROC the Riverway initiative, $7 Million
has been secured to-date towards a riverside addition to the arena to expand the concourse level
concessions area and convert/expand the river facing suite level to an open, club seating concept.
This will allow more event patrons to access this area at an intermediate ticket price point.
The Arena is located in the central business district within close proximity of the Rochester Riverside
Convention Center, downtown hotels, and dining establishments. The building is situated on a 3.69
acre site on the west bank of the Genesee River with frontage on three major thoroughfares and easy
access to the I‐490 expressway. Ample parking is available nearby at the Court‐Exchange Parking Lot
and the Civic Center Parking Garage. The building encompasses 255,540 square feet. Additional space
is available in the full basement, which is currently used for equipment and storage but may provide
opportunities for other complementary uses. The Arena utilizes four (4) covered docks on Court
Street.
The City owns the Arena and maintains the building envelope through its Capital Improvement
Program. The City installed an exterior marquee at the main entrance of the facility in 2016 to
advertise events in the Arena and generate advertising revenue.
The Arena is currently operated by Rochester Arena LLC, a private management group specializing in
full service operation of multi‐purpose entertainment facilities. Rochester Arena LLC has managed
and operated the Arena for the City since 2019.
The major tenant is the Rochester Americans (a.k.a., the Amerks), a professional ice hockey team in
the American Hockey League (AHL). The team is an owned‐and‐operated affiliate of the Buffalo
Sabres, a National Hockey League (NHL) team. The affiliation of the two teams expands the Amerks
fan base to a regional level. The Arena is also home to the Rochester Knighthawks (National Lacrosse
League indoor lacrosse).
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In addition to professional sports, the Arena hosts New York State Public High School Athletic
Association Section V hockey and basketball competitions (including inter-sectional contests), trade
shows, and a wide variety of entertainment events, including (but not limited to) live concerts and
comedians, ice shows, and circuses. On an annual basis, it hosts an average of approximately 150
events with average attendance of nearly 4,000 per event. Seating capacity is 11,215 for hockey
games, 12,428 for shows, and 14,000 for concerts (including general admission seating). The
Veteran’s Memorial, which pays tribute to local veterans of the armed services and fallen service
members, is also located at the facility.
The City has an existing naming rights agreement in place with Excellus Blue Cross/Blue Shield
through October 31, 2028. Revenues from naming rights will not be part of the Arena management
agreement. The City also intends to retain funds collected through a ticket surcharge.
DUTIES OF THE MANAGER
The Manager selected by the City to operate the Arena will be responsible for all day-to-day
operations of the Arena. The City will set overall policy, approve all long-term contracts, and oversee
the operations of the Manager. Any Manager selected by the City will have the following duties:
a) Execute any license/lease agreements with professional sports teams/tenants (i.e., manage
day of game activities and interact with the sports teams/tenants regarding use of the Arena,
as well as other authorized users of the facility). The City reserves the right to review and
approve all tenant agreements. Assist the City in developing and implementing rules,
regulations, policies, and procedures concerning the use of the Arena. Develop forms, subject
to the approval of the City, to contract for space rental, food service provision, decorating,
utility purchases, and other event services that may be required. Advise the City as to the
establishment of prices and policies, rates, and rate schedules for space rental, lease and
booking agreements, advertising contracts, concession agreements, taxation on events, and
any other Arena commitments, which the Manager will be responsible for negotiating. Advise
the City on new or potential changes to sources of revenue, partnerships, prices, and policies
that will add to the financial success of the facility.
b) Book and promote concerts, comedic acts, family shows, athletic competitions, and other
events at the Arena and consistent with a strategy (developed by the Manager) to maximize
the number of events and income for the City. Schedule events, negotiate contracts, and
confirm event bookings. Create event promotional brochures, floor plans, maps, and other
materials used to market and provide information on the capacity and capabilities of the
Arena. Provide advertising services for the Arena events as required. Maintain the marquee
and interactive web page for event promotion and ticket sales. Provide or cause to be
provided all incidental services required in connection with concerts, comedic acts, family
shows, athletic competitions, and other events, including audience development and
promotional activities, food service, and other concessions- and ticket-related services.
Coordinate the development of the marketing plan with the Rochester Riverside Convention
Center, Visit Rochester (the local tourism promotion agency), and the hospitality industry.
Maintain a five-year marketing plan with the goal of promoting the Arena, attracting larger
events and entertainers that will bring City residents and regional and “out-of-town” visitors
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to the City and provide economic benefit to the community, including increased occupancy
of local hotel rooms. Lastly, manage ticketing services on behalf of the City for City-sponsored
events.
c) Assist the City and sports teams/tenants in the sales and marketing of
advertising/sponsorships, as well as premium seating including luxury boxes. In addition,
oversee the management of the food and beverage operations of the Arena, identifying the
optimal means for provision of these services either via a vendor or by the Manager.
d) Maintain the Arena in clean, safe, and sanitary condition consistent with the requirements of
the City and sports teams/tenants. Provide or cause to be provided all security services
required by the Arena as determined by Arena events. Security services include maintaining
a sufficient number of well-trained, courteous, and qualified security personnel in and about
the Arena, parking lot attendants, and additional personnel required for observance and to
obey all applicable laws, ordinances, regulations, and rules of the City, Monroe County, New
York State, and the Federal governments. Administer all contracts required in the ordinary
course of business in operating the Arena, including all necessary utilities and services. Ensure
that the Arena is maintained in good order and repair in a clean, safe, and sanitary condition
including (i) all HVAC, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems, as well as seating,
elevator, public address, lighting, and fire and security monitoring systems; (ii) all grounds-
keeping, housekeeping, custodial, and maintenance services; and (iii) ceilings, doors,
windows, floors and walls (both interior and exterior).
e) Maintain an adequate staff of courteous employees on duty at the Arena (during both events
and as part of normal working hours) and provide appropriate supervision of such employees.
Employees hired by the Manager shall be employees of the Manager and not of the City.
Employ or otherwise contract for its operations only those persons who by training,
appearance, and habits are judged to be appropriate workers for the atmosphere of the
Arena. The Manager shall be responsible for all personnel-related matters to include
compensation, labor relations with any trade or union, employee training and development,
contract negotiations, dispute resolutions, provision of employee uniforms and equipment,
employee hiring, job assignment, and performance and compliance with equal employment
opportunity requirements and the City’s Living Wage requirements, as set forth in Sections
8A – 18 of the Rochester City Code.
f) Make available to the City information regarding the use and operation of the Arena. Be
prepared to submit monthly, or at reasonable intervals as agreed to by the City, information
on the activities associated with the operation, management, supervision and maintenance
of the Arena. Reports shall include:
a financial analysis of the Arena operation in sufficient detail to determine profit/loss and
contributing cost centers;
a listing of previous and upcoming events including itemized attendance/ticket sales reports;
changes in management personnel;
in-house sustainability program activities with an emphasis on energy management;
operations or maintenance activities;
o preventative maintenance logs.
o repair logs (both in-house and contracted with itemized invoices).
o ongoing maintenance and routine repair records.
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