Letters to the Editor

Shopping local

April 19, 2009


To the editor:

Shame on you, KU Athletics Department! The way I see it, your lack of support to a local concessions company (Mid-America Concessions) is forcing them out of business. It seems a South Carolina-based company will benefit. I don’t know the particulars. I’m not sure they really matter. I’m assuming this all comes down to the almighty dollar. It’s unfortunate because local people will lose jobs. In the end, the local economy suffers.

On the bright side, Lew Perkins will have an additional $750,000 he can infuse into the economy. I hope he decides to shop local.

Rischer is from Lawrence


Practicality 9 years, 2 months ago

I understand the point you are trying to make here Susan, but it seems hardly unlikely that a bunch of people from South Carolina are going to come here to work the concession stands at the games, It will still be local people working those positions.

I don't know the particulars either, but I do hope that KU at least gave Mid-America the opportunity to match the offer. If they couldn't, one can hardly blame KU for going with the better bargain, especially if it gave them a significantly better deal.

I think the city leaders could learn from KU on this. I read the other day how they made a deal with Laird Noller for their city vehicles. I believe that it is better to stay local if the prices are similar, but I also believe that Laird Noller should have to match the prices that the city could get in KC or somewhere reasonably close in order to keep the contract.

VTHawk 9 years, 2 months ago

Practicality, I agree 100%.

I would obviously prefer that KU stick local, if the prices are comparable. However, hiring a local company for no other reason than their location is nothing more than waste. Free trade (even among the Several States) is the lynchpin of our economy.

gl0ck0wn3r 9 years, 2 months ago

"The way I see it, your lack of support to a local concessions company (Mid-America Concessions) is forcing them out of business."

The way I see it is Mid-America Concessions put all their eggs in one basket - the KU contract. Getting that contract year after year with little to no competitive pricing was key to their survival. The fact that Mid-America Concessions had a poor business plan is not KU's fault.

notajayhawk 9 years, 2 months ago

"It’s unfortunate because local people will lose jobs."

As practicality has already mentioned, South Carolina is a pretty long commute. The concessions at the Truman Sports Complex just changed management companies (again). Still the same people working there, their paychecks just come from a different company.

Ken Lassman 9 years, 2 months ago

Unfortunately, neither the article nor the posters here have given us enough facts to figure out what's going on: 1) Did Mid-America truly have a poor business plan that didn't even come close to the South Carolina offer? 2) Did South Carolina low ball their bid in order to stiff the competition and then raise prices? Are there protections against that in the contract? 3) What do both companies pay their workers, and how much money simply leaves town without even stopping once here?

Lots of smoke, no idea where the fire is here.

RoeDapple 9 years, 2 months ago

Any idea what the legal ramifications are when accepting bids then taking the low bid to the preferred bidder in pursuit of matching the bid? Big NoNo! If low bidder discovers the transaction he could conceivably collect bid amount plus interest. And never set foot on campus. It would have to be proven he was unable to fulfill terms of agreement, difficult to do if the low bidder doesn't get the opportunity to set up. If local business feel they have given the best bid they can, why lose money to match someone else? The employees whose jobs were taken are qualified to apply to the new contractor for the same positions. The new contractor may be able to pick and choose from them, weed out those he doesn't want and hire more suitable replacements. Lew may have very legitimate reasons for wanting a different vendor, after all, that's why they pay him the big bucks!

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