Operations at Mayo Civic Center

This is the request for proposals to evaluate operations at the Mayo Civic Center.  We have a pretty good staff out there, but we also have a pretty old building in need of some repairs and rejuvenation.  It only makes sense as we move toward rehabbing and expanding the facility that we ensure our operations is the best it can be.  I personally have a few concerns, and I know there are community members with additional concerns.

Here is the entire Request For Proposal (RFP), unedited.  Not quite sure what a “pubically” owned civic and convention center is though…


The City of Rochester invites qualified firms to submit proposals for a management and operation assessment of the Mayo Civic Center. This assessment is being undertaken in anticipation of a major expansion program for the Center. We are seeking the services of a firm that possesses a high degree of technical competency and an in depth understanding of the day to day operation, management and marketing of publically owned civic and convention center facilities.

ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE: The Mayo Civic Center (MCC) is a multi-use entertainment, sports, trade show and convention facility operated as a division of the Rochester Park and Recreation Department and reports to the Board of Park Commissioners. The Park Board has appointed an Advisory Committee (made up of facility users and stakeholders) to “Advise the Board on Mayo Civic Center’s goals, utilization of facilities, services and long range planning.”

The City of Rochester is proposing a $75M, 180,000 square foot addition to the MCC to expand the convention center space in addition to renovating and upgrading parts of the existing facility.

Rochester, Minnesota is a center for medicine, technology and biosciences and is an international health care destination. We are Minnesota’s fastest growing community. In addition to Mayo Clinic, the City’s employers include a variety of high-tech companies, from a major IBM plant on the City’s northwestern edge to medium-sized and small-sized producers of computer hardware and software and agri-businesses. The City offers over 5,000 hotel rooms. Mayo Civic Center is connected to downtown Rochester and the Mayo Clinic Campus by a climate controlled pedestrian subway and skyway system. Downtown is served by over 5,100 parking spaces.


Conduct a comprehensive operation and management assessment for the Mayo Civic Center to include the following tasks:

2.1 Review the current organizational structure and staffing levels. Identify the optimal mix to obtain the most efficient and effective management of the MCC. This review should be based on the operation of the current facility and an analysis of the future organizational structure and future staffing needs for an expanded facility.

• Evaluate staffing model
• Identify additional employees that may need to be added for the expansion
• Evaluate current use of part-time staff
• Evaluate use of outside service providers
• Recommendation(s) for change and improvement

2.2 Identify the Mayo Civic Center’s current market and future markets for expansion considering the following related to the market area. What are the:

• Strengths
• Weaknesses
• Opportunities
• Threats

2.3 Budget/Management – Evaluate MCC finances, assuring that the MCC’s financial management practices are meeting the objectives of a high performing Civic Center when it comes to its policies and practices related to the following:

• Operational Budgets – expense and revenue forecasting
• Identifying fixed and variable expenses (ex. – Utilities)
• Maximizing revenue opportunities
• Price structure
• Industry benchmarks related to financial performance, revenue generated, and tax support required

2.4 Sales and Marketing – Evaluate the working relationship between the MCC, the Rochester Convention and Visitors Bureau (RCVB) and the Hospitality partners which share sales and marketing responsibilities for the MCC. Consider the following components: Are the sales and marketing efforts of the MCC, RCVB and its partners designed to meet the objectives of a high performing Civic Center when it comes to the following:

• Meeting current short term and long term (post expansion) sales goals
• Pricing strategies
• Advertising and sponsorship programs
• Sales incentive commissions relating to RCVB
• RCVB dedicated sales and marketing budgets
• Marketing strategy – plans and procedures, defining roles between MCC/RCVB
• Understanding of rental policies and agreements
• Authority to commit dates and rates
• Coordination with RCVB/Hotels

2.5 Operations/Physical Plant – Review the MCC operations and physical plant, assuring that they are operated in the most effective and efficient manner related to the following components:

• Is the right equipment available to accommodate sports, conventions, trade shows, entertainment/concerts and the proper amenities to generate revenue
• Box office and ticketing operation

2.6 Stakeholder Relations As They Affect Bookings – Evaluate the relationships with stakeholders assuring that they are making a positive impact on the bookings of the MCC? Relationships to review include those with the following:

• Convention & Visitors Bureau
• Chamber of Commerce
• Facility users, show organizers and promoters

2.7 Food and Beverage/Concessions & Catering – Determine if the following areas are being used to maximize the benefits to customers and generate revenue for the MCC?

• Point of sale system
• Sales and marketing program
• Open catering policy
• Available equipment
• Menus and pricing
• Availability of portable stands
• Staffing and customer service

2.8 Event Management and Exhibitor Services – Is the MCC managing its events and exhibitor services in the most effective and efficient manner in relation to the following areas:

• Staffing for events
• Relationship with customers and users
• Systems of communications
• Customer service/client satisfaction
• A/V contractor relations and coordination
• Electrical and telecom services
• Labor issues
• Rigging capabilities

2.9 Benchmarking – Complete a benchmarking study to identify and evaluate the MCC in relation to other comparable facilities. What are the leading benchmarks used for Civic Centers in the nation? How does the MCC stand when evaluated alongside its peer centers? What are the industry trends the City should prepare for?

3.0 Deliverables

3.1 Provide the City with a written and electronic report detailing the work performed as well as recommendations to address any issues and findings resulting from the operational review. The report shall be accepted by the City Administrator and City Council.

3.2 The successful Proposer(s) shall be available to present findings to the City organization including City Administration, the Rochester City Council, the Board of Park Commissioners and its MCC Advisory Committee, and the Mayo Civic Center’s staff.

Event: Date
Request for Proposals issued by City 3/23/12
Deadline for receipt of written questions 4/16/12
City responses issued 4/20/12
Proposals due – 5:00 p.m. 4/27/12
Short list for interviews 5/11/12
Interviews 5/21–25/12
Negotiations with selected proposer 5/28–6/1/12
Recommendation to Park Board & Approval by City Council 6/5 & 6/18/12
Start Work 6/19/12

The above dates are subject to modification.


5.1 Format and Completeness. Each proposal shall be submitted in the requested format and provide all pertinent information, including but not limited to information relating to capability, experience, management structure and key personnel, and other information as required in this RFP.

5.2 Costs. Any costs incurred by proposers in responding to this RFP shall be the proposer’s sole expense and will not be reimbursed by the City.

5.3 Interpretation. Requests for interpretation or clarification of this RFP should be made by e-mail by the date established in the Schedule of Events. The City will review the request and prepare a response which will be furnished electronically to all proposers.


6.1 All proposals and other communications should be addressed as follows:

Ron Bastian
Director, Parks and Recreation
City of Rochester
201 4th Street SE, Rochester, MN 55904

6.2 Format. Please provide one unbound original and five (5) copies of your proposal, plus one copy in a digital format. For ease of review, proposals should contain a table of contents and should have consecutively numbered pages. Proposals should be limited to a maximum 25 sheets not including cover letter, table of contents or dividers.

6.3 Deadline. Proposals must be received by the City at the address listed by April 27, 2012 no later than 5:00 p.m.


7.1 Project Understanding. Provide a brief summary of your understanding of the work to be performed. Include your assumption on the number of trips to Rochester for meetings with staff and for presentations.

7.2 Experience, Personnel and Workload

(1) Outline your team’s relevant experience in the operation and management of civic and convention centers similar in size, market area and complexity to Mayo Civic Center. Include contact information for client references.

(2) Describe your proposed organizational framework illustrating how it will provide a logical division of responsibility and a clear line of authority in order to achieve a project that can be completed on schedule and within budget.

a. Identify the proposed team members including sub-consultants, if any, along with information regarding education, experience and past experience working as a team.

b. Identify the person who will have primary day to day responsibility for this project and outline the qualities this individual possesses that will help ensure the successful completion of this project.

(3) Identify your current workload and capability/commitment to complete the requested Scope of Services in accordance with the project schedule.

7.3 Work Plan and Technical Approach. Outline how your firm intends to provide the services requested in this RFP. Information shall include but not be limited to the following information:

(1) Project schedule from project initiation through presentation and final report.

(2) A staffing spreadsheet identifying specific tasks and hours allocated among the principal staff assigned to this project.

(3) Management mechanisms/techniques used to facilitate decision-making, team building and adherence to scheduling.

8.0 FEES

In a separate sealed envelope, attached to and delivered with your proposal, provide one copy of an estimate of your fees for the requested scope of services.

8.1 Provide an estimate of your fee, stated as a fixed dollar amount, for the scope of services outlined in the RFP. As a separate line item, include an estimate of your reimbursable expenses, broken down into major cost categories.


The evaluation of proposals will be based on qualifications, demonstrated competence, technical response to the RFP, and estimated fees. A contract will be negotiated with the firm judged to be most outstanding in meeting our overall objectives for the project while providing the best value to the City of Rochester. Evaluation of the proposals will consist of the factors specified below:

9.1 General Quality and Responsiveness of the Proposal

Total Possible: 15 points

Completeness and thoroughness of the proposal will be evaluated on the following factors:

(a) Recognition of overall concept and objectives.
(b) Responsiveness to requirements, terms and conditions.

9.2 Work Plan and Technical Approach

Total Point Possible: 35 points

(a) Project schedule shows specific tasks, milestones, and deliverables and conforms to the City’s schedule requirements.
(b) Quality, detail, logic and proposed levels of effort indicated in the staffing spreadsheet.
(c) Sufficiency of management mechanisms/techniques to facilitate the delivery of services.

9.3 Experience and Organizational Relationships

Total Points Possible: 50 points

(a) Experience in civic/convention center management and operations for facilities similar in size and scope of the proposed study.
(b) Clarity and logic of the proposed organizational framework.

(i) Experience of the proposed project team members including, education, experience and past experience working as a team.
(ii) Experience and qualifications of the individual who will have primary responsibility for this project.

(c) Impact of your firm’s current workload on your ability to undertake the project.


The City reserves the sole right to evaluate and select the successful proposal. A Review Committee will evaluate all proposals in accordance with the criteria set forth above. The Committee will score the proposals to develop a short list of qualified firms. The City will invite short-listed firms to make an oral presentation to the Committee.

Following presentations, the highest-rated firm will be invited to negotiate the final scope of work, schedule and fees with the City. If negotiations with the highest rated proposal are not successful, the City will negotiate with the next best-qualified firm.


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