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Because, Look, Love Field Needs More Than a Chili's and a Cold Shrimp Buffet

When we checked in with Dallas City Council's Transportation and Environment Committee on April 13, council members were having a hard time grasping the concept of competition among concessionaires at Love Field, which is due for some modernizing later than sooner. (Hence, the $4.50 passenger facility fee, upped from $3 a couple of weeks back, and Mayor Tom's visit to D.C. last week to talk municipal bonds.) The committee's tacking the issue again today in the hopes of banging out a concession plan to present to the entire council before it goes on summer break. And, once more, city staff is trying to explain to the council why competition's a "win-win-win" for passengers, the city and existing operators, as it's explained on Page 17 of today's briefing packet.

Concession space is set to double during the Love Field overhaul with an additional 15,000 square feet -- or, room enough for something other than a Chili's, some fast food joints, a Hudson's book nook, a Sunglass Hut and Antler's Bar, where they never seem to run out of iced-down shrimp. Star Concessions, which has the lock on Love, wants to keep the whole shebang to itself, to which city staff says, Unh-unh. It's asking the council call for requests for proposals from new would-be concessionaires for the new space, while also offering Star and other incumbents "similar square footage in new facility as currently occupied," along with extended lease agreements to keep 'em happy.

But one issue's sure to arise today: Existing concessionaires will not be given the first choice of location in the redone Love Field. To which city staff says, look, "incumbents will have better space than today," so deal. Between that and what's sure to be a lengthy, feisty discussion of the parking boot ordinance, this could be The Council Briefing of the Month. Book it.

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