VINDY EXCLUSIVE | Covelli Centre ends 2018 with $256K operating surplus

Published: Thu, March 14, 2019 @ 12:04 a.m.

Covelli Centre ends 2018 with surplus

Director lauds rebound from ’17

By David Skolnick


The Covelli Centre finished 2018 with a $256,818 operating surplus – rebounding from a weak 2017.

“We’re satisfied with the numbers and looking to build on that in ’19,” said Eric Ryan, the center’s executive director. “We’re happy with it. We’re back on our feet after a down 2017.”

The facility also generated $231,467 for the city from a 5.5 percent admission tax on tickets sold for events there last year.

It is the 10th-straight year the center had an annual operating surplus after losing money during its first three years.

It’s an improvement from a $2,247 operating surplus in 2017.

But it wasn’t as strong as prior years. In 2014, for example, the operating surplus was $485,234. It was $372,954 in 2015 and $435,183 in 2016.

Also, the 2018 operating surplus of $256,818 is less than the $285,071 it was budgeted to make for the year.

Ryan said the center missed its budget target because of a few issues.

Construction of a riverfront park and amphitheater near the center took away about 500 parking spots, he said. That resulted in parking profits to be about $26,000 less than budgeted for 2018.

Also, Ryan said, two major concerts – Shinedown and TobyMac – that were planned for the last quarter of 2018 ended up happening in the first quarter of this year. Both were sold out, he said.

“Even with that, we were pretty close to budget,” Ryan said. “And we expect 2019 to be better than 2018.”

In 2018, the center had 87 shows and events with nearly 220,000 people in attendance. That included concerts by Keith Urban, Luke Combs, Sugarland, John Fogerty with ZZ Top, Judas Priest and Earth, Wind & Fire, as well as Cirque du Soleil shows.

The center’s community room hosted about 110 events last year.

The city borrowed $11.9 million in 2005 to pay its portion of building the $45 million center.

The city still owes $8.36 million in principal after making an $800,000 payment on it last year.

It paid nothing in principal until 2011 and has increased its annual payment.

It will pay $900,000 toward the principal this year, said Kyle Miasek, the city’s interim finance director.

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