Records, losses seen in city entertainment venues | News, Sports, Jobs

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Correspondent file photo / Bob Jadloski
Fans gather at the Youngstown Foundation Amphitheatre on July 29 to hear Kid Rock, Lee Brice and Buckcherry.

YOUNGSTOWN — Despite 20,000 people in attendance at the Y-Live concert, the city-owned Covelli Centre, Youngstown Foundation Amphitheatre and Wean Park had a $30,166 operating loss for the third quarter.

But the July 29 concert featuring Kid Rock, Lee Brice and Buckcherry at Wean Park generated about $90,000 for the city from a 5.5 percent admission tax on tickets.

Overall, the admission tax for the third quarter was $122,439, said city Finance Director Kyle Miasek.

That is the second-highest admission tax for any one quarter, said Eric Ryan, president of JAC Management Group, which operates the entertainment facilities for the city.

While the Y-Live event was the biggest show this year — as it was in 2022 when Luke Bryan headlined — it “costs a tremendous amount of money to produce it,” Ryan said.

The plan for next year, Ryan said, is to “expand Y-Live to a multi-day event.”

While there were concerts, primarily at the amphitheater, during the third quarter, Ryan said: “We just didn’t have enough big moneymaking events. The money-generating events, we fell short.”

The facilities were budgeted to have a $97,133 operating surplus in the third quarter.

On the flip side, the facilities had a $15,847 operating surplus in the second quarter when it was projected to lose $156,777.

“We had a lot of events at the amp in the second quarter when our budget was to lose a lot and we did a lot better,” Ryan said.

Thanks to a record-setting first quarter, the facilities have a $368,269 operating surplus during the first nine months of the year. They were budgeted to have a $110,609 surplus during the first three quarters of the year.

“Ultimately we’re still in great shape for the year,” Ryan said. “The admissions tax is growing for the city and we’re happy with where we are. We’ll end the year great.”

The city has collected $269,757 in admission tax through the first nine months of the year.

The facilities are budgeted to have an operating surplus of about $104,000 for the fourth quarter, Ryan said.

“I don’t know if we’ll exactly get there, but we’ll be in the money,” he said.

The largest surplus was $485,234 in 2008 when the city had only the Covelli Centre.

The surplus has exceeded $400,000 two other times: $435,183 in 2016 and $412,684 in 2019.

The center was built in 2005. The amphitheater and park opened in 2019.

“The expectation is the fourth quarter will add to the overall profit, which is exciting,” Miasek said. “We’ll have a very strong 2023, which bodes well for 2024.”

The city borrowed $11.9 million in 2005 to pay its portion of building the $45 million center. Most of the funding came from two federal grants.

The city owes $1.7 million on that loan and will pay it in full in January, Miasek said.

The city paid only interest until its first principal payment in 2011. It made $1.7 million principal payments in both 2022 and this year.

Youngstown also borrowed $4 million in 2018 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to pay for the $8 million amphitheater and park, which opened a year later. The rest of the money came from naming-rights deals.

The city is repaying that loan over 20 years.

Third quarter finances

Here are the third quarter operating losses and surpluses for the Youngstown-owned Covelli Centre, Youngstown Foundation Amphitheatre and Wean Park. The center opened in October 2005 while the amphitheater opened in June 2019 and the park later in 2019.

2006: $253,998 loss

2007: $220,938 loss

2008: $141,775 loss

2009: $67,177 loss

2010: $56,294 loss

2011: $35,320 surplus

2012: $36,814 loss

2013: $1,221 loss

2014: $83,111 loss

2015: $3,658 surplus

2016: $4,040 surplus

2017: $18,739 loss

2018: $135,802 loss

2019: $115,558 loss

2020: $3,565 loss

2021: $128,294 surplus

2022: $144,279 surplus

2023: $30,166 loss

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