by Grand Forks Herald
July 25, 2011 at 3:25 pm in Grand Forks Herald
Projected loss is $271,000; finance director says money is needed to make payroll Continue Reading
Tags: Alerus Center, GF and EGF, GF City Council, gf city council finance committee, venuworks 24 Comments »
Going deep in the red…..Wow………No one saw that one coming……When there was a debate about building this money pit in the first place……Getting a lot from the many to profit the few……Same old story
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 54 9
Maybe the loyal democratic representatives from Grand Forks could get some money from the Engelstads to hold them over…
I guess it is the old “socialism” vs “capitalism” argument again.
Hot debate. What do you think? 24 27
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I am sure “Ol’ Homefield Advantage” Schneider would be happy to hit up the Engelstads for a few million….after they get all those offensive images off the REA first though…
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 17 32
This has nothing to do with any of that. My point was that the event center sounded like a money pit from the beginning. Fargo had one so naturally we had to have one too……They have better location for drawing crowds, and yet they too keep running in the red. The article points out that there’s just not that many big name performers touring up here….Duh…..Has there ever been? This isn’t really a region with the kind of crowds it takes for those kind of performers to make enough of a profit. My point is that you don’t build an events center based on a line from the movie Field Of Dreams (“If you build it they will come”). It’s all part of this history of jumping head first inot major projects without seeming to really know the area well enough. Historically there isn’t big named performers going this way too often and even when they do the people who would be the target group often either can’t or wont pay the very high costs to see these performers…..You didn’t need to pay some outside firm thousands of dollars to do a study to figure that one out….Just look at the history and adjust accordingly…..Food for thought on so many of these big ideas that keep coming up…….Seperate the wants from the needs and know those being represented before jumping in with both feet….
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 44 7
When you have a millionaire leading our city council, sometimes he needs to be reminded to take off his foggy glasses and see that not everyone in GF is as financially sound as him. He can afford to throw money at the wind; most of GF doesn’t have that luxury. But, what Hal and the good ol’ boys club want, they get. He wanted the Alerus, we got it. Now we’re stuck with it. As long as this current city council is in charge of the purse strings, it will continue to be run as it is. Look at the past 10 years, nothing is going to change. Maybe Hal should have the name changed to the Happy Harry’s Center, and he can chip in when there’s a loss at the end of the year. As it is obvious he knows how to run a profitable business for himself. I wonder if we can impeach….
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 47 4
I had heard somewhere that:
The Tim McGraw concert in May, which drew 7,500 fans and earned the events center $6,000, appeared not to have made enough of a difference.
Like or Dislike: 15 3
Maybe you heard it in the article Bubba? That is where I saw it at too. I don’t know, maybe I am just not thinking in the same way a government entity thinks or maybe I don’t completely understand the situation. However, they are projected to need $271,000 to cover expenses such as payroll for the month of August? As a small business owner I understand sometimes you spend more than you take in. It is common to have more expenses than income when you are first starting out. However, fast forward 10 plus years and if my business is still loosing serious amounts of money, I just might wanna take a look at cutting some of my expenses if I have been unable to raise revenue. I see the benefits of the Alerus Center as a business owner. When there are events, I see increased traffic. However, as a taxpayer, I have to say enough is enough. First off try to cut some expenses. Cut some high paid executive jobs. Since the banquet side of things are going well, maybe lower the cost of that to make it more affordable to the ones that might not otherwise give it a try. Even though you are lowering income, you probably might be able to make more if it allows in more bookings. Don’t try for big name concerts. We are not going to get them and our population can not support them to make them profitable. Diamond and Spears are perfect examples of big name concerts that lost the taxpayers money. Cher and Aerosmith were good examples of concerts that can make money. However, concerts such as that are far and few. Concentrate on getting more trade shows and smaller events. I have a friend that works in upper management for the Xcel Center and according to him, trade shows and the smaller events are the cash cows for them. I’m not trying to be negative about the Alerus, but after 10 years if my business was still losing money like that I wouldn’t be in business anymore.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 39 1
It was a sarcastic statement about the repeating of the two paraqgraphs in the article. I am surprised it made it through the rigorous editing process of the Herald. (That was sarcasm too.)
Like or Dislike: 11 4
Can the city cut it’s losses and sell of the building that someone else can run?
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 19 2
What moron said the Fargodome is in the red?? This must be someone from GF, who is jealous that Fargo has a PROFITABLE and NICE venue, compared with that black hole of a venue up there. When was the last time the Alerus dump took a profit? Fargodome makes a profit every year. I have plenty of research to back my claim. Where is yours tundrabeast???
Hot debate. What do you think? 18 16
First off why in the world would anyone be jelous that the dome may or may not be doing better than the the Forks event center? That would imply that I have an interest. As to your dated links…Interesting, but just a few months ago there was mention of Farg having simular problems…I might have assumed too much about that meaning they too are in the red….None the less my primary point was with those behind the Alerus having this on going competition with keeping up with Fargo on such things….Fargo got a big event center so naturally GF had to have one or lose out to Fargo….If that’s what business believes then those who stand to profit from it should be bigger investers in it and not just Forks or any city where this happens…
From today’s Fargo Forum:
Fargodome below budget projections, but expects to finish year in the black.
2010: operating loss of $46,000
2011: projected operating loss of $271,000
2010: operating surplus of $145,000
2011: projected operating surplus of $31,000
Like or Dislike: 10 3
They made a profit of $0.80 per seat?
I checked tickets for sale for Tim McGraw and the average price was $43.50 per ticket. Where did the $42.70 go? 98% went elsewhere?
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 24 1
The only real reason to hire a big management firm like VenuWorks is so that they can use all those connections they claim to have to bring profitable shows to the Alerus.
Thing is, they aren’t bringing profitable shows to the Alerus.
They claim to be able to operate for less and get favorable rates from vendors and bring in things.
Does anyone actually believe they are doing any of those for Grand Forks?
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 34 1
Not surprised, I tried to use the Alerus Center several years ago. My group (indoor soccer, during the Winter) offered them almost $10,000 to use the main arena (with turf), 40% lights, 1 employee, one entrance opened, and no more than approx. 50 people. We needed it for 3 hours per use and 10 different days throughout the Winter season. We even told them they could make our schedule, and they still said NO. I’m no expert in running an event center but I am certain it sits empty over 80% of the time, one only need drive by to notice that.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 28 1
Look at the 20 people on the management page on the Alerus Center website that is the reason they are broke. That amount of people getting paid an above average wage to host 3 concerts, 7 football games, and 50 small banquets obviously will never profit. More events that profit or a smaller staff.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 29 2
In hierarchical structures such as the Alerus, responsibilities get delegated downward, so the people at the bottom do all the work, while those at the top sit in their offices and collect a paycheck.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 23 1
Hey, why don’t we just tax the rich of Grand Forks (Hal) & make them pay the loss. That’s the Democratic way right?
Like or Dislike: 14 11
How about this, instead of having some of the bigger name acts that actually do come here, schedule them for the weekends. I’ve not gone to a lot of concerts that i would normally like to attend because there in the middle of the week. Some of us actually have to be at work before sunup, and getting 2-3 hours of sleep at night just doesn’t cut it anymore.
Like or Dislike: 13 5
You make a great point, however, I’m sure those “bigger names” are at much bigger venues on the weekends.
Like or Dislike: 13 2
Here’s my primary complaint since it’s been built regardless of those who warned of this most likely turning into a huge and bottomless money pit. After the first year of running in the red whoever was managing the place said something like and event center like this generally will run in the red off and on, but it seems like it’s been in the red basically from day one….Unless I missed some good years on this one too. So as others here have mentioned it seems like it’s time to stop doing what’s not working and find something that does….
Like or Dislike: 12 1
Please don’t yell at me, but, if you compare the Alerus Center budget and regular annual deficits to other public entities, it might not be as bad as you think. There are community centers/indoor pools that bleed city/school budgets by more than $200,000 per year. Hockey arenas can run huge annual deficits without the attention and criticism that the Alerus Center gets. Public libraries, museums, parks, golf courses, etc., can all be money pits. Each of these deserves our support for different reasons, but I think the Alerus Center is good for Grand Forks. It’s probably time for some budget trimming, but in my view, if it was tough to cash flow two years ago, it’s much tougher today.
Like or Dislike: 8 5
I see your point, but those other examples are thing the public can go to or attend for little or no other costs and not a for profit set up like the Alerus. Those items are for the common good where the Alerus is a bit more target specific towards profit. Not that there anything wrong with that….as long as those who have the most to gain from the profit also have a bigger share of the costs…..This just keeps happening all over the country and a lot of people are finally getting fed up with only public funds going towards huge event centers that in the end basically drive prices so high that most of the tax payers either can’t afford to go or just wont pay those extreme prices….So shouldn’t those with the most ot gain also have a bigger stake in the expense? That seems like real capitalism…Having the public pay completely for their profit maker is a bit more like that scary old socialism the extreme right is always so freaked out about…
Like or Dislike: 6 0
Good comment, but there’s a difference of opinion as to who benefits the most. Let’s say that a guy owns a business with $5,000,000 in retail sales. You might say he stands to gain the most from an event at the Alerus Center. But, if his store has a gross profit of 35% and a net profit of 3%, he pockets $150,000 before taxes. The other 32% of profit was spent on utilities, taxes, payroll, and so on. Whether it’s catfish days, potato bowl, UND hockey or a huge concert, the traffic in his store is good for sales and good for him. So good, in fact that he needs more help. In time, he might open another store and another. By the time he’s 80 years old, he’s paying
taxes on $1,000,000 a year. As different as each my earlier examples are compared to the Alerus Center, the common denominator is business. Whether an event attracts 50 or 50,000 people, it’s good for business and good for everyone (in my opinioin).
Like or Dislike: 0 5
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