Records, losses in urban entertainment venues | News, sports, jobs

Corresponding File Photo / Bob Jadloski Fans gather at the Youngstown Foundation Amphitheater on July 29 to hear Kid Rock, Lee Brice and Buckcherry.

YOUNGSTOWN — Despite 20,000 people attending the Y-Live concert, the city-owned Covelli Center, Youngstown Foundation Amphitheater and Wean Park posted a third-quarter operating loss of $30,166.

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

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

That’s the second-highest admission tax in a quarter, said Eric Ryan, president of JAC Management Group, which operates the city’s entertainment facilities.

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

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

While there were concerts in the third quarter, mostly at the amphitheater, Ryan said, “We just didn’t have enough large, money-making events. We fell short when it came to money-generating events.”

The assets were projected to have a third quarter operating surplus of $97,133.

Facilities, on the other hand, reported an operating surplus of $15,847 in the second quarter, despite forecasting a loss of $156,777.

“We had a lot of events in the second quarter where our budget was a big loss and we performed much better,” Ryan said.

Thanks to a record-breaking first quarter, the facilities generated an operating surplus of $368,269 for the first nine months of the year. A surplus of $110,609 was projected for the first three quarters of the year.

“At the end of the day, we’re still in great shape for this year,” Ryan said. “The entry tax for the city is increasing and we are happy with our situation. We’re going to end the year great.”

The city collected $269,757 in entrance taxes in the first nine months of the year.

The assets are expected to generate an operating surplus of about $104,000 in the fourth quarter, Ryan said.

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

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

Two other times the surplus exceeded $400,000: $435,183 in 2016 and $412,684 in 2019.

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

“We expect the fourth quarter to add to overall earnings, which is exciting,” Miasek said. “We will have a very strong 2023, which bodes well for 2024.”

The city took out an $11.9 million loan in 2005 to finance its share of construction of the $45 million center. The majority of the funding came from two federal grants.

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

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

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

The city will repay this loan over 20 years.

Third quarter financials

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

2006: Loss of $253,998

2007: Loss of $220,938

2008: Loss of $141,775

2009: Loss of $67,177

2010: Loss of $56,294

2011: Surplus of $35,320

2012: Loss of $36,814

2013: Loss of $1,221

2014: Loss of $83,111

2015: Surplus of $3,658

2016: Surplus of $4,040

2017: Loss of $18,739

2018: Loss of $135,802

2019: Loss of $115,558

2020: Loss of $3,565

2021: Surplus of $128,294

2022: Surplus of $144,279

2023: Loss of $30,166

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