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Intrust Bank Arena sees operating loss in March

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Thursday, May 12, 2011, at 12:06 a.m.
  • Updated Friday, May 13, 2011, at 1:57 p.m.

Intrust Bank Arena had an operating loss in March and lower numbers of events, attendees and ticket sales through the first quarter compared with last year, Sedgwick County said Wednesday.

Ron Holt, assistant county manager, said this year's numbers weren't expected to look as good as last year, which he called "a phenomenal year by all measures."

"We do expect for the arena to be much, much, much in the black for this year," Holt said.

Bookings aren't always predictable and rely on how many entertainment acts are on tour, he said.

For March, net building income was down $28,390, but the arena's year-to-date net income still showed a positive bottom line at $111,108, he said.

Nine events in March drew 44,903 people to the arena, Holt said. The two-day NCAA women's basketball tournament drew 9,048 fans. The two-day Arenacross event drew 8,108. The biggest single-day event was a WWE event that drew 8,108.

There were five fewer performances at the arena from January to March this year compared to last, resulting in 39,286 fewer event-goers and $4 million less in ticket sales, Holt said.

This month features concerts that officials hope will improve the numbers. They include Lynyrd Skynyrd on Thursday, Avenged Sevenfold on Saturday, Tim McGraw on May 19 and Josh Groban on May 21.

The arena earned a little more than $2 million last year; the county's share of $1.1 million was placed in the arena's reserve fund.

Taxpayers funded the building of the arena through a voter-approved 30-month, 1-cent sales tax.

Reach Fred Mann at 316-268-6310 or fmann@wichitaeagle.com.

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