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Intrust Bank Arena making money despite loss in second quarter

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Wednesday, August 21, 2013, at 12:32 p.m.
  • Updated Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, at 10:51 a.m.

Intrust Bank Arena lost about $71,500 in its second quarter but is about $301,000 in the black for the year through June.

In presenting the arena’s quarterly report Wednesday to the Sedgwick County Commission, assistant county manager Ron Holt blamed the income drop on fewer concerts at the arena during the second quarter.

The second and third quarters typically alternate as the slowest stretch for the arena because concert schedules drop off, he said. The arena lost $47,600 for the second quarter in 2012.

Although the arena had 20 performances during the second quarter this year – five more than a year ago for the same period – only three concerts were held from April through June. Last year’s second period saw five concerts.

As a result, the arena’s gross income was only $373,840 during the second quarter – $240,145 less than for the same period last year.

A total of 65,648 tickets were sold for the 20 performances in the second quarter with an average ticket price of $26.18.

The Jason Aldean concert in May sold the most tickets at 9,310 with an average price of $47.11. The Zac Brown concert in April ranked second in sales at 7,491, averaging $57.58 per ticket.

Holt said, “The third quarter is looking good, and the fourth quarter is even better.”

The third quarter will benefit significantly from the Taylor Swift and Rascal Flatts concerts held earlier this month. The Flatts concert had been set for January but was postponed because of an illness.

A Luke Bryan concert is scheduled for Sept. 12.

The fourth quarter will see the start of the Thunder’s hockey season, an Eagles concert on Oct. 7 and three basketball games.

The Oklahoma City Thunder will play an NBA exhibition game against the Chicago Bulls on Oct. 23. That will be followed by college games, featuring Wichita State playing Tennessee on Dec. 13 and Kansas State playing Gonzaga on Dec. 21.

The arena will need a strong finish if the county is to receive a profit check for the year from SMG, which manages the arena.

Under an agreement with the county, SMG agreed to absorb any losses. SMG keeps the first $450,000 of profit; the next $450,000 goes to the county. After the $900,000 mark, 60 percent of the profits go to the county and 40 percent to SMG.

The county has received a share of the profits in two of the three years since the arena opened. In May, SMG gave the county a check for $253,260 from the 2012 profits.

The arena made $2 million and change in its first year, 2010, and the county received a check for $1,116,442. In 2011, the arena netted $389,659, so the county didn’t receive a check from SMG.

How much the county gets yearly also affects the county’s contract with SMG, which is up for renewal Dec. 31, 2015.

But the contract is renewed automatically if the county has received $1.7 million from yearly operations, Holt said. The county has received $1,369,702 so far.

Reach Rick Plumlee at 316-268-6660 or rplumlee@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @rickplumlee.

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