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Intrust Bank Arena records second-best year in 2015

Garth Brooks entertains the crowd at the Intrust Bank Arena Thursday. (Dec. 3, 2015)
Garth Brooks entertains the crowd at the Intrust Bank Arena Thursday. (Dec. 3, 2015) The Wichita Eagle

Intrust Bank Arena management hopes to carry momentum from a fiscally strong 2015 through this year.

Last year proved to be the second-best financial year for the arena in its six-year history, according to recently released financial figures.

In 2015, the arena had net income of more than $1.1 million, besting all but the arena’s first year in operation in 2010, when it pulled in just over $2 million, according to a news release Tuesday.

The arena hosted 101 events and 131 performances in 2015, attracting 439,767 attendees. Arena general manager A.J. Boleski said the hope is for the success to carry over.

“The community supported our shows very well, which will help us get more in the future,” Boleski said. “The message to agents and promoters now is that we had Fleetwood Mac and the Foo Fighters, and they were fantastic shows. We sold out six Garth Brooks shows, and we can use that.

“We have nine concerts that have been announced in the first six months of 2016. We’ll also make more announcements as the year goes on.”

Intrust Bank Arena's new chicken wing event drew a sold-out crowd of 2,000 downtown on Saturday. (Denise Neil/The Wichita Eagle)

Concert highlights for the arena last year also included Def Leppard and Jason Aldean, along with the venue’s first hip-hop concert (Lil Wayne) and pop concert (Ariana Grande). The arena also hosted food, circus and sporting events, including a Wichita State University men’s basketball game.

The Wichita Eagle's Bob Lutz and Paul Suellentrop discuss the Shockers' 67-50 win at Intrust Bank Arena. (Tony Adame/The Wichita Eagle/Dec. 12, 2015)

Last year, the venue was ranked as the 35th-busiest arena in the country out of the top 200 arenas, according to Pollstar Magazine, a concert industry trade publication. The magazine’s rankings are based on tickets sold during the 2015 calendar year.

“We’re thrilled to be a part of the efforts to enhance the quality of life in our community,” Boleski said. “We’re also very proud of our staff, which stepped to the plate and exceeded expectations every time.”

On Oct. 23, more than 65,000 tickets were sold for a series of six Garth Brooks concerts in December in less than an hour. The concerts brought in $6.4 million from visitors outside a 100-mile radius of the city, according to Visit Wichita.

Denise Neil from the Wichita Eagle had a few minutes to ask Garth Brooks some reader-submitted questions. Brooks is playing shows at Intrust Bank Arena starting tonight.

Intrust Bank Arena operating income by year

2010: $2,010,736

2011: $389,659

2012: $703,260

2013: $705,678

2014: $122,853

2015: $1,150,206

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