DeVos Place Bounces Back Into Black

March 19, 2004
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GRAND RAPIDS — February got the red out.

Four consumer shows produced by Showspan Inc. were the main reasons DeVos Place had its first profitable month last month. Two sold-out Jerry Seinfeld shows in the building’s performance hall also helped boost the bottom line.

The new convention center was $164,838 in the black for February, after spilling roughly $243,000 worth of red ink in December and January.

SMG Director of Finance Chris Machuta offered more good news last week when he reported that the utility expenses for the large convention center leveled-off in February. Machuta said the electric charges for the month came in under budget, but the rest remained from 5 percent to 8 percent over budget.

The charge for utilities in February was $175,812, down about $30,000 from January.

Machuta added that the fiscal-year bottom line might turn out to be a bit better than the $1.61 million loss that was forecast for the building last summer.

Eight months into the current fiscal year, DeVos Place shows a loss of $718,081.

Van Andel Arena had a surplus of nearly $143,000 for February. Income for the month would have been higher if the Monster Trucks show had been held last month. Instead the big-wheels event moved to March.

The Kid Rock concert held last month produced a first. For the first time in arena history, concession sales topped $100,000 for a single event at the rock concert.

SMG General Manager Rich MacKeigan said a few other major upcoming draws will lift the building’s bottom line. Floyd Mayweather is talking about a prizefight at the arena in May and the Eagles will play in June. Another highlight will be the Metallica concert at the end of April. The arena will be the smallest venue on the heavy-metal band’s tour, but its impact on the building’s financial statement will be anything but tiny.

“It has the potential to be a $70,000 to $100,000 event to us,” said MacKeigan.

Van Andel Arena has a surplus of $960,000 for the fiscal year so far. The building has been estimated to show a $1.36 million surplus for the fiscal year, when ends on June 30.    

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