Two Main Venues: Less, Less

January 23, 2006
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GRAND RAPIDS — DeVos Place ended the first half of the fiscal year with a better-than-expected deficit, while Van Andel Arena closed the first two quarters with a less-than-projected surplus.

“DeVos Place continues to come in ahead of expectations,” said Chris Machuta, SMG director of finance.

Instead of being $600,000 in the red at the halfway mark, the convention center only lost $303,847 in the first six months of FY06. More than a third of that loss came in December, though, when expenses topped revenues by $134,824.

Income from events in DeVos Performance Hall was lower than projected last month, as was revenue from a youth conference held in the building. In all, December events produced about $50,000 less than was expected.

At the same time, expenses were roughly $45,000 more than projected last month due to higher utility costs for DeVos Place.

The arena had a strong December, as revenue topped expenses by nearly $300,000, about $130,000 above the projection for the month.

“In December, we had a very good month,” said Machuta.

A Michigan State University basketball game, along with concerts by rock band Aerosmith and the Trans Siberian Orchestra, pushed income for the month over the forecast. Aerosmith and the Trans Siberian Orchestra are ranked numbers 1 and 6, respectively, for all-time tickets sales at the arena.

But expenses for the arena were up by $50,000 from the projection, also due to a higher charge for utilities.

At the halfway point, Van Andel Arena had a surplus of $343,179.

Both buildings combined are about $40,000 in the black through December.

After two less than stellar quarters, the year-end projection for the arena has fallen by $200,000, from $1.46 million to $1.26 million. DeVos Place is on pace to lose $833,892 by June 30, or $320,345 less than the $1.15 million that was forecast last June.    

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