Arts & Entertainment and Government

DeVos Place does better financially

December 6, 2013
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After a horrible first quarter, DeVos Place followed with a good fiscal showing in October.

The monthly financial statement from SMG showed the convention center and its Performance Hall recorded a surplus of $103,523 during the first month of the year’s second quarter.

The building held 65 events in October that drew 43,514 individuals through the doors. Event income for the month fell just short of $309,000, while ancillary income topped $291,000.

SMG Director of Finance Chris Machuta reported event income was strong because tickets sales for the Jersey Boys performances were higher than projected. He said ancillary income was higher than the month’s projection, too, because spending was up across the board in that revenue category.

“DeVos Place performed fairly consistent with the budget overall and better than the prior year. Jersey Boys presented by Broadway Grand Rapids sold very well and was a major contributor to the overage seen in the month,” wrote Machuta in the building’s financial statement to the Convention and Arena Authority last week.

DeVos Place finished the first quarter with a gaping deficit of $650,938. A year earlier the convention center closed that three-month mark with a surplus of $79,747. SMG Regional General Manager Rich MacKeigan told the CAA last month he expected the building’s financial situation would change its direction.

“I think the convention center will right the ship,” he said. “We should all have reasons for optimism for the convention center.”

The positive financial performance in October reduced the DeVos Place deficit to $547,417 after four months.

In contrast, October was a relatively slow month for Van Andel Arena as only five events were held there. Concerts from Josh Groban and Chris Tomlin and the Grand Rapids Griffins opening its home season provided the arena with a monthly surplus of $16,000. The arena drew 28,439 paying customers through its turnstiles for the month.

Machuta reported the concerts were successful shows as far as event income was concerned. But while the ancillary income netted from both performances was good, the numbers were below the traditional spending figures for concerts at the arena.

Event income totaled $75,890 for the month and ancillary income reached $55,542. Ancillary income includes spending on food, beverages and merchandise. Machuta said the building’s expenses were a bit higher in October than for the same month last year.

At the four-month mark, Van Andel Arena had a deficit of $303,578. The arena closed the first quarter with a shortfall of $319,584.

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