Nationwide Arena Turns Profit In Year Two Of Public Ownership, But Thin Margins Remain
Nationwide Arena "spent most of its second year under public ownership operating at a deficit," but a "recent rally, thanks to special events that included Bruce Springsteen, Cher and Demi Lovato, has nudged the arena $426,000 into the black," according to a report cited by Lucas Sullivan of the COLUMBUS DISPATCH. Still, that figure is "down from the $730,000 'profit' the arena posted in its first year of public ownership." The arena's "thin margins are a product of the complex purchase contract and the performance contracts arena managers sign with musicians and performers." The Blue Jackets "take all concession and parking revenue for all hockey-related events," while performers "demand a certain percentage of all ticket sales (usually 85 percent or more) before agreeing" to play the venue. The public "pays for improvements inside the arena, such as the nets on the hockey goals," and more than $900,000 in public money "was spent in the past year to replace and repair seats." However, the public's investment is "capped" at 32% of the city and Franklin County’s "share of casino tax revenue." The Blue Jackets and Nationwide Insurance are "responsible for any costs that exceed that contribution" (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 6/8).