ISC concert revenue well below target
When iconic rock band KISS donned the makeup earlier this year in the Tournament Capital, it was one of the biggest concerts to hit the Interior Savings Centre in the building’s history.
However, in the last couple of years, there has been a lot less rock ‘n’ roll all night at the downtown arena — and city officials are blaming a sputtering economy.
“American shows aren’t travelling as frequently as in the past,” said Byron McCorkell, the city’s director of parks, recreation and cultural services.
The decline in big shows has eaten away at the city’s bottom line.
McCorkell noted 2008 and 2009 were banner years for drawing big shows to the ISC.
The two successful years had city officials budgeting for revenues to hit $600,000 annually but, in 2010, the building took in just $400,000 from concerts.
By the end of 2011, revenue is expected to settle at $450,000.
McCorkell explained from a business perspective, Interior Savings Centre is treated as a show building and, the more non-hockey dates, the better it is for concession operators and staff.
However, the current economic realities of the entertainment business are reflected in the city’s preliminary 2012 budget, which forecasts revenue from professional shows at ISC to be at $438,000.
“We need to be more realistic and more conservative and we’re going to do that moving forward,” McCorkell said, adding he expects 2012 to be a rebound year for the concert business.
“Our hope is that we’ll do better than that.”
He suggested the city was gauging itself on one of the best years in ISC, by using 2008 numbers, and modest estimates are better for the budgeting process because it’s like new-found money when revenue exceeds expectations.
Despite the falling revenues from concerts, McCorkell remains confident Kamloops is a attractive place for touring acts, noting tour companies like the city and the ease of staging events in ISC.
Several years ago, the city took a greater interest in the concert business by implementing a 60-day administrative hold on any bookings during hockey season.
The administrative hold means the city reserves the right to bump any booking outside of 60 days in the event a concert needs that date.
With the potential of $50,000 clear profit, concerts can be lucrative and tend to have a very quick turnaround — only 12 hours of downtime for the arena.