By: Diane Benjamin
Coliseum Quarterly reports are now on-line: http://www.cityblm.org/government/advanced-components/documents/-folder-526
Last years reports for the year ended 4/30/2016 are still a secret. VenuWorks has been managing the Coliseum for all three of the quarters listed at the link above.
1st quarter revenue: $770,839.87
2nd quarter revenue: $275,590.46
3rd quarter revenue: $677,924.52
Don’t get excited – those aren’t profit numbers!
Total revenue for the first three quarters is: $1,724,354.85.
Bonds were sold to build the Coliseum based on a study completed in 2002. Revenues were projected to be $7.1 million a year with expenses of $4.8 million.
The Coliseum has NEVER reached revenue of $7.1 million, obviously with only 1 quarter to go VenuWorks won’t come close this year either.
Here’s where it gets funny. On page 44 of the 2018 budget: http://www.cityblm.org/home/showdocument?id=12224
Revenue for 2017 was budgeted at: $5,796,519 (Not going to happen!)
Revenue for 2018 is budgeted even higher: $6,615,729
The only reason for the 2018 revenue number is because on page 45 the same amount is budgeted for expenses! Revenue fiction is permitted in budgets!
The bond payments are NOT included in those numbers, they are listed separately.
On page 94 is this note: General Fund Due To US Cellular Coliseum $2,244,539
That means the Coliseum is getting at least that much, but another note on page 44 says $2.2 million is being taken from the Employee Health Fund for this expense. It looks like a juggling game meant to keep the Coliseum afloat.
Page 51 claims the City will make a SMALL contribution to the Coliseum Fund. I wonder if Hales is talking about the $2.2 million!
Page 290 has another surprise:
Back to this year and VenuWorks:
According to the 3rd quarter report, the loss to date is $751,870.21.
On page 4 of the 3rd quarter report is the same game CIAM played – they claim the Coliseum contributed more than $3.5 million to the economy. it’s a fictitious number not based on anything but guesses.
Even if $3.5 million was correct, the taxpayers were robbed of $751,870 in order to redistribute money to local restaurants and hotels. You lose , they win courtesy of your government.
The 2018 budget also includes this statement on page 155:
Don’t hold your breath.
I hope VenuWorks keeps better books than CIAM. Keep in mind the audited loses were always much bigger than CIAM reported. Of course we won’t know until at least October, heck probably longer since we still don’t have last years data.