The City Beat got a hold of Alerus Center chief Steve Hyman today and, though I couldn’t get any Britney Spears numbers out of him because they are still being tallied, he seemed pretty excited about the amount of money the events center estimated it made.
"The ancillary income will blow your socks off," he said. It’s "way over six figures," he said.
I’m assuming he means high six-figures, which could mean anything from $600,000 to $999,999. Heck, if that’s really the case, that would blow my socks off.
Ancillary income is money that isn’t from ticket sales and it’s the main way venues make money from concerts. That income includes food and beverage; novelty, meaning T-shirts and the like; parking fees; and facility fees, meaning that fee you pay on top of the actual ticket price.
Readers will remember this post, which explained how a typical concert contract works:
- Promoters get money from ticket sales. Sometimes there’s a guarantee, say $850,000, and if the promoter doesn’t make that amount, the venue, say the Alerus Center, would have to pay the difference. I still don’t know if the events center had to pay anything for the Britney Spears concert, but given that the promoters lowered the ticket numbers to 13,000 and the Alerus Center sold close to that amount, it’s very possible it didn’t have to pay anything.
- The artist gets money from novelty sales. Sometimes they have to hand over a percentage to the venue in exchange for being able to sell at the venue.
- The venue gets the rest: food and beverage, parking fees, facility fees.
So, not knowing the ancillary income or the cost of putting on the concert, which the Alerus Center would’ve had to pay for, it’s hard to say if the events center broke even or not.
(By the way, I suggested in this post that the cost of putting on the concert, say feeding the concert crew or buying advertising, could be in the $150,000 range. That was something an industry source threw out so it’s not necessarily SWAG.)
I bugged Steve about breaking even when I talked to him, but he got philosophical so I figured we’ll have wait until he actually has all his numbers. He said he probably wouldn’t have anything to tell the Alerus Center commission when it meets next Wednesday either.
I probably wouldn’t have written anything because it’s kind of silly to write a story in the absence of financial results, but I got pestered into doing it because today’s the first day Steve’s been back in town since the concert. So I didn’t meant to get anyone excited.