YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Big names bring in the big bucks.
The Covelli Centre has reported its single most profitable quarter ever. Sold out concerts by Elton John and Darius Rucker as well as Cirque Du Soleil: Varekai! and other events brought in $382,000, which was about $4,000 higher than projected.
“We also had two weekends of state of Ohio wrestling, which were tremendously attended,” said Covelli Centre Executive Director Eric Ryan.
The 5.5 percent admissions tax also generated $104,000 for the city.
“We can use this money to pay on our debt and upkeep. You know, upkeep is important. We can’t let the place fall down,” said 1st Ward Councilwoman Annie Gillam.
Ryan estimated that 90,000 people walked through the Centre’s doors in the first three quarters of the year. And now the circus is taking up residence for a four-day event.
Ryan said these first three months provide a good cushion because the next two quarters are usually slow because of outdoor summer concerts at other venues.
“In the summer time, we watch our expenses and try to pick the shows we know will work and if some of these come through within the next week or so, we know they will work and if not, we will just be very careful during this time frame,” Ryan said.
The city has proposed building an outdoor amphitheater behind the Covelli Centre, which is something Ryan said would allow him to host a lot more events.
“We hope to get some grants and donations so there’s no expense to the city. We still have debt with this Covelli Centre that we would like to eliminate,” Gillam said.
The Covelli Centre has secured at least one summer gig. “Walking with Dinosaurs,” a national tour, is doing its technical rehearsal at the facility for three weeks.
Ryan said he is hoping to announce other upcoming shows in the coming weeks.