A recent study comparing the KFC YUM! Center with five similar facilities across America suggests the arena's profitability could be greatly enhanced by a change in its management structure – specifically, transferring oversight from the Kentucky Fair Board to an independent arena manager.
This makes sense to me. Not because I believe past management by the Fair Board has been incompetent or substandard, but because the cost of staffing with state employees is hugely inflated by state-mandated salary markups of 39% to cover pension shortfalls.
I don't understand why the arena should be saddled with this burden – especially considering its labor costs of 3.5 million dollars during its first year were almost a million dollars higher than the average of the other arenas studied.
And another thing – I know the University of Louisville has first priority in arena scheduling during basketball season, and that's fine. But that doesn't mean it can't host more outside concerts and other events during that period. It may be tricky working with the relatively few non-basketball dates from October through March, but they do exist. And every additional show like Elton John or Lady Gaga we can put in there would mean a big boost to the bottom line.
Call and tell us your ideas for making the arena more profitable.
I'm Bill Lamb, and that's my…Point of View.