Events at KFC Yum! Center hit three-year high in 2015-16
The 137 events capped a year that is expected to generate $2.1 million in operating profit to help pay off the arena’s construction debt, or about $600,000 more than the amount building manager AEG guarantees each year.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The KFC Yum! Center hosted more events during the year that ended in June than at any time under the management of building operator AEG, according to figures released Monday.
The 137 events capped a year that is expected to generate $2.1 million in operating profit to help pay off the arena’s construction debt, or about $600,000 more than the amount AEG guarantees each year.
The building at Second and Main streets has averaged close to 130 events a year since Los Angeles-based AEG took over arena operations from the Kentucky State Fair Board in 2012, said Sandra Moran, the Yum! Center’s marketing director.
It was the most since 138 games, concerts and other functions were held at the arena during the 2013 fiscal year, which was split between the fair board and AEG, according to arena authority records.
Besides 55 sporting events – mostly University of Louisville men’s and women’s basketball games – the Yum! Center hosted 27 concerts and comedy shows, five family shows and five conventions in 2015-16, Moran told members of the Louisville Arena Authority on Monday. Other events include meetings and banquets.
In all, 11 of the concerts were sold out, including two of the four Garth Brooks shows in April. Moran said comedian Kevin Hart’s August 20 show also sold out – the first for a comedy event since the arena opened in fall 2010.
“We’re performing well in a variety of different genres,” she said.
In all, the arena was expected to bring in in $15.3 million for the year that began last July 1 -- about $1.2 million more than budgeted for non-U of L events. More arena rent and event revenue help account for the increase, according to AEG figures.
After paying for event expenses, administrative costs, utilities and taking a management fee, AEG plans to return $2.1 million in operating profit to the arena authority.
The authority uses that money to help pay off the arena’s construction debt. It is one of several sources of funds dedicated to the bond payments, including a Metro government payment and a share of sales and property taxes generated in an area near the building.
Those tax-increment financing revenues have fallen well below projections, leading the arena authority to struggle at times with its biannual debt requirements. But the June 1 payment of $9.8 million was made with “more than sufficient funds,” said Chip Sutherland, a senior vice president with arena adviser Hilliard Lyons.
The arena authority owes $23.1 million in principal and interest for the year ending Dec. 1. Those payments largely rise in the coming years before peaking at $37 million in 2029.
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