City leaders: Allen Event Center not generating enough events

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by STEVE STOLER

WFAA

Posted on August 16, 2010 at 9:04 PM

Updated Monday, Aug 16 at 10:26 PM

ALLEN - Less than one year ago, the Allen Event Center opened with much fanfare. The City of Allen planned to soak up the profits from the 6,200-seat arena. The problem is, there haven't been any profits.

The arena has attracted some big name entertainment, including country superstar Reba McEntire, rapper Lil Wayne and blues legend B.B.King. Even so, Allen city leaders say it’s not enough. 
 
The city contracted Global Entertainment Corporation of Tempe, Arizona to manage the arena. Global operates arenas across the country. Under the agreement, Global would earn $204,000 annually for generating 100 events a year.   
 
“We were having some concerns with regards to the amount of utilization of the building," said Allen City Manager Peter Vargas.
 
But, the numbers are not adding up. Since November, the event center hosted 57 concerts and other events. The Allen Americans Professional Hockey team played 40 home games there. All the profits from those events were supposed to go to the city, but there haven't been any profits. 
 
“Usually, when you do a profit statement, you do it after the course of a fiscal year," Vargas said. "We haven't even been open for a fiscal year. But, if you were to go on a month-to-month situation, right now we haven't generated a profit."
 
The city will take over day to day operations of the event center. Allen council members will consider either leaving it that way or hiring another management company. Their first task is to bring in more acts. 
 
“What we're trying to do is to make sure that people in the entertainment industry know that it is available," Vargas said.
 
The city manager believes the $70 million arena will still reach its potential. 
 
“I think it's a great asset to this community," he said. "It will continue to be a great asset for the future as well."
 
Global Entertainment owns the Central Hockey League, but it won't affect the Allen Americans who play in that league. Company officials did not return WFAA phone calls.

E-mail: sstoler@wfaa.com

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