News release from the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum:
Allen County War Memorial Coliseum Board of Trustees Holds Annual Meeting
2014 Was 24th Consecutive Year With At Least 1 Million Visitors
Strong Fourth Quarter Helps Recovery From Weather Plagued First Quarter of 2014
(February 16, 2015) – The Allen County War Memorial Coliseum hosted a total of 1,020,685 visitors in 2014, the 24th consecutive year that the facility saw at least 1 Million guests. This and other details of financial performance from 2014 were reviewed at the annual meeting of the Coliseum Board of Trustees on Wednesday, February 11.
Randy L. Brown, Executive Vice President & General Manager, explained to trustees that a strong fourth quarter with a number of major events allowed for a financial recovery from earlier in the year, when it snowed 11 of the first 14 weekends of 2014. Financially, the Coliseum finished the year in the black, with net revenues of $34,180.
“At a time when many arena and convention venues are a financial drain on their communities,” Brown explained, “the Memorial Coliseum continues to out-perform most venues in the industry. In fact, 100% of our $5.2 million of revenue was earned revenues from operations. Our day-to-day operations are not municipally funded.”
Other 2014 performance highlights included a 1% increase in Event Use Days, to 1,302, as well as, an estimated economic impact to the greater Allen County community of $100,425,976, in the form of direct and indirect spending.
“Economic impact is what it’s all about,” Brown said. “It means jobs for the service and hospitality industries – hotels, restaurants, retail – from visitors who attend events.”
The board also elected officers for 2015: Mac Parker, president; Laura Rhoades, first vice president; Phil GiaQuinta, second vice president; Maye Johnson, treasurer; and Dennis Sutton, secretary. William Fishering, of Beers, Mallers, Backs & Salin was reappointed as the Coliseum’s legal counsel.
Brown and Jerry Noble, of MSKTD & Associates, then gave the board a report on Conference Center construction and detailed summer capital improvements planned.
The Conference Center is on schedule to open on January 1, 2016, with the first event being the Bridal Spectacular & Beyond wedding show, the following weekend.
The board approved five summer capital improvement projects. The first project will be replacing all 168 sports lighting fixtures in the arena with high efficiency LED fixtures, providing “instant on” functionality and maintenance and utility savings. Other projects include renovation of the Komets and Mad Ants locker rooms, upgrading the ice making compressor and replacing the scoring section of the four-sided main arena scoreboard. Finally, work will commence to build “Veterans Plaza” on the north side of the arena, visible from the intersection of Coliseum Boulevard and Parnell Avenue, bringing the plane, eternal flame and anchor from the USS Indiana, together in one central location.
“The Veterans Plaza project is exciting because it’s about our mission – to be a living memorial to veterans,” Brown said.
In Brown’s report to the board, he also highlighted an increase in attendance in January, up 26% over the same period in 2014, with 170,478 guests. There are five announced concerts or major events, so far, for 2015: Eric Church on March 18, Winter Jam on March 19, Theresa Caputo on April 15, Jason Aldean on May 9 and Women of Faith on July 31 and August 1.
The board was informed that the Coliseum was ranked No. 15 and No. 11, respectively, in the last two Venues Today magazine “Top Stop” reporting periods, mentioned among venues with capacities 10,001 to 15,000 from all over the world.
About the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum
The Allen County War Memorial Coliseum is the tri-state area’s leading sports, entertainment and tradeshow facility, hosting over 1,000,000 visitors annually. Serving northeast Indiana, northwest Ohio and southern Michigan, the 80-acre Memorial Coliseum and Expo Center complex is host to the Fort Wayne Komets (ECHL), the Fort Wayne Mad Ants (NBADL) and the Fort Wayne Derby Girls (WFTDA). The facility also hosts national concerts, family shows, business and consumer events, the area’s largest tradeshows and private gatherings. For more information, visit www.memorialcoliseum.com.