IS IT TRUE? November 2, 2011 Will the Centre Ever Perform Financially?


IS IT TRUE? November 2, 2011 Will the Centre Ever Perform Financially?

IS IT TRUE that the Centre has now released another report of the results of operations from a financial perspective?…that during the last year the Centre has added another $600,000 of losses to bring the 12 year total up to over $7 Million?…that Roberts Stadium is being slated for demolition by the Weinzapfel Administration because it costs about $400,000 per year to keep on ice?…that prior to the opening of the Ford Center that Roberts Stadium was actually running at a profit?…that it was and is the only paid for facility that is capable of operating at a profit in the City of Evansville?…that the dual thought process of the Weinzapfel Administration is nothing short of mind boggling?…that the Centre is owned and operated by the Vanderburgh County Commissioners who are now blaming the lack of a downtown Convention Hotel for losing 20% of the convention business in a single year?…that this was discussed three years ago, two years ago, last year, and today?…that the Vanderburgh County Commissioners are just as complicit in letting a hair brained scheme run amok that has resulted in no downtown Convention Hotel as anyone else including the Administration of the City of Evansville?…that going with the flow and refusing to call out idiocies is pretty much the downfall of downtown Evansville?…that hopefully in 60 days there will be the seed of sanity for a future of hope installed in the Office of the Mayor of Evansville?

IS IT TRUE that the hour that the Bank of America announced that they were going to be charging a $5 fee per month for the use of debit the City County Observer pounced on those rascals like a cat on a rat running through Bee Slough?…that our story about how the Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Regions, and other banks that were planning to feast on usury fees like this would backfire drew nearly 10,000 pageviews?…that only about 500 of those pageviews came from the Evansville area?…that we can thank our friends at Google for driving people across America who were incensed by this usury fee to the CCO?…that yesterday the Bank of America and several other of those banks have suspended their plans?…that this is a testament to the power of consumers in a FREE MARKET?…that where there are informed people who are aware of their surroundings that competitive forces prevail?…that if everything that we buy including electricity were competitive that the country as a whole would always be able to pound down usury fees like the B of A’s $5 fee?…that in a country that is being driven by fear and uncertainty that this reversal of intent is a validation that when left alone that capitalism and free markets are the best way to go?…that it is a hard but true lesson that everything that the government touches becomes a little bit less competitive even if it is called The Centre?

IS IT TRUE that if The Centre has lost $7,065,744 in 12 years and that it has received a total of $7,244,103 from the people of Vanderburgh County that it may just mean that the real operating deficit is $14,309,847?…that at an attendance of only 175,000 people per year that works out to a subsidy of nearly $7 for every warm body that steps in the building?…that the CCO is interested in what the projections were for the performance of this facility when it was committed to back in the planning stages?…that we would like to know if we were sold a pig in a poke by local government or if we all knew right up front that high six figure losses were expected every year forever?…that we also question the proposition that a downtown Convention Hotel will stop the flow of red ink?…that it really seems as though the financial projections of government paid consultants have about as much credibility as Khadafy’s Ghost would have as the guest speaker at a conference on human rights?


  1. I have posted numerous times on both C&P and CCO: the best use for the Centre is as a parking lot. Tear it down, eliminate the operating losses and pick up revenue from parking. Move all of the events to The Arena across the street, which helps to absorb the operating overhead of the Arena. Yes, the County will still have to make the bond payments, but that is a “Sunk Cost” (no chuckling by the accountants on this board). Here’s where the rubber meets the road: if the Arena had been there for 5 years already . . . would we be looking to build a 2,500 seat venue RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET ??? Of course we wouldn’t !!

  2. Beerguy is Right! Tear the Centre down and use the space of Parking for the Arena. The Centre was losing money even with a Hotel and Skywalk. Have we not put enough of the Community’s Resources in to Old Downtown by Now? When does it End? A Natural evolution of Enterprise, benefited by Low taxes and Red tape ease would grease the wheels for Old Downtown but, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and We need to bring some sense of Viability and infastructure needs for the Entire city to be at the forefront, as the foundation for future Growth of This City, and yes, it’s Old Downtown. The immediate Future is Main Street is NEVER going to be Rush Street, get over it. We don’t even know if thats the future that we want for that part of town. The Drain of Old Downtown is stifleing the Whole City, and has yet, after Millions, to drive Evansville’s Growth, only Our Bonded Debt.

  3. Wouldn’t it make some spence to press SMG to schedule more events there? Concerts, plays, musicals, magicians, comedians, etc.

    • This seems like a good idea on the face of it but I wonder how may events Evansville can hold. Some are pricey and even if a variety were scheduled for all tastes, there are some folks that just are not event-goers. Entertainment is a byproduct of a growing city, not a growth mechanism in itself. The development of downtown will come when the economy of the area grows, not the reverse.

    • One would hope for such a simple solution but there is the problem of ticket sales. There have been many shows scheduled that were cancelled for low sales. The two shows that I have seen in the Centre recently were Jeff Dunham and the Trans Siberian Orchestra. Neither came close to selling out yet both are now scheduled for the Ford Center. TSO was here in May and only drew about 1,000 fans. Will the Ford Center cause more people to attend? We shall see. There are shows that are right for a 2,500 seat venue. There are others that are more appropriate for a 10,000 seat venue. Thus far we don’t seem to know which is which. What do we do with an act that is a sure to draw 4,000 to make it cost effective?

      • DUH!!!

        Roberts Stadium is paid for! An event that only needs 4,000 seats could and should be booked there. A profit is guaranteed, as long as it is an event with tickets priced at a level the people in this area are willing and able to pay. We could become a huge convention destination if we promoted our central location, the flexibility of ALL our facilities, provided some sort of river activities, in addition to the casino, instead of trying to narrow the options down to fit into only one building.

        All our assets should be used to the maximum. The idea of tearing down a debt-free, multiple-use entertainment facility, with acres of parking and well known access, is sheer stupidity.

  4. So Lloyd has been a Commissioner for three years and has left the county with a gaping hole at the Centre and now we want to elect him to control the Ford Center? The Victory still loses money. The only facility that is owned either by the city or the county was Robert’s Stadium! Turned a profit!!!!! And now it’s going to cost us to tear it down! Really?

    • Kind of hard to turn a profit at a convention center without a convention hotel attached now isn’t it, sadiemae? How is that Winnecke’s fault, that there is no hotel attached to the Centre?

  5. Smart booking policy would be that if you have an act that is sure to draw 4000, book it at the Centre for one night. If tickets go on sale far enough out, and do indeed near sellout quickly, a second night can be added… that is if the promoter was smart and discussed ahead of time with the booking agents that a second show/night was a good possibility. You know, it doesn’t matter if you liked him or not, but there sure were more big acts and a lot more overall happening in venues here during Larry Aiken’s may years as a major promoter. History is proof it is possible.

  6. Just watch: The Ford Center will be an even bigger loser than the Centre. As long as the City Council and county government are dominated by Democrats both facilities will be severely mismanaged.

    • What a ridiculous statement. It isn’t about one political party or the other. A management company is contracted to operate the Centre, and if unhappy with the results, elected officials & citizens of either party could be speaking up.

      All of the we/they, we/they, we/they dung spewed by far less than a majority – on both the far right and far left – controls the conversation on every aspect of life in this city, and will ultimately be what keeps the hands of time from finally bringing Evansville into this century. No wonder so many of our youths dream of not just a good life and a good job, but of what city away from Evansville they want to live that life in.

      • The County Commissioners were so unhappy with the management of The Centre that they signed a new 5-year contract in December 2010.

        • Let’s see, December 2010, County Commissioners were still ruled by Democrat majority with Tornatta and Melcher. Winnecke wasn’t Commissioner President until January 2011 when Marsha Abell came on board.

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