News Column

Huber city officials to discuss $1M in additions to music center

July 10, 2014

By Steven Matthews, Dayton Daily News, Ohio

July 10--More discussion is scheduled to take place tonight to add $1 million in projects to Huber Heights'$18 million music center that city officials say are necessary to maximize profit from the venue.

The projects being considered are upgrades to the VIP area ($480,000) and concession stands ($520,000), which the city says will pay for themselves in increased concession revenue and sponsorship opportunities.

The Administration Committee will meet tonight to talk about the projects, and City Council is expected to vote on them at Monday's meeting. They will be paid for by tax increment financing dollars, city officials have said.

City Council agreed last month to take the resolution proposing the $1 million in additional projects to a second reading.

Assistant city manager Scott Falkowski said the debt service for the two projects combined is projected to be $73,000 a year over a 20-year period, while the additional revenue is estimated to be $92,000 to $112,000 annually.

"We can't give an exact of what it will be until it happens," Falkowski said. "There's a lot of variables. People want to tie you down to a number, and it's hard to do."

Other details -- profit margins on specific concession items and revenues from national, community and private events -- are expected to be presented tonight to the committee.

"I expect a detailed presentation showing me what we're going to get for this $1 million," said Councilman Mark Campbell, chair of the Administration Committee. "That's what I hope to see."

The two main concession stands will be 2,049 square feet each. Upgrades include four outdoor grills, two pizza ovens, coolers, electrical work and other equipment.

The VIP upgrades include a private concession area, private restrooms, dining tent, landscaping, and a separate entrance and parking area. Huber Heights is modeling its music center after the PNC Pavilion in Cincinnati.

Falkowski said Huber Heights will operate the VIP area similar to the PNC Pavilion, which charges $300 per year for a VIP insider membership, $9,000 to $13,000 for a box suite, and $2,600 for gold season tickets.

"There's definitely value for having the VIP area," Falkowski said.

Construction of the 4,500-seat covered music center remains on track to be completed by late summer, project manager Ken Conaway said. Construction crews are finishing mechanical work, preparing to paint, installing the remaining elevated seats and progressing on the roof, he said.

The construction schedule for the rest of the music center site will be impacted by what council's decision is on the two additional projects, Conaway said.

The VIP area was part of the scope of work originally approved last year by the Huber Heights planning commission and Montgomery County.

Conaway said the VIP area -- which can hold about 200 people -- is about 55 to 60 percent complete, and work continues on the area. Falkowski said the initial work on the VIP area has been paid for out of the contingency fund, which started with a little more than $1 million.

About $300,000 remains in the fund, Falkowski said.

Huber Heights continues to weigh its options for a naming rights sponsor for the music center, which is at 6800 Executive Boulevard. A proposal of $200,000 a year for 10 years has been discussed with an undisclosed party, Falkowski previously said.

The city would receive 100 percent of the naming rights revenue, according to the 10-year management contract with Music and Event Management, Inc. that council approved last month.

The city's $700,000 digital billboard on the music center site is up and running, and construction of the structure will be completed by the end of the month, Conaway said.


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Source: Dayton Daily News (OH)

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