Covelli turns record profit in 2012

YOUNGSTOWN – The Covelli Centre turned the biggest profit in its seven-year history in 2012.

In a letter to Mayor Charles Sammarone and City Council released Tuesday, Eric Ryan, who runs the arena for the city, said the arena generated an operational surplus of $320,787 for the past year in profit.

Additionally, an admission imposed by the city of 5.5 percent generated another $163,398 in revenue, raising the total revenue to the city from the arena at $484,185.

Ryan said in 2012 the arena hosted 94 events and about 200,000 people attended events there.

Kyle Miasek, a deputy finance director for the city who handles arena related issues, said with Ryan’s stature in the arena industry in the last couple of years, there’s no reason to think the arena can’t match or do better than what they did in 2012.

Already in 2013, big acts such as Rascal Flats – who have already performed – Kid Rock and Carrie Underwood have been booked for the spring.

”We’re getting off to a good start,” Miasek said.

Miasek said the arena also traditionally books big acts in the fall as well.

”If the pattern is replicated, we can do it again,” Miasek said.

The arena’s Community Room also hosted another 85 events such as meetings, seminars and private parties. Since the arena now handles its own food and beverage sales it should host even more similar events in 2013, Ryan said.

The arena also began 2012 by trying to sell more than $100,000 in arena sponsorships and exceeded that goal with a figure of $166,510, Ryan said.

The city is presently in the midst of studying proposals for a company to lease the arena from them. Mayor Charles Sammarone is concerned of the nearly $1 million a year the city pays in loans financing the arena’s construction. He said he is worried about what the city may have to do to keep up the payments should an economic downturn occur.

The arena opened in 2005 and was constructed after former U.S. Rep. James A. Traficant Jr. secured a $25 million grant to build it. The city had to secure loans because it built a facility that cost about $48 million.

Miasek said Ryan’s JAC Management Group has done a good job in helping the arena generate money.

”The city is very pleased with how things are happening down there,” Miasek said.

Ryan did not return a phone call seeking comment.