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Kent's ShoWare Center loses $319,963 in first 6 months of year

The financial losses at the city-owned ShoWare Center grew in the first six months of the year to more than $2.5 million since the facility opened in 2009.  - Kent Reporter, file photo
The financial losses at the city-owned ShoWare Center grew in the first six months of the year to more than $2.5 million since the facility opened in 2009.
— image credit: Kent Reporter, file photo

A costly repair to the ShoWare Center's ice plant equipment led to higher losses than expected in the first six months of this year.

The city-owned arena lost $319,963 for the first two quarters of 2014, according to the ShoWare Center income statement released last month. The arena  had expenses of $1.35 million and income of $1.03 million.

Expenses were $132,186 or 10 percent over budget, said Mike Miller, chairman of the Public Facilities District board that helps oversee operations of the ShoWare Center that opened in 2009.

"The compressor (which makes the ice for the arena floor) repairs were the primary problem in the repairs and maintenance area with costs in excess of $100,000 over budget in the first six months," Miller said in an email. "There will continue to be compressor repairs in the third quarter that will negatively impact the income statement.

"The management (SMG) of the ShoWare Center has hired a new firm to make recommendations on the compressor maintenance and repairs and they feel they have made significant improvements to the system which will be reflected in the fourth quarter of 2014 and fiscal 2015 operating figures."

The City Council approved a $95,000 contract in May with Oregon-based PermaCold Engineering, Inc., to repair the equipment that forms ice on the arena floor.

The ShoWare Center lost $370,874 in 2013, its smallest hit to the bottom line since the arena opened in 2009. That loss compared to a deficit of $707,541 in 2012 and losses of more than $400,000 in each of the first three years.

SMG projects a loss of $484,000 this year unless more high-profile concerts can be booked to boost revenue. The arena has lost more than $2.5 million since it opened.

The council sets aside $500,000 each year in the city's general fund to cover operating losses at the arena.

The Public Facilities District board cancelled its July meeting to discuss ShoWare Center operations because of too many schedule conflicts with board members, Miller said. The board is scheduled to meet again Oct. 29.

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