Reported by Michelle Dunlop and Debra Smith
City leaders hoped Comcast Arena would revive a stagnant downtown when it opened in the fall of 2003. Originally known as the Everett Events Center, it’s a public arena, community ice rink and conference space with towering twin masts and is a recognizable symbol of Everett. It’s brought big-name acts to the city such as Justin Bieber, Cher and the Black Eyed Peas. Last year we reported on the arena’s financing and governance, and today we update those data.
Who owns Comcast Arena?The Everett Public Facilities District, a municipal corporation, was created to own and oversee the $71.5 million arena. The district took on $54 million in debt to build the facility, and final payment is scheduled for 2036.
A board of five volunteers, appointed by the Everett City Council, governs the district. A private company, Global Spectrum, will be paid more than $153,000 this year to manage day-to-day operations. That includes hiring, maintenance, event booking and marketing. Jeff Schumacher of Global Spectrum is the new general manager of the arena. In 2027, ownership of the events center passes to the city of Everett.
How it makes moneyThe arena makes most of its money from events, concessions, catering and an indoor community ice rink. Two sports teams call Comcast Arena home, and the arena earns a portion of every game ticket and hot dog sold. The arena couldn’t survive financially without other revenue, including tax dollars and city and county grants. The arena’s debt payment last year was $920,000.
Comcast Arena net incomeThe arena is pulling in enough money to pay its bills, with $691,690 of net revenue in 2012. That’s up quite a bit from a meager 2011, when the arena had income of only $329,869. So far in 2013, Comcast Arena has booked $932,023 in revenue. The arena takes any revenue remaining after expenses are paid and stashes it in a reserve account for lean years.
Top single-day events by paid attendance
|5||An Evening with the Cure||8/31/2004||8,066|
|10||Third Day with Toby Mac||5/16/2004||7,846|
|11||Black Eyed Peas||5/15/2006||7,754|
|16||So You Think You Can Dance||11/21/2009||7,295|
|19||So You Think You Can Dance||11/28/2007||6,843|
- A naming-rights agreement with Comcast Cable Management provides $334,750 annually plus other benefits.
- The Western Hockey League’s Everett Silvertips, the arena’s main tenant, provides about $475,000 a year in revenue.
- Debt remaining on the arena: $51.0 million.