Intrust Arena down in revenue, remedy with high-profile events

Intrust Bank Arena (KSN file photo)

WICHITA, Kansas – The Intrust Bank Arena had a bad third quarter, losing money, as reported by the county commission Wednesday morning.

They show that so far this year, ticket sales are down nearly a $1.5 million, and the arena overall is down over $500,000.

The county said a new incentive in the contract with management company SMG should help turn the numbers around.

The county is trying to hold SMG Management accountable for the profits it brings to Sedgwick County. Part of a new contract that evenly splits the profits, after the first $400,000 goes to SMG, it also puts in an incentive.

If SMG brings in more than $800,000 in profit for the county, the contract is automatically renewed.

FooFighters-Web-Res Press Photo
Foo Fighters – Press Photo

“I think incentivizes them to do a little stronger competition during the space where they wouldn’t be making any money, it would be going to the county,” said county commissioner Dave Unruh.

In the week since the new contract was approved, Intrust has announced two major events: the NCAA tournament first and second round games in 2018, and the rock-group Foo Fighters coming in 2015.

“This market as a whole tends to lend itself to country because it is a popular genre here, obviously we want to diversify that, bring more of these younger acts,” said AJ Boleski with SMG Management.

Boleski said a wider range of musical acts and events will equal more money for the arena.

“With some of the bigger names coming to town next year, along with bigger concerts in general that’s going to help our revenue.”

Once the arena starts to get those bigger events, SMG hopes it makes the arena more desirable in this region.

“Any time you can host an event of the nature of the NCAA tournament that’s going to bring a lot of notoriety to not only the city, but the region and the community.”

Unruh added another important point; if the arena loses money, it is SMG who accepts that financial risk, not taxpayers.

To find out more information about upcoming events, visit the official events page here.

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