The Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre ran an operating deficit of $2.83 million in 2011 – $400,000 less than the amount anticipated.
“The entertainment side of it has done better then we projected,” said city manager Frank Pizzuto.
In March, prior to the completion of financial records for the year, it was predicted that the AESC would run a deficit of $3.25 million, with $1.1 million attributed to the Abbotsford Heat supply fee agreement which guarantees the local AHL hockey squad break-even revenue of $5.7 million. If the team falls short of that mark, the city compensates the difference.
In 2011, the AESC took in revenue totalling $3,097,000, including hockey and entertainment combined. Total operating expenses were $5,931,000, for a final operating deficit of $2,834,000.
“That $2.83 million is still the 1.1 (million) for hockey and 1.7 for building operations,” said Pizzuto.
Jason Blumenfeld, AESC general manager, said a lower deficit should be expected, based on the increase of events coming to town. But he added not every event is profitable, depending on the level of risk and the costs.
“So, we make sure we’re trying to take reasonable risk and bring more events into the venue, which increases food and beverage sales and all the auxiliary revenues as well,” he said.