The City of Ralston is turning to a private management firm to try and stop the loss of revenue that has totaled million of dollars in the past few years at the Ralston Arena. On Tuesday night the city council voted to hire Spectra, a Philadelphia company that manages entertainment venues and arenas around the country.
"The decision was a long time in the making because the city has been running a net operating loss of around a million dollars a year since the arena was first constructed," says City Administrator David Forrest.
Last year the net operating loss for the arena was about $1.3 million. Forrest says Spectra hopes to significantly reduce the operating loss in the first three years. "Spectra is anticipating in their first year of operation that the net operating loss will decrease to roughly $500,000 and then in year three of the contract they anticipate the loss will be about $115,000," Forrest says. "If they can deliver on those numbers, we will be in much better condition."
The city will pay Spectra $96,000 a year. The firm also gets a fraction of sales and sponsorship money, along with performance bonuses. Spectra manages arenas in Des Moines and Sioux City and has the food and beverage contract at Werner Park
Forrest says they will start April 1st. "Things are just going to hopefully seamlessly transition."