Dome to focus on family events
Don't expect big concerts at the Fargodome next year. After years of declining attendance at concerts, amateur sports and motor sports, the dome will focus on bringing more family and theater shows to the area, according to 2006 budget documents....
Don't expect big concerts at the Fargodome next year.
After years of declining attendance at concerts, amateur sports and motor sports, the dome will focus on bringing more family and theater shows to the area, according to 2006 budget documents.
The budget was approved by the Fargo Dome Authority's finance committee Wednesday.
"The reality is that's where we need to go," said Rob Sobolik, the dome's general manager. "There just isn't that 15,000-plus concert anymore."
Many popular entertainers choose to add a second concert in a major metropolitan area, such as Minneapolis, instead of heading to a smaller market like Fargo, he said.
Next year the dome plans to host 103 events that include 22 family shows, 22 trade shows, 10 theater shows and eight smaller concerts with about 8,500 people each.
The dome anticipates the events will draw about 473,000 people and predicts total revenue will exceed expenses by $142,209.
That's slightly more than the dome's proposed 2005 budget, which expects revenues to exceed expenses by $130,476.
Finance committee member and City Commissioner John Cosgriff questioned whether the budget challenged management to get as many shows as possible.
Shortly after, board members unanimously passed the budget.
Through June, Fargodome revenues exceed expenses by more than $365,000. However, July and August are typically slow months for the dome, Sobolik said. Also, the dome is still short three concerts of what it budgeted for this year.
So far this year the dome has hosted one full-house concert, Kenny Chesney, which drew about 18,000 people, Sobolik said.
The largest project in the dome's 2006 capital budget is $700,000 toward a new sound system.
Officials already set aside $400,000 last year for a new digital sound system, which will be installed in 2006. The current analog system was installed when the building opened in December 1992.
Each year the dome sets aside $1 million in sales tax money for building improvements.
The dome's 2006 operating budget and capital budgets must be approved by the Fargo City Commission as part of the city's overall budget. Fargo Mayor Bruce Furness will unveil the city's proposed budget Aug. 15.
Forum reporter Mary Jo Almquist contributed to this story. Readers can reach Forum reporter Erin Hemme Froslie at (701) 241-5534