Hey, remember how the Brooklyn Nets’ Barclays Center was rated the top-grossing arena in the U.S. for the first half of 2013, and I concluded that it could be “an exception to the rule that arenas don’t usually make money” after paying off construction costs? Turns out I may have been slightly hasty:
In its first full year in operation, the arena brought in about $30 million in operating profit, the company reported on Monday, far less than the more than $76 million projected when the arena began construction in 2010.
That’s from the Wall Street Journal’s Eliot Brown, who took to Twitter to add:
Barclays Center, struggling financially, rounds out year w/ $30m in op. income; barely enough for ~$29m in debt srvce http://t.co/GIwaerCV6I
— Eliot Brown (@eliotwb) December 11, 2013
So even the top-grossing arena in the country barely broke even in its first full year. Apparently John Christison was right when he said it’s tough to make money on these things. (Which isn’t really a surprise, him being a longtime arena manager and all.)
Norman Oder of Atlantic Yards Report takes a closer look at why the Barclays Center had that $46 million shortfall in operating profit, and finds that it’s virtually all added expenses:
— Norman Oder (@AYReport) December 11, 2013
Brown’s article doesn’t link to the actual SEC filing, so we’re at a dead end for the moment on how the Barclays Center managed to blow through an extra $50 million in spending in its first year. More on this later, I hope.
[UPDATE: Brown informs me that the SEC and bond filings aren't exactly comparable because they don't use the same accounting measures, so it's probably not an extra $50 million in spending. His conclusion that the Barclays Center is barely breaking even stands, though. One possible explanation: Even though the arena is doing gangbusters business, it's likely doing so by offering "generous deals to woo big names, either by offering low rent or by guaranteeing a performer a high portion of ticket sales," as Brown reported in October.]