BOK Center's fall events prove profitable
BY BRIAN BARBER World Staff Writer
Sunday, February 13, 2011
2/13/11 at 4:55 AM
coverage of the BOK
Tulsa's BOK Center generated $376,425 in sales-tax revenue during the second quarter from October through December, bringing its total for the fiscal year to $1,044,818, reports obtained by the Tulsa World show.
The arena is showing an operating profit of $453,710 after the first half of the fiscal year, reports show.
While the nationwide concert industry has struggled, Tulsa's venue has continued to perform well, BOK Center General Manager John Bolton said.
Pollstar just ranked it No. 10 for 2010 ticket sales in the United States.
But the BOK Center's management has had to work hard to snare events because the offerings are slim.
"A tour isn't just going to come to Tulsa," Bolton said.
"It takes a major effort and a lot of expenses to mount a tour, and they have to look at how the country is doing as a whole."
A week ago, Bolton said, bookings at the BOK Center "looked rather bleak" for May and June. Last summer's sluggish ticket sales had a polarizing effect on the industry.
"But all of a sudden, people are coming back from the holidays and feeling more optimistic," he said. "A lot more tours are routing now."
Big names coming to the BOK Center soon include Sugarland on March 5, Kenny Chesney on April 2, Lady Gaga on April 4, and Kings of Leon on April 8, with more announcements to come.
Ozzy Osbourne played there on Thursday.
The venue is also hosting NCAA men's basketball tournament games on March 18 and 20.
"We have a very positive reputation out there, and nothing so far has derailed that," Bolton said.
As artists hit the road again, consumers are winning because, in many cases, tickets are being priced more economically to lure them in, Bolton said.
The BOK Center's newly completed financial report shows that it earned $376,425 in sales-tax revenue for the city, county and state.
That's derived out of $4,351,429 netted from purchases of tickets, T-shirts, concessions and other items.
Of the 8.517-cent sales tax rate collected in Tulsa, 3 cents go to the city, 1.017 cents go to Tulsa County and 4.5 cents go to the state.
So of the second-quarter tax total, $132,501 was remitted to the city, $45,171 to the county and $198,753 to the state.
The BOK Center also has realized a $453,710 operating profit for the first six months of this fiscal year, which is its third since opening.
That's based on $3,690,770 in gross income offsetting $3,237,060 in operating expenses.
During the arena's first two fiscal years, it generated a combined operating profit of $2.7 million, which was socked away in a contingency fund to help pay for the building's upkeep so the city doesn't have to be asked for money.
The BOK Center was funded with $178 million from the Tulsa County Vision 2025 sales tax initiative and had its first ticketed event, the Eagles, in September 2008.
Top 5 attended events October to December
1 Winterfest ...............................121,623
2 Trans-Siberian Orchestra .....11,582
3 Carrie Underwood ..................11,340
4 Brad Paisley..............................11,324
5 NBA Exhibition Game.............9,283
Read continuing coverage of the BOK Center.
Original Print Headline: BOK Center's fall events prove profitable
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Carrie Underwood performs at Tulsa's BOK Center on Oct. 10. MICHAEL WYKE / Tulsa World file