Nationwide Arena will end its fiscal year in the black.
The arena will finish with roughly a $416,000 surplus. Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority executive director Don Brown remarked the arena was designed to “break even.”
“We are confident that we can continue to operate in the black for the foreseeable term. We are still working on ways to cover the long term capital repair and improvement plan and to cover the loan payment obligations," Brown said.
While it’s making some money, it’s not enough. The authority depleted its rainy day fund by half this year to $1 million to pay for new seats, a cooling tower and parking equipment.
“The original plan was that casino tax revenues would support operations and maintenance of the arena along with event revenues. It’s done that," Brown said. "However, casino tax revenues have been insufficient to pay for capital repairs and improvements.”
There hasn’t been enough money to pay for the loans the authority took out to buy the arena.
Also looming in the background is a $4 million property tax bill the authority hasn’t had to pay due to an abatement. Brown has asked the state legislature to extend the abatements like it has for other arenas around Ohio.
WOSU first reported the arena would have a $47,000 surplus this fiscal year, but Brown said a recent update from facility officials show $416,000 left over on June 30.