The Owensboro Convention Center and the Owensboro Sportscenter surpassed both their budget and attendance goals for the 2017-2018 fiscal year, according to Laura Alexander, general manager.
Spectra — the providers of Venue Management and Food Service & Hospitality at the Owensboro Sportscenter and Owensboro Convention Center — promoted Alexander to the position of general manager in mid-2018. Alexander had formerly served as both assistant general manager and director of sales and marketing, in dual fashion, since January 2017.
For the 2017-2018 year, the Owensboro Convention Center and Sportscenter beat their budget goals by $20,278. The Owensboro Convention Center beat its budget by $13,705 while the Sportscenter beat their budget by $6,573.
The Owensboro Convention Center surpassed their attendance goals by a large number as well.
“When you look at the Owensboro Convention Center, some of the highlights we’ve had over the year — first, we beat our budget in attendance number by 10,278 more people that came through the building than what we had budgeted,” said Alexander. “We also surpassed our budgeted gross revenue by $268,952, which was quite impressive.”
“So, obviously, we had more events, more people, which brought in more revenue,” Alexander added.
Alexander said the Convention Center had 450 event days for the fiscal year, explaining that a 3-day long event is considered as 3 separate event days. The 450 event day total was 19 more event days than they’d had the year before, according to Alexander.
“Sixty-five percent of those were repeat events,” Alexander said. “For us, that’s very important that we have those repeat events. It basically is a testimony to our customer service and that clients are wanting to return because their event was successful.”
The Convention Center had a record-breaking year for self-promoted events as well. Self-promoted events included the Shamrock Bash concert, Your Perfect Day Wedding Show, the Kentucky Arts & Crafts Expo and their New Year’s Eve party. The four events combined added $86,000 to the Convention Center’s revenue.
As for the 2018 Owensboro Air Show, Alexander said the Convention Center had over 3,000 paid attendees at this year’s show.
“It was the largest air show we’ve had to date. Our total gross revenue was $96,000 for the 2 days…it more than doubled what we thought it was going to do,” said Alexander. She added that concession sales during the air show totaled $40,000.
The Owensboro Sportscenter beat their gross revenue by $155,215 for the 2017-18 fiscal year. For the year ahead, Alexander expects the numbers to continue rising due to a potentially high number of ticket sales.
For the 2018-2019 fiscal year, Alexander said some of the Sportscenter’s new events will include Justin Moore and David Lee Murphy in concert next Friday night. The Sportscenter will also host WWE Live for the first time since the 1980s. The Harlem Globetrotters are returning after a 5-year absence, and the Kentucky High School AA Basketball Tournament will also be hosted there as well.
The Owensboro Convention Center will host Dwight Yoakam in concert at the end of October, as well as the Greater Ohio Valley Pickleball Invitational and the Western Kentucky Boat and Outdoors Show.
One of the surprises Alexander shared was about an upcoming comedy show that will be held at the Owensboro Convention Center and will be announced in November.
“I can’t release the details, but it is a bigger name that everyone would recognize,” said Alexander.