Monday, November 24, 2014

Cash receipts for Barclays Center show $11 million drop in ticket revenues between Q3 of 2013 and Q3 of 2014

It's too soon to declare a definitive trend, but ticket revenues at the Barclays Center for the third quarter of 2014 were way down compared to the third quarter of 2013.

Consider that, according to documents made available to bondholders, for the third quarter completed at the end of September, the arena had $17.7 million in suite and sponsor installments and $14.5 million in ticket sales. The total: $32.15 million.

By contrast, for the third quarter of 2013, as I wrote last November, the Barclays Center reaped a similar $17.9 million in suite and sponsor installments but a more robust $25.4 million in ticket sales. The total: $43.3 million.

That's about an $11 million decline in ticket revenue.  Update: this does not include the Brooklyn Nets, since ticket revenues for Nets games go to the team. (See p. 70 of the Official Statement for the bond issuance.)

Net operating income does not drop commensurately, because the arena has also cut costs since its first year of opening. Also, venue schedules fluctuate, as does the timing of ticket sales, depending on how early an event is announced.

Fewer tickets sold

Still, it's likely an issue of some concern, and a sign that the Barclays Center cannot necessarily maintain the steady statistics that made it the leading arena in the country in terms of concerts and family shows.

As I wrote in July, the arena again ranked first nationally among venues in the number of tickets sold for concerts and family shows for the first half of 2014--but the total is less than half the comparable number for 2013.

In 2013, the Brooklyn arena ranked third worldwide, with 657,423 tickets over six months; this year the figure was 11th, with 302,726 tickets in the first six months. according to Pollstar magazine.

Longer-term revenue trends?

Note that the first half of 2014 is not reflected in the third-quarter ticket sales figure of $14.5 million, but may be part of a similar trend.

While last November I was able to report more definitively on longer-term trends--with quarterly ticket sales no less than $22.5 million--in this case, I can't, because the web site disclosing information to bondholders does not offer statements of cash receipts for the three quarters previous to the third quarter of 2014. It's unclear why.

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