CITY LOOKS TO BOLSTER OFFSEASON PETCO EVENTS CITY AIMS FOR MORE EVENTS AT PETCO PARK

SAN DIEGO — After two years of disappointing revenue from offseason events at Petco Park, a San Diego City Council committee opted to move forward with a plan aimed at increasing the activity at the downtown ballpark.

Meanwhile, an evolving proposal emerged that would give the Padres a greater share of the offseason revenues the ballclub now shares with the city. Mayor Jerry Sanders’ office said East Village stakeholders have expressed concern that a lack of traffic during fall and winter have hurt businesses.

The committee voted unanimously to work with the Padres to have more offseason activity at the park, including concerts and amateur sporting events.

The current arrangement calls for the city to receive 70 percent of the revenue while the Padres collect 30 percent — a split that Erik Greupner, the team’s senior vice president, said is a disincentive for hosting events.

Greupner said overhead costs not factored into the revenue split mean the Padres barely break even on smaller events.

“We’re forced into a very conservative position where we can only take events that are big winners,” he said. “And that doesn’t happen as often as we’d like.”

The proposed new deal would seek to give 70 percent of offseason event revenues to the Padres to help cover some of their overhead costs. But regardless of the income, the city would be guaranteed at least $300,000 a year.

Council President Tony Young requested the city’s independent budget analyst look into a sliding scale of revenue sharing. for example, for the first $2 million dollars of revenue, a 70-30 split would be used, and that would move to a 50-50 arrangement for all additional revenue.

The full City Council will discuss how the new deal will work in the coming months.

Since Petco Park opened in 2004, offseason events have generated just over $1 million annually for the Padres and the city.

After consistently growing revenue each year, revenues plummeted from a peak of $2 million 2009 to $336,000 in 2010. Though revenue bounced back to just over $1 million in 2011, city officials said they would like to see more events generate more money.

The biggest year for offseason events was in 2009 when the USA Sevens rugby tournament and singer Madonna brought in $1.5 million combined.

San Diego can’t have Madonna perform at Petco Park every year, but the city and the Padres hoped the rugby tournament or a similar event would account for annual income. After holding it at Petco Park from 2007 to 2009, tournament organizers moved it to Las Vegas.

“We want to go after more events like that,” Young said. “A lot of those events put heads in beds. it might not have a big impact at Petco itself, but it could be a lot of money for the city of San Diego.”

CITY LOOKS TO BOLSTER OFFSEASON PETCO EVENTS
CITY AIMS FOR MORE EVENTS AT PETCO PARK


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