NO MANAGEMENT CHANGE AT KRC
City Council voted to extend SMG's management for 5 more years
One councillor said it was a case of going with the devil you know, versus the one you don't, which pretty much summed up council's vote last night to stick with s-m-g to manage kingston's flagship arena for another 5 years.
The company that manages the KRC promises to do a better job of bringing in the acts, marketing the arena, and satisfying customers.
SMG officials made that pledge after city council decided to renew their contract for another 5 years.
Councillors were torn between SMG's financial guarantee of a $700,000 profit every year versus Global Spectrum's promise to ramp up marketing, but decided to take the money.
"Bottom line is I don't think the residents in Kingston right now want to take on more financial risk," said Councillor Lisa Osanic. "SMG offers that guarantee and I want to stay the course with SMG."
Councillors also sent a clear message to the KRC's current manager that they need to step up their act.
"That near death experience, hopefully, will change some behaviours, improve the customer service that we heard about tonight, as well as take a more forthright look at making that centre a place for all of our community," said Councillor Rick Downes.
After the close bidding process, SMG officials are breathing a sigh of relief.
"It's tremendously important to us," said KRC Manager Ken Noakes, "You know we talked about it from the beginning about how much the Kingston facility means to SMG."
The arena has been voted Canada's premiere 5000 seat venue three of the last four years. Through its new contract, SMG will be doing more to connect with the audience, and taking on more risk to book headline acts.
"We've done it in the past, we did it with Stone Temple Pilots, we did it with Billy Currington and Alice Cooper, and we think that's a necessary element to have to keep this building as busy as possible," said Noakes.
SMG says it will be announcing several concerts in the coming weeks, and will be assuming more financial risks to book larger acts, as they settle into their new contract.
As for Global Spectrum, executives left the meeting disappointed, saying they also planned to offer the city a "profit guarantee" but never got the chance to fully explain it