No Profits For Sleep Train

After two consecutive money-losing seasons at the city-owned Sleep Train Pavilion, Concord, Calif., will once again make no money for community arts events from its profit-sharing agreement with Bill Graham Presents.

The 12,500-seat amphitheatre lost $560,000 last year, following a loss of nearly $1 million in 2004, according to an independent audit recently released by the city, the Contra Costa Times said.

It’s believed doubtful the city will see any profits in the foreseeable future because of a contract provision that allows BGP to recover a $1.5 million loss before sharing money with Concord.

Under Concord’s new contract with Live Nation, the city will have to use taxpayer funds for debt payments stemming from the venue’s renovation a decade ago, the paper said.

The city has apparently committed $775,000 over the next two years for those payments. Concord officials haven’t pinpointed where in the general fund that money will come.

The city expects to pay at least $2.1 million over the next decade toward debt payments, which used to be covered by the shed’s operator. The amount reportedly equals 10 months of Concord’s annual street maintenance budget.

But there are still hopes for a better year. BGP this summer plans to book more than the 18 concerts it put on in 2005, company officials told the Contra Costa Times. Concord Assistant City Manager Mark Deven reportedly said this season’s A-list lineup should help the pavilion’s bottom line.

But if nothing short of a miracle happens, the amphitheatre won’t see any profits through 2008, when Live Nation’s contract ends.

Under its agreement, once Live Nation recovers its past losses the city receives half of the first $200,000 in profits, 30 percent of the next $200,000 and 20 percent above that, the paper reported.