A Fair Profit

For all of the guff New York State Fair officials have taken over the last few months, they have something to show for it.

The fair reports it has netted a $245,302 profit from its grandstand concerts despite spending about a half-million more to book shows, state officials told the Post-Standard of Syracuse.

Fair director Dan O’Hara and State Agricultural Commissioner Patrick Hooker said the fair netted nearly $250,000 more in 2008 than last year because Live Nation helped sell a record number of seats.

The state did not include all of its expenses, including up to $165,000 it paid to Live Nation, the paper reported.

The fair recently took heat for swapping its longtime talent buyer for Live Nation in a no-bid contract, and the Post-Standard recently reported O’Hara getting into a verbal scuffle with a fair usher.

The Aug. 21 to Sept. 1 fair’s bill included Toby Keith, Brooks & Dunn/ZZ Top, Jonas Brothers and Ted Nugent, among others.