Team SJ Turnaround

The nonprofit organization that runs the San Jose Convention Center and San Jose Civic Auditorium is showing signs of improvement after coming under fire for overshooting its budget and losing millions during the 2009-10 fiscal year.

Team San Jose recently posted a $1.8 million operating loss for the year ending June 30, according to the San Jose Business Journal, compared with a $6.8 million operating loss for the prior year. Revenue was up, with $18.7 million this year compared with last year’s $17.8 million.

The changes can apparently be attributed to cost-cutting measures, an overhaul of Team San Jose’s board of directors and a new venue-management agreement.

Specifically, the group has a new chairman in local developer Chuck Toeniskoetter, who recruited a replacement CEO, created a new COO position and reduced the size of the board from 26 to 15 members, the Business Journal said.

New CEO Bill Sherry told the paper the group is taking a more conservative approach to operating the downtown venues. He has revised an agreement with Nederlander so Team San Jose isn’t acting as a promoter and won’t share in losses if a show does poorly.

“I don’t know how to promote a concert, I don’t know what acts to pick, I don’t know how to deliver that concert,” he said. “I bring no skills [to that], nor does anyone in this organization.”

The revised deal follows a city auditor’s report from last year that said the organization had agreed to take on a majority of the risk for Civic Auditorium concerts in its Nederlander contract.

Team San Jose’s management agreement expires in June 2014. While local officials have praised the organization’s recent improvements, the city has reportedly considered re-bidding the contract for the downtown facilities.