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Civic Center Thousands of Dollars in the Red

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By Tom Flanigan

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wfsu/local-wfsu-915316.mp3

Tallahassee, FL – Despite more than half-a-million dollars worth of expense cuts this year, the Tallahassee/Leon County Civic Center could wind up hundreds of thousands of dollars in the red when its fiscal year ends in September. Tom Flanigan reports the lackluster economy is taking most of the blame.

There have been plenty of popular events, but many of them didn't generate the ticket sales civic center officials had forecast for the year. So Director Ron Spencer says he expects to close out the fiscal year some $200-thousand dollars in the hole.

"You know, it can go up or down a little bit. That's kind of what I'm looking at."
Spencer says about half of that can be covered by this year's reserves. The City of Tallahassee and Leon County would then have to kick in around fifty-grand apiece to erase the rest of the shortfall. Spencer says that hasn't happened too often.

"In twenty-nine years, we've gone five times. We haven't gone in the last ten years, I think."

Spencer says the local facility isn't the only one having a down year. Nationwide, he says ticket sales and special event bookings are way down from what they were four or five years ago.