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City of Ralston hires private firm to manage arena

Posted: 2:10 PM, Feb 20, 2019
Updated: 2019-02-20 20:10:40Z
City of Ralston hired private firm to manage arena

RALSTON, Neb. (KMTV) — Ralston Arena will soon be under new management.

After losing millions of dollars on the arena over the last few years, the city hired the private venue management firm, Spectra, to run the six year old arena. At the city council meeting Tuesday, Spectra reps said they have an aggressive plan to turn the arena around.

Currently, the arena loses more than $1 million a year. The firm thinks it can cut that loss to around $116,000 in three years. Still a loss but a major improvement.

“It's going to be on us to really go out there and win the business for a lot of these bigger events, but also not just focusing on the bigger events but how can we go out and do more private events, how can we bring more ice time to the community rink as well,” says VP of Business Development, Tom McDonnell.

McConnell says that Spectra has many connections in the music booking industry and hopes to bring better entertainment to Ralston Arena.

He also noted finding a naming rights sponsor was a major priority.

The city will pay Spectra a base fee of $96,000 a year. The firm also gets a fraction of sales and sponsorship money, along with performance bonuses.

McDonnell also says they plan on keeping most of the staff at the arena.

Spectra manages a wide variety arenas across the country, including venues in Des Moines and Sioux City.

They start April 1st.