Logan City loses money on Freedom Fire

Once again the Logan City Independence Day celebration “Freedom Fire” was termed to be a success by Logan City officials. But Logan Parks and Recreation Director Russ Akina told the city council Tuesday that once again the expenses came in higher than revenues, with a total overall loss at approximately $23,000.

Akina said in spite of the fact that the program failed to break even compared to last year’s, it did come closer. The budget, he said, was $200,000 and revenues came in at $211,504 while expenditures were $234,159.

“Now the flip side to that,” Akina said. “Understanding that last year when we approached the council we had an adjustment that was agreed upon in terms of last year’s show budget and this year’s show budget was the difference of $50,000. So this year’s budget was at $200,000. We had expenses that were a little bit above that.”

Just under 11,000 tickets were sold for the concert and fireworks show, accounting for $129,504 in revenue. With revenues from ticket sales, funds from the RAPZ tax ($20,000), Utah State University ($10,000), sponsors ($50,000) and money generated from charging show participants a $5 entrance fee, overall revenues were up for the 2012 show.

The budget for Freedom Fire was reduced from $250,000 to $200,000 for 2012 and expenses were similarly reduced. While revenue was higher this year, Akina says last year the difference between revenues and expenditures was about $50,000 while this year it was approximately a $23,000 loss for Logan City.

The loss of revenue two years in a row concerned some members of the city council.

“That’s a one night event,” councilmember Holly Daines said. “When you look at the zoo it was $80,000 a year that we were subsidizing the zoo, and that’s a nine month season. It is a great show but unless we can make it break even is it worth it for $23,000 for one night when people have to purchase a fairly expensive ticket versus three-times that would fund our zoo for the year?”

“It is always a challenge for us for folks who have long-held traditions outside of the stadium,” Akina said. “And be that what it may, we will continue…if it’s your intent that we move forward, that we provide value for the ticket purchasers.”

Akina said he anticipated that his department would visit with the council next month during a workshop to determine whether or not the city plans to pull off a similar show next year.

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