Archive | August 2012

NYS Parks Outline of Agreements with SPAC (Purpose, Lease, Responsibilities, Operations, Rules and Regulations)


Deja Vu Presentation of SAVE OUR SPAC (S.O.S.)

Maybe this presentation will help you understand that the old Special Events (old SPAC)  has been taken over by (in succession) SFX/Clear Channel/Live Nation  TO THE DETRIMENT OF SPAC’s CORE MISSION  to PROMOTE the CLASSICAL ARTS.

Basic Question: Why is the NEW CONTRACT with Live Nation EARNING SPAC LESS MONEY than the old contract?  Everything else has gone up; EXECT SPAC’s COMPENSATION ; IT’S GONE DOWN.  IT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE.

SPAC doesn’t even get a taste of the profits – just a one time yearly fee with a bonus for over-attendance beyond a certain figure.

Link has been fixed

Index: (49 Power Point pages – 7/15/04)

Pages: 1-8 General Info – Of note – In 2000 –SPAC Signs a Ten Year Exclusive Booking Agreement With SXF – the World’s Biggest Concert Promoters.

Pages: 10-17. New York City Ballet (July residency) – Taking a Swan Dive  – 3 weeks to 2 weeks going to  5 days in 2013 .

Of note –  In 1998 – 50th Anniversary of NYCB. Company Suspends Its Pact of Mutual Exclusiveness With SPAC. (Things don’t get better after this happens.)

In 1966 – SPAC & NYCB enter a Mutual, Exclusive Agreement

• NYCB only ballet to perform at SPAC.

• SPAC only venue in this country where NYCB to perform outside New York City.

Pages 18-21  Philadelphia Orchestra (August Residency) – Now 3 weeks.

Pages 22-23 Jazz Weekend (last weekend in June) – Of Note – A profitable event for SPAC.  (Profit split between SPAC and Concert Organizer).

Pages 24-31 Special Events – Of Note – Special Events created to help supplement/pay for Classical Program at SPAC.  For some reason this is not working.  (See: Exclusive  Long Term Contract for Special Events).

Pages 32-34 Chamber Music

Pages 35-36. Museum Of Dance – Of Note – Turnaround lately( post 2005) – It’s in the Black

Pages 37 SPAC Formally Presented NYC Opera from 1986 –1997 (Mid June)

Pages 38-40 – Finances – Of Note – (Not enough info here)

Pages 41-45 – Selection/Election to SPAC Board – Of Note – Not stated, but money matters here.

Pages 46-48 – S.O.S. Platform

Page 49 –  Dates Material to 7/15/o4 – Of Note – Some things have changed since 2004.

How SPAC Lost Its New York City Ballet Audience.

The Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) has been the Summer Home of the New York City Ballet (NYCB) since 1966.  SPAC has had 47 years to build a ballet audience.  By this time, several generations of children, should have been welcomed to attend matinees from this game changer ballet company.  The matinee program selection was geared towards pleasing young audiences – How could you not build an audience with two ballet matinees being presented each week the NYC Ballet was in Saratoga Springs.  Attendance peaked in 1978 with over 90,000 attending the NYC Ballet for the three-week season. 

SPAC’s contract with New York State, its landlord, states SPAC will provide programs of the performing arts at reduced rates for children of school age.  As such, tickets for the matinee are priced differently than evening performances.    All amphitheater matinee tickets are sold as either adults OR child/senior.  Tickets are sold at these set prices no matter where you sit.  Order tickets early and get great seats.

So how did SPAC lose its ballet audience?  It lost a generation, or two, by not seeing beyond the numbers on an accounting sheet.  Rather than build an audience, SPAC decided to increase prices dramatically.  

There is a direct correlation between huge price increase and attendance. SPAC began, in earnest, to lost the ballet audience when it increased its ballet matinee prices for child/senior by 600%  ($2.50 to $15.00) and adults by 500% ( $4.00 to $20.00)  in 9 years (1987-96).   By 1996, attendance was down to 55,843.  Minutes from the 1996 membership meting state ballet attendance is down, especially matinees.  Carrying these numbers out to today, carrying the trend out to today, we have a 1000% increase for child/senior ($2.50 to $25.00) and a 750% increase for adults ($4.00 to $30.00).  The worst part is: these price increases hit children and seniors the most.  The audience the matinees were supposed to foster  –  SPAC priced heavily against.

In a nutshell, SPAC has NOT geared itself towards building a ballet audience.  Instead, it looks to always increase ticket prices.  Rather than making a permanent Summer home for the NYCB, SPAC has foster it’s decline by pricing out children (and the seniors who would bring them).

To reverse this trend, SPAC should reduce prices for child/seniors to equal a movie theater price and throw in an ice cream with every child/senior admission. SPAC should fill the seats, expedite ice cream disbursement during intermission and build an audience for the future.  SPAC might drown is a sea of red ink at first but I believe a future audience would be build to ensure not only the NYCB future at SPAC but SPAC’s future as well. 

Building an audience for the New York City Ballet – that would be the real measure of success – that’s why SPAC was created – that’s where SPAC has failed.  

Season    Attendance     Weeks       Child/Sr. Matinee Price

2012                                        2                      $25.00

2011         36,784                  2                      $23.50

2010        34,509                   2                      

2009        38,283                   2                     $23.50

2008        42,354                   3                     $23.50

2003        55,496                   3                     $19.50

2002        51,558                   3                      $17.50

2001        54,657                    3                      $17.50

2000       53,207                    3                      $17.50

1999        58,207                   3                      $15.00 

1998        53,050                   3                       $15.00

1997        60,204                   3                       $15.00

1996        55,843                   3                       $15.00 (600% increase in 9 yrs.) 

1995        64,601                    3                       $12.00 

1991        84,613                    3                        $6.00

1987        75,896                    3                        $2.50

1978        90,154                    3

1976        75,442                    3

1966        64,303                   4