Kettering's Fraze season falls short on revenues; surveys give venue high marks

Nov. 25—KETTERING — The Fraze Pavilion's estimated expenses for 2022 were about $800,000 more than revenues, and those revenues fell about $1.5 million short of budget.

Average ticket sales per show were also down slightly at the city-owned 4,300-seat outdoor venue, but Fraze survey results show a high satisfaction among show attendees, Kettering City Manager Mark Schwieterman said.

The Fraze's planned 2022 budget was about $6 million, with expected revenues at $5.7 million, including $1.165 million in concessions, Kettering records show.

Actual expenses totaled about $5 million and revenues came in at $4.2 million, nearly $900,000 from concessions, Schwieterman said.

It was "not a great year financially," he added, noting the totals are preliminary. "We frankly got hit hard by a couple of shows that didn't sell well and we paid a lot of money for."

The city annually targets an operating loss of about $300,000 for the Fraze. Schwieterman said Kettering will be subsidizing the venue.

The Fraze's events included 30 ticketed performances, averaging about 2,100 tickets sold per show, according to Schwieterman.

That was nearly twice as many shows as last year's 16 ticketed concerts in a COVID-shortened season, but shy of 2019′s 35.

The city averaged nearly 2,700 tickets sold per performance last year. That was up 400 to 500 from previous years, Schwieterman said.

Performance attendees gave the city high marks. Post-show survey results average a 4.5 rating on a five-point scale, "so we did pretty good there," he said.

The Fraze and surrounding Lincoln Park Civic Commons also annually host a variety of free events and festivals, and Kettering will continue to hold them, Schwieterman said.

They include The Taste, Bacon Fest, the Kickin' Chicken Wing Fest, Art on the Commons and the city's block party

"It's a community facility, so we're going to continue to program it like a community facility," he said. "The facility will continue to be a community asset.

"We're not really going to change that operating structure," Schwieterman said. "We're going to continue to focus on the community."