K-Rock Centre Woes
The K-Rock Centre was back in the news last week, first when it was announced that funny man Dane Cook would be stopping by for a performance on the 2nd of November. Later on in the week, the City of Kingston released the 2nd quarter report for the KRC, and needless to say, performance has been laughable. Although I suppose that depends on your perspective. A few of the lowlights reported are as follows:
- Net Operating Income was $183,802 less than projected (62% of the projected amount)
- Event Income was $131,246 less than projected (85% of the projected amount)
- Total Other Income was $683 more than projected (100 % of the projected amount)
- Facility Expenses were $51,658 more than projected (105% of the projected amount)
The 8-page document includes attendance, event income and expense figures, and it clearly indicates where the KRC is falling short and over spending. It’s important to point out that the financial estimates therein reflect figures that have already been adjusted downward, but again, Kingston’s favourite mistake continues to disappoint. Accordingly, this week’s poll asks:
What's causing the K-Rock Centre's financial short fall?
- The Kingston Frontenacs. (247%, 47 Votes)
- Unattractive Events & Concerts. (179%, 34 Votes)
- All of the above. (163%, 31 Votes)
- Something Else Entirely. (100%, 19 Votes)
- Location, Location, Location. (42%, 8 Votes)
- Food and Beverage Revenue. (16%, 3 Votes)
Total Voters: 142
While the debate over the LVEC’s location has all but faded to a dull roar, I think that it’s safe to say a lot of people are still walking around saying ‘I told you so’. While hindsight is 20/20, we need to move beyond the location argument in order to have a productive conversation that will result in a solution to the K-Rock Centre’s continued woes. If acts such as Jerry Seinfeld, Elton John and Cirque de Soleil are not enough to generate positive revenue, who should be booked instead? What are other cities doing in their large venue entertainment centres that we need to learn from? Which one of the Mayoral candidates has a plan to reverse the slump and ensure that the KRC is not a burden to taxpayers? What would entice you to shell out for season tickets or a seat at the next big show?
43 thoughts on “K-Rock Centre Woes”
I chose "all of the above" as I do believe it is a combination of factors.
One thing that I think is missing from the list and is a large factor for me is ticket prices and hidden fees. I would be more likely to consider attending events at the KRC is if ticket prices were lower, and if the entire cost of the ticket is more obvious. Tickets for Johnny Reid are $60.00, but there is an extra $15.00 in processing, facility and convenience fees if the tickets are ordered online.
Laura, I've been to the KRC only once, the Metric gig was sold out once, then they increased the number of seats. This suggests ticket prices doesn't affect attendance, people still buy a ticket when prices are too high.
The people that make up those prices, tend to have a good feeling of how high they can push the prices up for enough people to come anyway.
Did too high tickets leave empty seats – and thus loss of profit for KRC – on events you attended?
My only event there was Leonard Cohen, which I don't believe sold out. And yes, I do think tickets prices are partly to blame for that.
My beef is also with the misrepresentation of the total cost of the ticket – if the ticket is $60, and then you add $15 in fees, don't advertise the tickets at $60, advertise them as $75, because when I get the to final step of the checkout process and see an extra $30 in charges for two tickets, that will make me rethink the purchase AND make me lose trust in the organization. At least if the total cost of the ticket was upfront, I could make an informed decision from the start.
There are many events that I have considered buying tickets for – Seinfeld, Cirque, and Elton come to mind, and decided to spend my entertainment dollars elsewhere to get more for my money. Virgina Clark puts on some fabulous concerts for a fraction of the price.
When I was caught by the hidden extras on the ticket price, I lodged a complaint with the Competition Bureau under their misleading advertising and labelling category (very simple on-line form). They replied that they thought it was worth looking into more closely, although I haven't heard anything more since (one month). Presumably if enough people make complaints, then someone will get the message that if you go to a show that's advertised as being $60 then you should reasonably expect it to cost $60.
The location for the Krock Centre couldn't be any better. Ask anyone who lives in the Ottawa area what its like to travel to the outskirts of a city to see an event. Locating a facility like this in the downtown core was a great idea and has benefited many businesses downtown. Sure parking is an issue, but the economic spinoffs generated by having this facility near existing businesses far outweighs any complaints people have about walking from their cars to the arena.
Clearly the events booked in the K-Rock centre need to be revisited. I have shelled out cash to go to a few shows (Neil Young and Bob Dylan), but I find it laughable that the event promoter's think that people are going to line up to shell out $100 to see Dane Cook. Many of the events that come to Kingston are priced out of the pockets of everyday people. Why pay $100 to see Dane Cook when you can rent his dvd and see the same jokes while sitting on your couch.
I really don't think the location is as big of a deal as people claim it to be. I blame poor advertising/marketing. how often do events get tons of publicity? Doesn't help that no other media outlet wants to say "K-Rock" whenever an event's happening there.
There are many problems for sure, but I point the finger first and foremost at the Frontenacs. Their refusal to invest meaningfully in marketing and selling seats means that the building's main tenant is not doing their job. The city scratched their back by building this new building and now the Fronts are not doing anything in return. On a basic level, try to sell seats! On a product level, try and make the playoffs and generate some interest through winning.
Where are the owners of the Fronts in all of this? They were so vocal when it came time to justify the necessity of this facility, but they've little to offer in the wake of yet embarrassing loss. If you look at the report, it's glaringly obvious that the Fronts are doing terribly, but rest assured Joe Taxpayer is here to pick up the slack. With attendance falling short (68% of estimates), and event revenue doing even worse (61% of estimates) it's hard to ignore. Perhaps we should consider booting the Fronts out of the KRC and move the Vees downtown. At least they can win.
When the Fronts were summoned to speak to council they were quick to point out the projections used didn't come from them, so they didn't consider there to be a shortfall. Gilmour advised council that people he spoke with complained about parking and concession cost, so the city should consider lowering them. No mention of their own ticket prices (though they are similar to the other teams).
Not only can we not boot them out anytime soon, we couldn't work another hockey team like the Vees in around them with the rights the Fronts have in their contract. We couldn't even use the KROCK in the bid for the RBC cup on the basis the Fronts might go deep in the playoffs and have a conflicting date.
Now that you mention it, I recall Gilmour getting up in front of council, but as far as I'm concerned that's not his responsibility. He's the coach, not the cheerleader who begged council to build a shiny new arena. Great point about the KRC's lack of involvement in the RBC Cup bid. What a farce, especially when you consider the fact that NHL cities manage to accommodate both concerts and their team's schedules. Worst case scenario is that you have to do some work and reschedule a game or two. Annoying yes, but not impossible.
I think the Kingston Frontenacs are not to blame, they just play a game of Hockey. Location is also not an issue, you cannot change this so end of discussion. Food and Beverage Revenue is silly other than they should lower prices obviously.
Unattractive Events & Concerts – that's it! We live in Kingston for 9 months now, having to ability to either go to Jerry Seinfeld or Elton John. Period. Oh okay, we didn't attend cause it's not something we'd enjoy. We did attend Metric.
Come one, look at the Massey Hall event calendar http://www.masseyhall.com/calendar
This is how a it should be!
If you look at the event schedule for Guelph . ), probably a better comparable then the oft used much larger population/arena in London (that still performs poorly financially for the city despite the attendance) let alone Massey Hall, all they've had is Hedley, Great Big Sea and curling from Jan this year through to next March. Guelph's similar sized arena opened in 2000, didn't hear much about its poor performance during the LVEC debate
Guelph's schedule is embarrassing, and in comparison the KRC appears rather busy. The RBC Centre in Sarnia, a facility with about 5,500 pers capacity, has an events calendar that is even more lack luster. The GM Centre in Oshawa, again with about 5,500 pers capacity, is a bit better with 5 events (one of which is Johny Reid, and they also have Cirque) between now and XMas. Perhaps those responsible for recruiting acts to perform at the KRC should be tapping that calendar a bit more often.
From day one, opponents said that the idea of basing a business model on the Frontenacs selling more tickets than they had at the M-Centre was a pipe-dream. Actually carrying through with it was idiotic.
Throw in the combined effects of parking and an almost dearth of events and you have a perfect storm of waste and spending. Check the calendar right now. You don't have anything non-Frontenacs happening until Oct 28. Throw in three concerts in November and three nights of Cirque du Soleil in December and it's not getting any better.
Kingston needed an updated venue. There's never been much argument against that. If Council hadn't been so bloody-minded about shoehorning it into the old downtown, things could have been so much different. For a fraction of the cost of the LVEC, the Memorial Centre could have easily been re-built into what we needed. Now, we've spent $50-million+ on a new rink plus were spending millions more to renovate the M-Centre as well.
Politics as usual in my home-town and nobody's accountable for it. Sigh.
Most of the problem isn't an operating problem. Its that the premise started with we have to have a new arena, and projected numbers were manufactured to justify it. Costs went through the roof from the initial task force build on Anglin Bay/sell the M center property, but somehow it was all to work out just fine, with an operating performance that would have far exceeded any comparable facility.
The Fronts were never going to match the initial projections, but certainly hold some blame for their anemic contribution. With the nature of player turnover in jr hockey its almost inconceivable a team could manage that bad a record over time even if they were trying to. But its not just them, other sporting events were well below projections in q2 (i assume they consider wwe and globetrotters sports) as were concerts. Without Seinfeld it would have quite a bit worse.
Moving it to the smaller footprint site, that couldn't accommodate break out rooms and a ground floor restaurant tanked potential revenue from conferences, conventions, trade shows. Promoters constantly touted an advantage being between TO/OT/Mon as we'd get acts during the week traveling between them…no one must have bothered to look at how acts schedule themselves over a few days in those cities. I suspect being so close to so many other options is a substantial disadvantage compared to places like London that were used as comparisons
We've done as well as could have ever been expected attracting top line acts, Dylan, Seinfeld and Elton came here while playing very few dates in Canada. Parking appears to be no barrier at all when something is here people want to pay to see, and hasn't caused traffic problems when its happened.
I don't see there is much we can do. Its not like we are turning away acts that want to come, or can magically make more big names appear. Matheson has removed his comment on getting the Fronts to lower prices from his site, must have realized that wasn't going to happen. We are stuck with their contract for a long time.
We just have to suck it up and realize its never going to work out as projected. The shortfall should be moved into the budget instead of raiding capital reserves further. And hopefully learn from this process for future big projects.
Quality of the Frontenacs product is definitely a contributor, but so too are the prices of those tickets. It should be great family entertainment but you add up the cost of the game tickets, facility & convenience fees and concessions and it is cheaper (by a long shot) to find an alternative. And with some of the offers for family pack tix at Sens games, it makes more sense to catch NHL hockey. They've got to make it more affordable for the family to attend Fronts games.
From these comments it's clear how difficult it is to get consensus on the KRC's problems. Perhaps as difficult as it was to get everyone together to get it built. Complaining about the location seems a waste of energy: we can't UNbuild it where it is. Those who talk at length to prove they "were right all along"…congratulations, you were right all along. Now use that big brain of yours to join the people who are working hard to help this facility realize it's potential.
Fully agree with you. Those who can't get beyond the fact that this place is situated downtown need to grow up. Put your amazing insight to use and come up with a suggestion as to how we can make things better. When we've turned things around, then you can get back to chastising Rosen and the Fronts.
The main reason is, Kingston is just too small to support a facility of this type. The concept of a Large Venue Entertainment Centre has been tried in many other small cities in southern Ontario and has consistently failed. It was pretty obvious that the LVEC was a mistake from the get-go, it should have never been built.
You are 100% right.
Personally the KRC has performed far better than I could have ever imagined. Since the KRC has opened I've seen Avril, Motocross, Bryan Adams, Neil Young, and Seinfeld. I still can't believe the KRC got Neil Young and Seinfeld. Frigging awesome. I probably would have shelled out for Elton too if it hadn't been so close to Seinfeld.
As a side note, I grew up in Ottawa and hearing about the financial woes of the Scotia Bank Place (then Corel Centre) was routine headline in the news. The same questions were asked…is it attendance, is it the quality of shows, is it location, etc, etc.
I don't have answers but from my own perspective I'd probably have gone to a few more shows if the tickets were about 25% cheaper. I also feel like the marketing could be stronger. The only way I hear about shows is my RSS feed from KRC and word of mouth. The KRC itself is in a prominent location for daily commuters so put up some big ass bright posters or something. For an entertainment facility the building looks boring from the outside.
The ticket price keeps me away as much as anything else, but I think that we're still feeling the effects from people who have a sourness over the way that the LVEC was built. As I go around the city each day and listen to the residents talk about the issues that concern them a number of people talk about the shoe-horning of the building into the downtown, they discuss the apparent sneakiness of the deal and the way that the previous council dealt with it. More than a few have stated that they wouldn't attend an event just out of principle.
That feeling will wane over time.
That's why I think it's premature to look at folding the overruns into the budget for the long haul as has been suggested by commenters and candidates. The building is only two years old and is coming off a very bad pre-opening reputation. Whether right or wrong, whether they should "grow up" or not, people have the right to spend or not spend their money as they choose and to make that decision based on whatever criteria they choose. I truly believe that the anti-LVEC sentiment will change. I honestly believe that when Harvey Rosen's term as mayor ends that will signal a shift in opinion on the building – whether rightful or not.
I think that it's possible that the build can work to break even if not become a revenue generator for the city. Perhaps I'm naive, but I'm taking people at their word and can't imagine that the public would lie to me while I'm standing at their front door. I think the LVEC still has a chance to succeed.
I agree with those who have commented that the Fronts management share some of the blame for low ticket sales, and that the venue would benefit from additional promotional efforts, including more signage/advertising on or near the building itself.
In terms of events other than hockey, I just wanted to point out that the K-Rock Centre is also suffering from the effects of the economic downturn. I recall seeing a CBC news report in August that I believe focused on various Toronto concert venues and included an interview with a major concert promoter. The promoter noted that many concert tours planned for North America this summer and fall had been canceled or cut short, more than a few due to low advance ticket sales. Canada may not be as hard hit by the economic downturn as the US, but many acts plan tours based on ticket sale projections in Canada and the US combined. So there may simply be fewer acts available to book at this time. We will be better able to gauge the venue's success as the economy recovers.
Well, if the management insists on charging ridiculous 'facility and convenience fees' (or whatever they are called) on top of the already very high price they charge up-front, it's not surprising the K-Rock Centre is not doing well. As for the deeper reasons, you don't have to look far: Kingston is a small town in a small (in terms of population) country. It's rather ridiculous to think that it can sustain a venue which needs what effectively amounts to 5% of the entire local population to attend for it to be full. It makes no sense, except to the firms who snapped up the cash to build the thing and the local councillors who got benefits to their egos (and perhaps more). A smaller, less ostentatious venue would have made more sense.
I am guilty of being one of those people who has a bad taste in regards to location. Though slowly but surely moving past it.
I think the biggest factor is price. Granted there have been a couple of acts (Bob Dylan in particular) in which I was happy to shell out the extra money to see him perform. And kudos for bringing in big names like Elton, and Jerry Seinfeld etc… but good shows seem so infrequent. Especially in a city where on any given night you can throw a rock and hit a pub with great live music, or affordable and more intimate performances (ale house, grad club).
Also do the big acts coming through seem a little old to you? Id rather pay $60 to go see Dan Mangan, who I will happily go and see for much less than that at the Grad club than Great Big Sea! What have they done in the past 10 years? Pretty sure their show at the K-Rock will be exactly the same as the one I went to see 8 years ago on campus for $15.00.
Also the lack of marketing. I only know whats ever going on their because I pass it every day on my way to work.
Also personally I find it to be a very uncomfortable venue. While its size does mean that there really is no bad seat in the house, I feel really cramped whenever Ive been in the seats. I remember the gentleman sitting next to me during the Bob Dylan show stood around 6 feet, and ended up standing in the aisle for almost the entire show because of discomfort… so now hes paid around $75 a pop for seats that he cant even sit in.
Personally Id rather blow $100 on dinner, drinks and a live local act than spend more than that to see 95% of the acts booked at the krock.
Growing up North of Toronto Ive seen my town sustain a team who struggled for several years. Not only did they sustain the team but also introduced a new venue and managed to make it work… but to me the reasoning for that is simply that its Hockey Country up there… I dont think Kingston is that type of city. Unless they are winning the Fronts wont bring in the crowds, I dont think that's their fault, its just the kind of town we are.
For me its all about cost-quality ratio… Im not going to shell out $60 for someone who hasn't produced anything new in years and is just using their name to sell tickets, Im also not going to pay over double to see an act that Ive already seen in a better venue in Ottawa or Toronto (cough Metric)
Have to agree.
I can't understand why the KRC is unable to attract acts that are too big for other local venues, but perhaps not big enough to fill 20k arenas? It seems to be an all or nothing approach they are taking, and what we are ending up with are old acts at outrageous prices.
The KRC has a somewhat unique opportunity as a part of a very compact downtown core with Queens and RMC within walking distance (that's about 20k students). Add to that the fact that Kingston is somewhat isolated from other cities, the closest being Ottawa at 2 hours, and with the right acts at the right price, there should be sales. Also consider that we are bang in the middle of the Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal corridor, which most acts will travel through between performing in these larger cities. Why can't Kingston get more of these acts to stop over for a night and do a gig?
These are plenty of groups that should be able to pull in 4-5k people when performing at the KRC, especially if they are marketed properly to the large student population. I just don't think the KRC has the right people running the place, or perhaps it's just the nature of such an arena to be a white elephant?
[As an aside, I agree with the sentiment that squeezing the arena into such a small footprint was an error. If they had the luxury of extra space, they could have incorporated office space, function halls, restaurants, and other income generating features into the building. As it is, they are left with Hockey and concerts to generate money – with neither occuring, there is no reason for anyone to be there.]
I completely agree with the point about booking acts that would appeal to the Queens/RMC/St. Lawrence population. KRock should be able to not only make its budget but exceed its targets on that basis alone.
The problem in that regard, it seems to me, is that the management seems to see the place as a "hockey rink that does events" instead of as an event venue that, among other things, has hockey games.
Its not so much the arena chooses acts to book, its who calls wanting to come. The city tried acting as promoter at the M center and lost $hundreds of thousands on Wayne Newton. The arena isn't going to hire acts and take the financial risk. Its hard to complain about who's coming when you look at the other small market OHL city's schedule. The problem being acts who can sell 5,000 tickets in a 130,000 pop city have no problem making a lot more selling 20,000 in a large city, while acts who can't sell 20,000 in Toronto won't draw flies here. So most of the potential is the relative few big in Canada/not so much in USA types that can only play the large Canadian markets so many times, and you get the Great Big Sea, Blue rodeo and Hip types over and over.
The marketing and tickets.com surcharging get brought up every time Noakes shows up at council. The answer being "that the industry standard everywhere". Its up to the acts to market as they wish, not enough of the gross is left with the arena to pay for it. All these places use an online ticket seller to get exposure beyond the local market at a similar charge.
Looks like the $500k shortfall from projections is what people want to talk about during the election, despite there being nothing the city can do about it. It pales in comparison to other issues that no candidates have even mentioned like the fact Rideaucrest costs $4 million a year more then comparable facilities http://bit.ly/djVbN9 or the proposed aquatic center that will cost the taxpayers much more then the Krock
As far as the location is concerned, I think that its in a great location – except that its a lousy neighbourhood. By that I mean that if you stand on the sidewalk and look around, what do you see? Looks like a blinkin' disaster area. Concrete barricades in wobbly lines walling off the parking lot across the street, the scar of the recently demolished police station, a closed down brick something-or-other; flanked by the garish green of a discount grocery store. Not exactly a welcoming "lets go see …. " kinda feel.
That element, since itsinfrastructure related, is up to the city to address. Surely it would make more sense to invest in making the KRock an attractive event venue overall than it does to just keep subsidizing a "hockey rink."
As for the Frontenacs, in 21 years they've won 3 playoff series and 2 of those wins came in 1993. Equals 19 out of 21 seasons without fans celebrating a team that advances in the post-season. Shows you how badly they are run.
Just a quick observation: Pricing is out of line for KRC shows.
Consider comparable tickets for Cirque du Soleil. $35-95 in Kingston, $35-79 in Oshawa. The best tickets are a full $20 cheaper in Oshawa.
Metric tickets for Kingston were $35. The few headlining dates they are playing on their current tour, tickets are between $14 and $21, depending on the city.
And finally, the Fronts. They're poorly managed, the ownership doesn't seem to care, and the city is essentially subsidizing the team's bad management by handing them a venue their ticket sales shouldn't be able to buy them.
Everyone complains about parking, etc. I live downtown, and I still don't go — there's rarely anything of interest. Ditto the commenter above who posted the Massey Hall schedule — whoever does the booking is pathetic. Dane Cook? Gimme a break.
You also need to consider the acts that are booked at the KRock Centre who played in Kingston in recent years at MUCH cheaper prices in much more intimate venues.
Bands like Metric have played Kingston numerous times in the past at a fraction of the cost in a much more rewarding setting. I have seen Metric a few times and would love to see them again, but considering the prices I've paid before and the unique settings I have seen them in, I didn't even consider paying up to see them in an empty arena.
I think the K-Rock centre attempts to be too “big”. Getting the likes of Elton John, Jerry Seinfeld and Dane Cook are great, but I’m sure they could get much smaller names as well, and at least make small profits on nights with that, accommodating 500-1000 people or whatever. Instead it always feels like the events are few and far between. People are creatures of habit. Start putting a comedian in there once a week at the same time, or a decent band or musician, and you’ll get people coming. Work out deals with local merchants – dinner & a show etc. It just seems like they are going with the mentality “if we build it they will come”, when in this day and age it’s the small-time marketing grinding that can turn a loss into a profit.
I agree with the previous posters. More bang for your buck deals are desperately needed.
Take a look around the downtown at other businesses and start some long-term partnerships with hotels & restaurants. Why not approach Queen's University, RMC or St. Lawrence College and offer attractive pricing or services to try and entice a world class ANNUAL conference or series of speakers?
What about trade shows? Outdoor sports, camping & trailer shows, car shows? Kingston has lots of citizens who have diverse interests and hobbies–try attracting events for more people. Too many bookings thus far have been going after the same market sector: sport events & concerts. That is simply too narrow in a city this size.
Convenience and hidden fees are sneaky and add far too much $$ to even Fronts tickets, which should be affordable for the majority, not the minority. I make a darn good living and it makes me pause taking the kids to a Fronts game: tickets = $65.20 convenience fees = $23.80!! order processing = $2.75 TOTAL = $91.75 or $22.94 per person. That's almost 40% of your cost coming from FEES alone. Add in MODEST concession purchases and your total family bill could EASILY add up to at least $150 when you include parking fees. Compare that to only about HALF that to take the family to the movies, INCLUDING snacks, and the Fronts will have to start producing a MUCH MORE exciting (Winning) product to get me to attend more than about 3 games a year.
As a comparison, the Belleville Bulls only cost $17 per ticket (adult), $10 for kids under 12 (no such discount from the Fronts), and little to no convenience fees. I don't understand why Fronts management doesn't see the problem!
This sort of thought process is the same I've run through on numerous occasions when I've tried to justify going to a Fronts game. In the end, I've only attended one game when the tickets were free of charge. The Fronts have a lot to learn from other cities, but there just doesn't seem to be any sense of urgency or incentive for them to put more butts in the seats.
The K-rock center has a lot of problems like every were. At first I did not like the fact they contracted out work but the building is one of the cleanest I have been too and the cleaners stay on top of it. At the doors staff are there to help.
and dressed sharp. The food seems to have improved. The price of a ticket is a little high but you need to look at
how much staff are needed to operate the K-rock center and the problem I see is the Fronts and management at the k-rock center need to work together.
Prices keep me away from the KRC plus the fact I have to walk 10-15 minutes in the winter cold to an event. Dumbest location ever. But that aside, I still would rather take a charter to Toronto for a concert by the same performer for about the same price. I said in the Whig back during the initial days of LVEC planning that they need something up to about 9000 seats in order to get top acts here on a regular basis. But they build it too small. Nice going City Council.
I don’t know how the hockey team is doing, but I can’t imagine they are filling the seats to capacity like the did before, especially for Belleville-Kingston games.
They have about on average 3000 at a game and the K-rock center seats 5700 I think that's a lot of empty seats
and if they went any bigger it would cost more to build and to staff a bigger building.
Kingston is too small a town to support big name acts.The premise of this flop was that the Krock was going to bring in a big out of town tourist trade to Kingston. This is so untrue.People who live in much larger urban areas are going to stay put and see the show.Our waterfront could have been the Mediteranean of the great lakes ,but was filled in with bad development.Quebec city gets far more tourists than Kingston because the old town is beautiful.A public beach like Cobourg,s brings in lots of tourists as well as respite for local people.All Kingston has to do is emulate success,s of other cities.
You're all wrong. The problem is simple: Kingston is lame and it's filled with rednecks who would rather get drunk and do tire burnouts in their oversized pickup trucks than take in some culture.
As for parking being a problem, I have no idea what you're talking about. I guess people in Kingston expect that they can park right next to the front door of any establishment they plan on visiting. People in Kingston could try this new thing called "walking."
The KRC needs to have more shows, and at cheaper prices. If you can increase the number of attendees by making events more affordable, then you’ll also have more people who do come to shows and who can come to more shows. In terms of the Frontenac games, we shouldn’t be laying the hurt on to the Frontenacs, but rather we should aim to bolster attendance at their games. The biggest thing about a venue is doing the best to reach capacity, each and every time. A big name will draw in a crowd, only if they can afford the huge ticket prices.
If the Frontenacs had a pre-season opener, where the game was free if you came during/before first period, you could easily pack the whole damn place, then opt to sell season tickets at a discounted rate for anyone who attends that first game. I mean look at Clean Air Day! The buses are flowing with a bajillion people. People who’ve never or very rarely taken the bus. It’s an incredible opportunity to become familiar with the routes and find a sense of security when taking local transit. Quite a few Kingstonians have never even been to a Frontenacs game, how can they care about the season, or be expected to come to OHL games if they’ve never been to a single game.
My main point is to say, that the selection of what’s already available isn’t necessarily the problem. Elton John was unreal, and the show sold out in 13 minutes! Barenaked Ladies were also unreal, and don’t get me started about Tool. The events that are already happening are great, we just need more frequency of events that are more accessible to the general public as a whole, that don’t limited attendance on a strict financial end.
If the KRC had more events with higher consistent rates of attendance, due in part to cheaper shows, then they could also not only afford cheaper concession prices, but could arguably turn more of a profit if again the food and drinks were more financially accessible. More people, buying more drinks, more often.
I realize this article was originally written five years ago, but the KRC still has so much potential, and I sincerely hope it can reach that to help local artists, and help develop Kingstonian culture as more people find an interest to go to a Frontenacs game.