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Spade show cost about $100K

Teresa Fralish | Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Future programming for Student Union Board events will not significantly be affected by low turnout at the Oct. 4 David Spade event, said Charlie Ebersol Student Union Board president.

Ebersol said the budget for the performance allowed a cushion for overall loss, and that the final cost was within the range specified in SUB’s yearly budget – even though the final budget for the Spade show was not approved by the Financial Management Board.

The total cost for the event was approximately $100,000, Ebersol said. That figure accounted for a variety of fees, including the rental cost for the Joyce Center, which totaled about $15-20,000. The remaining expenditures included the speaker’s fee for Spade, production costs, technical rider and miscellaneous costs.

Ebersol said SUB spent roughly $15,000 to $20,000 of its $234,000 annual budget to cover the money lost by the concert. SUB intended for the Spade concert to be one of the more costly events for the year and budgeted appropriately.

“We knew the event would be expensive. This only affects one section [of SUB’s budget],” Ebersol said.

Total ticket sales for the Spade show were no more than 1,400, a figure well below what SUB had planned for, Ebersol said. And some people who bought tickets didn’t even attend the show, he added.

Ebersol said couldn’t say for sure where the rest of the money to pay for the Spade show, which could be as much as $50,000, would come from because of the uncertainty regarding SUB’s final budget for the year. What department that money will be drawn from won’t be clear until the fiscal year ends in June, he added. However, the money SUB spent to cover the cost of the event came from a fund the organization uses to defray programming costs.

“They will just have to always break even [on future events],” said Erin Byrne, advisor for the Student Union Board and student programs coordinator.

According to LaFortune operations manager Matt Biergans, Student Activities printed 3,072 tickets and sold about 1,200 $20 student tickets at the Information Desk. Additional tickets were also sold Oct. 4 at the door of the Joyce Center.

Ebersol attributed the low attendance to the short time frame SUB had to publicize the event.

“We had so little time to program it,” he said.

Because Oct. 4 was the first football bye week, SUB planned to host a major event for that weekend. Initially, programmers planned to include a Top 40 opening band for the Spade performance, a proposal that was dropped from the budget shortly before the event took place, said Ebersol.

The final contract for Spade’s performance was signed Sept. 27, and was not approved by the Financial Management Board. Initially, SUB submitted a budget, which was approved by the FMB, for the Spade event that included an opening act. Because the final contract was signed just before Spade came to Notre Dame, the FMB did not review the final budget, said Ebersol.

Don Norton, president of the FMB, declined to comment on whether FMB would review the final budget although the event had already occurred, or if the budget would be available to students, as the Student Union Constitution mandates.