Sandy Springs raising concert venue rates, ticket fees

Credit: Bob Andres

Credit: Bob Andres

Sandy Springs will raise its commercial rental rates for its concert venues and meeting spaces by 9 percent.

“Our rental rates have not changed in [nearly] four years now. And 3 to 5 percent a year is pretty common in the industry,” Michael Pauken, interim executive director of the Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center said at a Public Facilities Authority (PFA) meeting on May 2.

Contractual labor costs have risen 35 percent and the cost of supplies has increased by 45 percent, he said.

Credit: Michael Pauken

Credit: Michael Pauken

The Georgia International Convention Center raised its rates by 15 percent in 2021 as it came out of the pandemic, with another 5 percent hike scheduled in 2024, Pauken said. The Cobb Performing Arts Center also raised its rates by 3 to 5 percent.

The city’s conference center rates for its meeting rooms, City View Terrace, and City Green also would increase by 9 percent.

“We’re very competitive in this area. We do require our renters to use our food and beverage, which would then be on top of these rental rates. And so we keep the rental rate itself relatively low. And I think it pays off bringing people into the building,” Pauken said.

Sandy Springs also will set sliding service charges based on the value of the ticket and raise a separate facility fee by 50 cents to $3 per ticket.

Tickets that cost up to $20 would have a $5 service charge and the $3 facility fee. Tickets priced between $60.01 and $70 would add $7 for those fees on the sliding scale.

By controlling its own ticketing system, the city has the potential to earn revenue and stay below what patrons would pay at a Ticketmaster venue, he said.

“We don’t want to leave money on the table. But at the same time we want to be favorably competitive with our competing venues,” Pauken said.

Sandy Springs gave City Manager Eden Freeman, who also serves as the PFA general manager, the authority to set these service charges, ticket fees and rental rates for its concert venues and meeting spaces at the Performing Arts Center and other city properties.

“I would ask that this authority be updated on a routine basis when you make significant when you make significant changes the rates just so that we’re aware of what you’re doing,” Councilmember John Paulson said.

Freeman said she expects those changes to be made annually and only when necessary. She promised to bring any changes to the PFA before they are approved.

The City Council and the mayor also serve as the PFA.

Credit: Rough Draft Atlanta

Credit: Rough Draft Atlanta


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