About two years ago, the marquee at the MetroCentre could have read, "The show can not go on.”
2002 and 2003 were not very good years for the MetroCentre. The venue had lost tens of millions of dollars and turned to the City of Rockford to borrow money. In 2003 the MetroCentre was barely hanging on since the past two years they had only booked eight concerts.
In 2005 the situation is completely different. This year alone the MetroCentre has already had six concerts, three of which were completely sold out. Josh Grobin, Toby Keith and John Melloncamp helped the MetroCentre accomplish something they hadn't done in years.
While the Icehogs were busy trying to accomplish their own goals, the extra games meant extra money. With the Icehogs making it to the playoffs, that meant six games at home. Those were not originally in the budget.
General Manager Corey Pearson says, "We worked the numbers and we made progress, and right now for the year we are within $7,000 of our budget."
Even with $4.4 million in renovations on the inside and the outside Pearson, says it's a huge success to have a budget and an even bigger success to say within set limits. Now that the finance books are on track, the next goal is to look into potentially selling the name.
Pearson says, "Now that we've cleaned ourselves up, we're going to go back out and push that more aggressively. We're looking for someone we can partner with.
It’s a trend that most venues and arena's need to compete. Pearson says the MetroCentre is looking at trying to add box seats in the next couple of years.