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Bigger acts eyed for Park
Rhonda BEST
Grand Ole Opry member Rhonda Vincent performs with Zack Arnold, the newest member of The Rage, at Park Theater on Friday night. Paid attendance was 328 for the show, according to Vincent’s publicist. Tickets were $35 to $40 for the floor and $30 for the balcony.

Can Park Theater financially support headline acts?

The city Parks and Recreation Committee met to review Park Theater’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2021-22. Requested was $404,630, which is a $11,409 increase from fiscal year 2020-21. 

“We left everything pretty much the same as 2020-21,” said McMinnville Parks and Recreation director Scott McCord. “The only thing we really increased was $10,000 for booking fees. Other than that, it’s pretty much unchanged.”

That line item went from $20,000 in 2020-21, to $30,000 requested for 2021-22. Booking fees are used to cover the cost for booking entertainment.

“I just hope we are a little more selective than what we have been on what we bring in,” said Alderman Everett Brock. “We haven’t had a whole lot of winners.”

Most of the events booked, said Brock, have ended in a financial loss. 

McCord said Park Theater manager Kevin Roberts has five or six different booking agencies that can provide acts, but it depends on how much the city wants to spend.

City administrator Nolan Ming added, “There are some big names on the list, but they come with big price tags.”

Alderman Steve Harvey asked if more money is needed for booking larger acts, to which McCord replied, “If we want to go big, yeah. We need to spend more money.” 

The theater seats approximately 500 people. 

“If you sell 500 seats at $40 a ticket, that’s $20,000,” said Harvey. “You can see what you’re up against to try and make money. It all depends on how much people will pay and if the show will be sold out.”

According to a list of performers and pricings reviewed during the meeting, booking country music singer John Michael Montgomery would cost $30,000. Those tickets would have to be $60 per person to break even on a sold-out show. Singer Jimmie Allen costs $50,000 to book, so those tickets must be $100 to break even on a sold-out show. 

“You might have to get a corporate sponsor to put on a big show like that,” said Harvey.

Parks and Recreation Committee members made no changes to the 2021-22 proposed budget for Park Theater at this initial stage of the budget process.