As an official mayor of Carmel, I was delighted when the mayor reported the huge success that the Palladium has become.
In his State of the City – 2018 address, his honor provided information I have been trying to pry out of City Hall for more than a year.
“Since the Palladium opened in 2011,” he said, our Center for the Performing Arts . . . (entertained) more than 1,800 performances, welcoming more than 840,000 patrons.” Note, he starts with the Palladium but adds the rest of the Center to come up with 467 patrons per performance. Presumably, the per-performance number is smaller for the theaters (one of which is a theatre).
In next point is true brilliance: “That is something that would not have happened without our investment in The Center.” No hall, no ball.
The City Attorney refused my request for revenue and expense data for the Center, but what information I could find (circa 2015) showed revenue of $9.1 million of which 52 percent was contributions and grants. Among the grants was $3.5 million from governments. The current City Hall budget includes a $2 million item in the mayor’s budget for the Center.
No subsidy, no ball.
In none of this is mentioned made of repaying the $175 million borrowed to build the music hall. That’s $1,924 per resident. The Stonehenge of Song could have been replaced by the Mount Rushmore Memorial ($1 million in 1940; $17.8 million in today’s dollars) and the St. Louis Arch ($13 million in 1965; $104 million today).
In that case, whether 840,000 visitors showed up or not, we’d still be more than $53 million ahead.