GLENS FALLS — Cool Insuring Arena finished 2017 in the black, according to its general manager, thanks to successful concerts such as Brantley Gilbert and Kenny Rogers and sporting events such as the ECHL hockey All-Star Game and the Federation basketball tournament.
General Manager Jeff Mead said it was a good year, although he declined to specify how much profit the arena made. Without the $250,000 in occupancy tax money from Warren County, the arena would not have finished in the black, he said.
“We didn’t do a show where we lost any money, which is great. We don’t expect that to happen all the time in the future,” he said.
The arena recently announced the rock band Primus would be coming to the arena on May 25.
Other successful events included the Sunmark Shootout on Feb. 3, in which Glens Falls basketball player Joseph Girard III achieved his 3,000th career point.
In addition, Mead said support for the Adirondack Thunder has been strong, with attendance at the games increasing over the last year.
“I think local ownership certainly has helped. The fans know the team’s here. It’s not leaving. I think the fans have bought into the level of play,” he said. “We’re having some success on the ice. The stability of the organization certainly helps our fan base and the casual fan as well.”
Season tickets are on sale and the price has not been raised for the third year in a row, according to Mead.
Mead said he would like to attract more sporting events, but first the fourth locker room has to be finished. More locker room space is required for the arena to bid on events such as college hockey and the NCAA basketball tournament. The improvements cost about $100,000 and should be completed this summer.
The improvements should also help Glens Falls as it tries to win back the State Boys Basketball Tournament.
The arena’s executives would like to put some more railings in the stands, which is something fans have asked for. But money needs to be raised to make that happen.
Mead said he is trying to pursue more hard rock concerts and sports entertainment events.
“We’ve got a bunch of offers out for some concerts and shows for summer and fall. Hopefully, we get some good confirmation, so we can announce it to the public,” he said.
He said he is also trying to attract mixed martial arts to the arena. Utica was able to obtain a UFC event. Mead wants to try to get UFC or a lower division.
Mead said that the arena last week received reimbursement for a $2 million grant. Like many state grants, the entity has to spend the money first and then get reimbursed.
A variety of projects were completed with the money including $1 million for the video board, power and entryway signs, $300,000 for locker room renovation, $150,000 to paint the girders gray and the rest to upgrade the food and beverage stands, upgrade building equipment and purchase communications devices.