State Still Concerned Over Xfinity Arena Finances

Xfinity Arena

Xfinity Arena in downtown Everett continues to struggle.

Today the Washington State Auditor released a management letter written June 28th regarding the finances of the Everett Public Facilities District which owns and operates Xfinity Arena. The letter isn’t much different from one issued last year. The City of Everett is scheduled to take over the arena in 2026 but that may happen sooner depending on the financial conditions. The City of Everett is putting placeholders in its future budgets for arena expenses.

Here is the letter made public today by the State Auditor…

Management Letter

Everett Public Facilities District January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015

Financial Condition:

The City of Everett created the Everett Public Facilities District in 2001 to operate an arena and conference center.

In the prior audit, we communicated financial condition concerns to the District in a letter to management. Our audit found that the Board dedicated more time to monitor and evaluate the financial condition of the District, and has taken steps to increase its operating revenues; however some items remain unresolved.

Specifically, the District’s net position (the difference between assets and liabilities) remains negative and has not improved significantly from the prior period. Over the past five years, the District’s ending net position is as follows:

Xfinity Arena

Relationship with the City of Everett:

The District is financially reliant on the City of Everett to meet its debt obligations. In March 2014, the District’s bond rating was downgraded from “A-” to “BBB”. In October 2014, the District entered into an interlocal agreement with the City of Everett to refund one of the District’s bonds totaling $27,415,000 and place the debt in the City’s name in order to secure a better interest rate. Also, in May 2015, the District and City moved forward on a plan to replace the scoreboard in the arena. The District and City worked for two years to determine the best financing plan before the City decided to loan the District an additional $665,000 to purchase a new scoreboard.

District’s Financial Plan:

The District is aware of the concerns regarding its financial condition and has taken the following steps to address its financial condition:

The Board appointed one member to be on-site each week to discuss arena operations with contracted management.

The District continually seeks new revenue sources such as hosting new concerts and events, promoting annual events, and advertising their conference halls to encourage more variety in the rentals of the rooms.

As a result of these efforts, our audit found that the District has a positive operating margin (excluding depreciation) for the first time in the past five years.

However, without continued financial support from the City of Everett, the District would be unable to operate at its current service levels.

Further, the District is unable to meet its financial obligations without assistance from the City.

We recommend the District continue to monitor and evaluate its financial activities closely. In addition, we recommend the District strive to operate as a self-sustaining organization.

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My Everett News is a hyperlocal news website featuring breaking news and events in Everett, WA. We also cover City of Everett information and items of interest to those who live and work in Everett. It's written by Leland Dart a former Snohomish County based radio reporter born and raised in Everett.

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8 Responses to “State Still Concerned Over Xfinity Arena Finances”

  1. Victor Says:

    The Everett Events Center is ideally located and when Light Rail arrives in Everett, shortly after our demise, the value of a smaller venue on the system will prove valuable.
    I do have my own concerns. Someone insists it smells like pee. I’ll agree sanitation is poor. Too many times I find the floor under my seat covered in pop and beer. The arena really must step up.
    But hey, the economy is good. We have money in this community, and we don’t. I know the average family income is low but we have BOEING. Why are the Silvertips failing to sell-out the arena? They still maintain a competitive team. Why do we lack serious mega-band concerts? We should be hosting a band every two weeks. I heard some bands aren’t allowed because they’re considered inappropriate for family venues. That’s hearsay, and if Everett declares itself “family-oriented,” I’ll support the community’s standards. Otherwise, we should be booking events. The facility is woefully underused, and I blame that on poor salesmanship. Yea, maybe it’s more fun to go to Vancouver, BC or Portland for a great show, but we must do better.
    Parking isn’t the question. We should be using public transit to and from events. Pushing Everett Transit and Community Transit to provide late-night service should be one of our demands. But YOU won’t ride the bus, will you? That service needs to run until 2 AM, and that demands a vibrant Downtown Everett, a place where people want to stay and party after a game or show, instead of running home and hiding. Hiding only allows other concerns to invade your thinking A strong presence of patrons at events will drive those less than desirable away. Truly, they do not want to be around you.
    The only way big things will happen is if YOU make it happen.

  2. anon Says:

    Maybe nobody goes there because they hate Comcast/Xfinity? (the most terrible company ever)

  3. Eleanore Says:

    I agree I always thought the location was pretty suck ass…

  4. Mike N Says:

    So the place is already a money-loser? Sounds like a good candidate for low-barrier housing.

  5. Bourne Says:

    Given the ridiculous location of the arena it’s not really a surprise. Add to that the lack of secure parking and the homeless situation in and around the area, I never go there.

    • anon Says:

      Yah. That place smells like pee

    • Jack kass Says:

      actually the homeless shelter is a bit of a walk from the arena. most times they don’t bother people at the arena. It’s at the fast food joints north of their they circle people like hawks…

  6. anon Says:

    Too bad they don’t get better musical talents. They could be paying the bills.