As Coliseum's director resigns, budget shortfalls hang over its future

ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - With just one year as the Rapides Parish Coliseum's Executive Director, Richard Karamatic, is stepping down from the position. Rapides Parish Police jurors told us they were notified on Thursday.

SOURCE: KALB

“I guess he chose to move on in his career,” said Craig Smith, President of the Rapides Parish Police Jury in a phone interview.

“He hired all the necessary personnel and I think he’s done an excellent job at getting us through that opening process,” said Sean McGlothlin, Rapides Police Jury Dist. G.

But its been a rocky road. In a Town Talk report last October, Karamatic called out the Coliseum Authority for quote "taking their time, being too slow, being incompetent." That prompting an executive session between the authority, police jury and the executive director later in the month.

“There were some hurdles to cross,” said Smith. “New management, new people. We are progressing forward.”

But now, McGlothlin says the expected revenue in the budget isn't where it needs to be.

“There’s a shortfall in the budget which we had some hiccups in the opening process,” said McGlothlin. “There were some expenses we didn’t anticipate.”

News Channel 5 obtained the coliseum's budget that shows some shortfalls with seven months to go in this year's budget.

- When it comes to box office sales the coliseum is nearly 230 thousand dollars short of what they projected.

- Concession sales are more than $220,000 short with only a little over $3,000 of the projected more than $225,000.

- There is currently no advertising revenue of the projected $120,000.

- Only $3,400 of the projected $160,000 in facility rental.

And when it comes to expenditures, they've spent more than $2.1 million of the projected more than $2.8 million.

“You know we are short on some things,” said Smith. “We hope throughout the remainder of the year we sell tickets.”

Now, the coliseum makes $3.00 a ticket - so that means even if you add in all the projected revenue besides ticket sales and concessions--they'd have to sell out two shows at 7,500 people a month to balance the budget.

The only upcoming event posted on their website is WWE in June.

We reached out to Coliseum Authority Chairman, Daren Sigur, to talk about Karamatic's resignation and the coliseum's budget, he declined to comment.

But for the future, there is no word on when they plan to fill the position.

“There’s some decisions that would be made in the future and I don’t have anything to add at this point,” said Smith.

But the Coliseum had some set backs at the start. After a long legal battle, the police jury had to pay the City of Alexandria more than $1 million for the right’s to the parking lot.



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