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SPAC marks ninth consecutive season without deficit


SPAC marks ninth consecutive season without deficit

The Saratoga Performing Arts Center will break even in 2013, members of the SPAC board were told Wed

The Saratoga Performing Arts Center will break even in 2013, members of the SPAC board were told Wednesday.

At a meeting that wasn’t open to the press, the board also approved a $9.2 million budget for the 2014 fiscal year.

SPAC’s 2013 budget, which totaled $8.4 million, finished “in the black” by a few thousand dollars, said spokeswoman Shane Williams-Ness. It’s the ninth year in a row without a deficit for the performing arts venue in Saratoga Spa State Park.

This year’s revenue was aided by a record-breaking Live Nation season which generated $1.35 million for SPAC, officials said. The Live Nation season included major events, including a three-night stand by the jam band Phish and a sold-out Farm Aid concert in September, and shows by established performers like the Dave Matthews Band and the Allman Brothers.

The Saratoga Wine & Food Festival, meanwhile, netted $235,000 in fundraising income, the highest since the festival’s inception in 2000, officials said.

SPAC did not break down how much revenue was received from ballet and Philadelphia Orchestra ticket sales, or performance revenue versus fundraising revenue.

“We are tremendously grateful to all those who helped us reach this financial benchmark for the ninth consecutive year,” said SPAC Executive Director Marcia White. “Given the continuing challenges in the economy, we are overwhelmed with the support SPAC received from sponsors, donors and members in 2013, as well as from the fans who purchased concert and classical tickets or attended fundraisers.”

Williams-Ness couldn’t say why next year’s budget will increase by about $800,000. The budget includes fees paid to bring in ballet companies, the orchestra and other performers, as well as administrative and facility maintenance costs.

“Some of it is confidential,” Williams-Ness said.

White also said announcements about the 2014 classical season will start on the center’s website,, on Thursday, Dec. 12. The Philadelphia Orchestra and New York City Ballet will return, but there also will be new performers, some of which are probably behind the budget increase.

“With the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center launching their SPAC residency next season and special engagements by the Bolshoi, Martha Graham and MOMIX, the possibilities for this year’s series are greater than ever before,” White said.

Tickets for performances July 29 through Aug. 1 of “Don Quixote” by the Bolshoi Ballet will be available online beginning at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10. There also will be a one-day opening of SPAC’s Hall of Springs Box Office on Saturday, Dec. 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Also at Wednesday’s meeting, the board approved the appointment of Philip B. Livingston of Basking Ridge, N.J., to the board of directors. The career corporate executive was CEO of LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell from 2009 until this year. Prior to that, he served as chief financial officer for several companies, including Catalina Marketing Corp. and Celestial Seasonings. He was CEO of Financial Executives International from 1999 to 2003.

Livingston also played offensive tackle as a member of the 1981 Super Bowl champion Oakland Raiders.

Livingston is replacing board member Larry King of Saratoga Springs, president and CEO of King Wealth Management. King, a member of SPAC’s board since 2006, is stepping down to devote more time to his growing financial services firm.

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