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Facing budget deficit, SPAC reduces payroll

Facing budget deficit, SPAC reduces payroll

Facing budget deficit, SPAC reduces payroll
Saratoga Performing Arts Center in May.
Photographer: Erica Miller

Facing a budget deficit and a canceled classical season, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center laid off four staff members on Friday. 

SPAC’s president/chief executive officer and the chief financial officer also took 25% salary reductions.

It marks the first time since the pandemic hit that SPAC has reduced its payroll. The four eliminated positions were from the administration, finance, development and marketing departments. It leaves SPAC with 19 fulltime staff members. 

“It is utterly heartbreaking to have to say goodbye to cherished co-workers. Unfortunately, with the amphitheater season canceled, earned revenue gone and a looming shortfall as a result, it was necessary to reduce staff costs along with all the other budget cuts we have made,” says Elizabeth Sobol, SPAC's President & CEO.

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Due to the cancelation of its previously scheduled 2020 programming, SPAC estimates that it will end 2020 with a budget deficit of $1.3 million.

In a virtual SPAC board meeting held earlier this summer, Jay Lafond, SPAC’s CFO, said “Our original 2020 budget reflected $5.4 million in revenues from ticket sales, rentals of the theater, concessions and fundraising events. That figure is now projected to be less than $200,000.” 

SPAC’s annual budget is typically around $10 million. Ticket sales make up less than 45 percent of that figure and SPAC fundraises for about half of its budget. Some ticket buyers have donated rather than refunded their 2020 classical season tickets, though SPAC is still projected to fall short. 

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