Fraze Pavilion took 2021 COVID revenue hit; federal grants help offset loss



KETTERING — The Fraze Pavilion took in $468,000 less in revenue than it spent on expenses during a COVID-shortened season this year, a larger deficit than the city targeted, records show.

The city-owned 4,300-seat popular outdoor venue took in about $2.5 million and expenses were estimated at $2.97 million, according to Kettering records.

The season, which traditionally begins in the spring, started in late July due to coronavirus restrictions and lasted until early September. The Fraze was closed due to COVID in 2020, when it took a $743,685 hit, records show.

“Like everyone else, keeping up with the pandemic’s current and the restrictions in tow was no easy feat,” Kettering City Manager Mark Schwieterman said in a released statement.

“However, offering this summertime staple in the safest fashion possible was worth the daily improvisation,” he added. “Even though the 2021 season was reduced to half as it began in July, it was going to be as special as ever for residents and patrons.”

Federal Shuttered Venue Operators Grants totaling about $3.04 million will offset 2020 and 2021 deficits, according to the city.

The Fraze has built up a fund balance that supports its operations and it has not had a transfer from the city’s general fund since 2006, Schwieterman said.

The shuttered venue money “restored our fund balance that was reduced significantly” since the pandemic, he added.

The city annually targets an operating loss of about $300,000 for the Fraze, documents show.

This year the venue hosted 16 ticketed concerts, fewer than half of 2019′s 35. The Fraze had 22 events this season compared to 48 two years ago.

However, concert tickets sold this past season was 43,092, a higher average per show (2,693) than 2019. That year the Fraze sold 79,631 for an average of 2,275 per event, according to records.

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