Huber Heights touts success of Rose Music Center

Nearly 500,000 tickets sold in first five years of venue.

Five years after Huber Heights took a financial risk and built the Rose Music Center, the venue is doing better than many anticipated.

The Rose has held 171 shows since opening and sold nearly 500,000 tickets.

Construction of the $19.3 million music center, at 6800 Executive Blvd., started in 2013 and the Rose opened in 2015.

The music center was paid for with tax increment financing (TIF) funding, said City Manager Rob Schommer.

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Some residents were concerned that the city was biting off more than it could chew, Dayton Daily archives show. But the Rose has been profitable since its inaugural season, according to data given to this newspaper by the city.

The Rose Music Center has generated a net revenue, after expenses to run the music center, of more than $2.7 million to date.

Near the Rose, restaurants, apartments and a hotel have popped up.

“It has been a catalyst, as it was designed to be,” Schommer said.

The city originally thought 12 to 15 concerts would be realistic, but in its first season, the Rose Music Center hosted 29 shows. One of them was sold out.

The Rose raked in nearly $980,000 in net revenue during the 2018 season, nearly six times more than the Rose generated in its first season.

This year, as of Aug. 16, the music center had sold 107,605 tickets for 39 shows. The Rose is on track to sell out for 11 of the 41 shows to be held there, according to management company Music and Event Management Inc., or MEMI.

For shows not sold out, at least 70% of tickets are sold, MEMI said.

The music center is city owned but managed by MEMI. The city pays MEMI from its general fund, said Schommer.

The Rose can seat 4,200 concert-goers.

The revenue the Rose Music Center generates for the city goes into the city of Huber Heights general fund. The large majority of that revenue goes toward the parks and recreation department, according to Schommer.

“We’ve been able to put a significant amount of money into park improvements,” Schommer said. “It’s going into the core of the community, the southern part of the community.”

Those improvements include a new play structure at Thomas Cloud Park and upgrades to park shelters at several other parks.

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Huber Heights awarded the naming rights to the music center to Stuart and Mimi Rose for $4 million.

For many businesses, it takes five years to start turning a profit. The Rose was profitable from the beginning, Schommer said.

MEMI CEO Mike Smith said the growth of the music center happened much faster than anticipated, in part because of good management and a healthy economy.

Some of MEMI’s other properties include Riverbend Music Center and Taft Theatre in Cincinnati

Smith said the 2019 season has been one of stellar growth for the Rose.

“We have seen a significant increase in revenue and attendance,” Smith said. “The fans have come out in droves. We fill just about every seat, every show.”

Stacie Mayer drove from Defiance to see the Stray Cats play on Aug. 14 at the Rose. She said not only was the performance great, but she really enjoyed the venue.

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“Everyone was so friendly and helpful. I would definitely go back again,” Mayer said. “It was totally worth the two and a half hour drive.”

Smith said as the years have gone on, MEMI has made an effort to increase the genres of music, from Rob Zombie to Sarah McLachlan. MEMI also works to get “special” shows, Smith said. For instance, Sugarland only did 12 shows in the United States this summer, and the Rose was one of them.

The Rose will have shows until Sept. 27 this year.

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