KENT, Wash. - The tide is turning for Kent's accesso Showare Arena. We're only mid-way through 2018, and the arena is already turning a profit for the first time in its history.
Last week’s Sugarland concert is one of the nearly 30 events performed there since the beginning of the year, a record for this city-owned facility.
“This year especially, we have seen an increase. It’s exciting,” said Kent Mayor Dana Ralph.
Ralph said since Showare opened in 2009, it has lost money every year, to a total nearing $4 million.
But the 7,000-seat arena has been making more money with bigger shows, including the two-night, sold-out performances by comedian Jo Koy in February that boosted both ticket sales and visibility for the city.
“It’s changed our downtown, and it made Kent a destination," Ralph said.
Attendance was 142,156 in the first quarter of 2018, up from 6,582 in the first quarter of last year.
And now, the city is banking on expanding business inside the arena to the rest of the city.
Plans are in the works for a new hotel just a few miles from Showare, bringing in a new base of downtown customers.
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