Study finds uneven economic benefits from Kent's Showare Center

Study finds uneven economic benefits from Kent's Showare Center

Credit: KING / Travis Pittman

Study finds uneven economic benefits from Kent's Showare Center

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by CHRIS DANIELS / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @ChrisDaniels5

KING5.com

Posted on November 20, 2012 at 7:29 PM

KENT -- A new economic analysis of Kent's struggling arena could be a mixed bag of news for city leaders here.

The report, commissioned by the city, says the Showare Center has provided an economic boost -- to the tune of $12.1 million in related revenues in 2011.

However, the report, prepared by Community Attributes of Seattle, says restaurants are the biggest benefactor, with "shopping and lodging less common."

The Kent City Council was expected to be briefed on the subject during a study session Tuesday night.

The ShoWare Center has been a losing proposition since it opened.

The arena lost $450,456 in 2009, followed by $398,012 in 2010, and $457,480 in 2011. City leaders have blamed the problems on the struggling U.S. economy.

The report says ShoWare Center patrons spend $36.63 on average.

Unnamed proponents of the building are quoted in the report as saying: "On concerts and sports events we will see upwards of 50 and 75% increase.”

And: "It’s definitely a positive overall. It’s great to have a community connection. The community connection with ShoWare Center is a positive."

However, another unnamed stakeholder is quoted as saying: "The debt service on it is taking away about $3.5 million from the capital budget. A levy and sales tax increase for roads and parks."

It's unclear how city leaders plan to use the information.

Kent is Washington's 6th-largest city, with a population of 120,000 people, according to the most recent census data.

Read the analysis below:

CAI ShoWare Economic Impacts 2012 1116

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