Monday, May 4, 2009
This is one of those times when you have to wonder if you're reading The Onion: ASUA managed to lose nearly $1 million on the Jay-Z concert at Arizona Stadium last week, according to the Arizona Daily Star.
Yes, they lost nearly a million dollars. On a show that was supposed to be a fundraiser for students who can't afford to pay their tuition.
Not only does this wipe out the Associated Students of the University of Arizona's reserve fund; it also means that that the outgoing ASUA leadership leaves the organization in such heavy debt that future student councils will have less money to spend for years, according the morning daily.
This is an unmitigated disaster that can be squarely blamed on outgoing ASUA President Tommy Bruce and his team, who decided they would throw a big-ass party and leave the tab for someone else. And while Bruce may tell the Star that the economy is to blame, anyone with any experience in successfully promoting concerts could have told him that this was going to be a disaster.
ASUA got lucky last year when they booked Kanye West at McKale Center and didn't lose money on the show. So they figured: Hey, anyone can do this!
Sadly for all concerned, ASUA could have worked with local promoters—there are several in town—to produce a show that would have turned a profit. Hell, they would have been better off if they'd just had a homeless bum play a guitar outside the Student Union for spare change.
The Arizona Daily Wildcat reports that a delusional Bruce considers the loss of nearly one million dollars to be a success:
The lead up to such a large-scale concert began four years ago, with ASUA slowly building up its reputation through smaller shows until they had proven they could handle a big-time concert, Bruce said.
"You have to prove yourself in the industry," he said. "There's a lot to be learned about what we've done."
Despite the financial losses, Bruce still called the concert a success, as it can be used as a retention and recruitment tool for the university, Bruce said.
Besides providing students with an entertaining show with prominent names, the university now knows a football stadium concert venue is viable, he added.
Um...it would appear to us that somebody failed to learn the definition of viable during their years in college.