Mar 8, 2023 | By: Mary Balstad

Sanford Center Sees Successful 2022, Cuts Losses by Nearly $271K

Tuesday, March 7th marked a full year since venue and entertainment company ASM Global took over management of Bemidji’s Sanford Center, and they say they’ve cut down on the event center’s operating deficit.

After the Bemidji City Council terminated their contract with VenuWorks, ASM Global took over. One year after that transition, the events venue has cut down not only its operating deficit, which hit heights of over $400,000, but public skepticism as well.

At Monday’s city council meeting, ASM Global’s annual report showed that, despite any growing pains, there was a rise in profits from events like concerts. A main factor attributed to this success is how the staff works to run the Sanford Center as a business, not as a community center.

General manager Shelia Murphy says although the center was given a budget with losses up to $451,000 last year, over the first nine months ASM Global managed the Sanford Center, the year ended with losses adding up to $180,000 pre-audit.

When they were first hired, ASM Global was projected losses of $190,000 the first year, $6,000 the second, and a profit in their third year of operation.

With upcoming events including Alice Cooper and Unicon, the Sanford Center also recently announced their partnership with the Minnesota Rodeo Association. This partnership guarantees the venue will host the MRA finals for the next three years.

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