9 months, 1 week ago by Bob Gough
Team lost more than $76,000 this past season
LIVE BLOG FROM OLC BOARD MEETING
The Oakley-Lindsay Center Board meets at noon on Wednesday.
Meeting has started. Going over financials. Not in detail yet.
Dave Comer, who said via social media he was no longer affiliated with the Quincy Gems, is in attendance.
Gems made $3,026 in concessions this year, but "not what we were hoping to do," said Finance Committee Chairman Jim Rinella.
Gems bottom line, according to Rinella, is that the team lost $65,000 last year. That adds in the time put in by OLC statf. That is a more realistic number, according to Rinella.
Fewer sponsorship sales and corporate nights are a part of those losses as well.
Outstanding bills remain including rent and fireworks, for another $11,000 in the red.
Hotel/Motel revenues are coming in higher.
Comer thanks the Board for its support when he was working for the Gems, especially when he had cancer. Said he was sorry he couldn't bring in more money for the Gems with sponsorship sales. "We did our best to bring a quality event to Quincy at a reasonable price," he says. Very emotional.
Board Chairman Hubert Staff thanks Comer for his service.
OLC Executive Director says he's looking at converting the facility's lighting to LED. Working on grants and such.
Staff talks about financial analysis of OLC and Gems. Asks for thoughts from the Board.
Rinella says OLC is commiitted to the Gems for 2014. "Financially, I think what we should do is tell people it's for sale. It's a turnkey operation, it's an asset for the community, but it's not our core business. We want to sell them and keep them in Quincy. That's our top priority. There will be Gems baseball next year."
Staff: "It would be ideal to find local ownership."
Ebbing: "It's a great asset to the community...it has grown throughout the years...perhaps outside the capacity of the Civic Center."
Staff asks if they will advertise the sale. Ebbing says he will contact the league office. The league will get a 3 percent cut of the sale. Says OLC and QU has invested about a half million dollars in QU-Stadium.
Board member Charlie Doan wants to cut expenses and try to keep the team. He was part of the original board that brought in the Gems. But he says the OLC can't do it if the Gems can't make a profit.
Board Member Mark Neiswender says "we need to get back to our core."
Doan says Prospect League expansion has added a transportation expense.
Board Member Cheri Cartmill says the team can't operate in the red.
Rinella: "We're trying to keep ahead of this and keep baseball in Quincy."
Board votes to sell the team. It's unanimous.
The Oakley-Lindsay Civic Center Authority Board will discuss the possibility of selling the Prospect League team at its monthly meeting Wednesday.
The team has lost about $55,000 over the last two years.
The Gems came to life in 1996 as members of the Central Illinois Collegiate League, which morphed into the Prospect League and expanded to 11 teams. The expansion has led to increased travel costs.
Executive Drector Rob Ebbing confirmed the topic will be discussed at the meeting.