Moncton needs a new deal for mega-concerts
The New Brunswick government must rebalance the financial arrangement it has with Moncton over the mega-concerts held in the city, according to a city councillor.
The final tallies are still coming in from Saturday's massive U2 concert in Moncton that drew close to 80,000 fans to the Magnetic Hill outdoor concert venue.
Coun. Daniel Bourgeois said it is not fair that the federal and provincial governments are reaping in millions of dollars because of the weekend's U2 concert in Moncton, while the city is making a much smaller profit.
"But we probably are still about $5 million to $5.5 million in the red," he said.
"And on the flip side the federal government and provincial government have probably made over $12 million to $13 million each since 2005 without spending more than $2 million to $2.5 million each."
Bourgeois, the co-chairman of the city's finance committee, said the city is earning a profit from the city-operated shuttle buses, a fee on each ticket sold and the rent paid by the promoters for the concert site.
Bourgeois said those three revenue sources will generate $100,000.
While the city is making money on the latest mega-concert to stop in New Brunswick, it doesn't come close to paying off the more than $5 million the city has spent over the years on the concert site.
Conversely, the councillor said the provincial government has put much less money into the mega-concerts but will collect a lot more.
"For every $6 we've invested, we've gotten $1 back," Bourgeois said.
"For the provincial government and federal government, for every $1 they've invested, they've gotten at least $6 back. So it is definitely inequitable treatment."
The city councillor said in most federal-provincial-municipal infrastructure agreements, each level of government kicks in one-third of the cost.
When it comes to future mega-concerts, Bourgeois said the other two levels of government should either ante up one-third of the costs associated with hosting these events or send back one-third of the profits.
Another option that Bourgeois is floating is the idea of new revenues that could be controlled by the municipalities.
Bourgeois said he wants the provincial government to give municipalities the power to impose a hotel levy, which would be a potential windfall during big concerts.
No one from the provincial government was available to comment on the financial arrangements it has with the city.
As well, no one from the city would discuss the terms of the concert contract.