Make us your home page
Instagram

Taylor Swift made lots of money on Tampa concert; taxpayers, Bucs made some, too

TAMPA — By all appearances, Taylor Swift made gobs of cash on her Halloween concert at Raymond James Stadium.

The show was a sellout at 56,987. And the Tampa Sports Authority had said Swift would receive 100 percent of ticket sales. That would amount to nearly $4 million for the singer, including a $2.75 million guarantee, authority figures suggest.

The singer may still receive that much cash. But the details are suddenly a bit mysterious.

The authority made an 11th-hour change to the way the show's finances were handled, allowing the touring company used by Swift to promote the show. In so doing, the exact tally of the money paid to Swift is no longer a matter of public record.

The agency said it made the change to save insurance costs. The net impact of the change, the authority said: $48,000 in savings.

This decision, made by the authority's board on Oct. 26, comes months after the authority's chief, Eric Hart, loudly complained to the Tampa Bay Times about his public agency having to release concert financials to the newspaper. Hart said it put the authority at a disadvantage competing for acts against nonpublic venues, and that it angered artists.

The Messina Touring Co., which handled the concert for Swift, received the $5.8 million generated by ticket sales, the authority said Friday. But now, how much of that goes to Swift is unclear.

It would seem unlikely that Swift would agree to take less than the $3.9 million she would have gotten had the authority not made the change. Messina officials could not be reached to comment, and the authority said it has no idea. Bobby Silvest, authority spokesman, said Hart was on vacation and unavailable to comment.

One thing that is clear is that the concert appears to have made money for everyone involved.

The show earned $843,947 that will be split between the authority — hence taxpayers — and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs get half of the profit under the team's stadium agreement with the authority.

Swift's fans bought $40,784 in merchandise during the show. They sipped and gobbled $244,626 in drinks and food at concession stands. The parents of fans and those old enough to drive paid $124,798 in parking.

The authority profited from other revenue streams, including sponsorships and suite ticket sales that don't go to Swift.

But a final accounting on concert expenses and revenues will not be available for several weeks, the authority said.

Hart, the agency's executive director, has previously said the agency and taxpayers greatly benefit by promoting shows, rather than leaving it to third parties. The risk is higher, Hart has said, but the profit is greater.

When the authority does not promote a show, it essentially rents the facility out and is not involved in paying an act directly.

But if the agency doesn't make as much money when somebody else promotes a show, its own figures say otherwise.

The $843,947 profit is actually fairly close to what the authority would have made had it promoted the show itself, according to its figures.

Why did the authority make a late decision against promoting the show? Silvest, the agency spokesman, said it balked at the high cost of insurance.

"While initially the TSA agreed and received approval to be the promoter, when options for event cancellation insurance were pursued, the fees were found to be quite expensive," Silvest said in an email. Such insurance is often called weather insurance because the main danger of a concert being called off is a storm.

That explanation does not appear to be supported by discussion held at previous authority board meetings. In fact, such insurance was talked about as being a good deal and Hart indicated the authority would move forward with buying such insurance at a cost of about $48,000.

Hart said at a July meeting that weather insurance was a good idea, saying, "It seems like a prudent measure, based on where we're at financially with the event."

Contact William R. Levesque at levesque@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3432. Follow @Times_Levesque.

Taylor Swift made lots of money on Tampa concert; taxpayers, Bucs made some, too 11/06/15 [Last modified: Friday, November 6, 2015 9:21pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. In advertising, marketing diversity needs a boost in Tampa Bay, nationally

    Business

    TAMPA — Trimeka Benjamin was focused on a career in broadcast journalism when she entered Bethune-Cookman University.

    From left, Swim Digital marketing owner Trimeka Benjamin discusses the broad lack of diversity in advertising and marketing with 22 Squared copywriter Luke Sokolewicz, University of Tampa advertising/PR professor Jennifer Whelihan, Rumbo creative director George Zwierko and Nancy Vaughn of the White Book Agency. The group recently met at The Bunker in Ybor City.
  2. Tampa Club president seeks assessment fee from members

    News

    TAMPA — The president of the Tampa Club said he asked members last month to pay an additional assessment fee to provide "additional revenue." However, Ron Licata said Friday that the downtown business group is not in a dire financial situation.

    Ron Licata, president of the Tampa Club in downtown Tampa. [Tampa Club]
  3. Under Republican health care bill, Florida must make up $7.5 billion

    Markets

    If a Senate bill called the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 becomes law, Florida's government would need to make up about $7.5 billion to maintain its current health care system. The bill, which is one of the Republican Party's long-promised answers to the Affordable Care Act imposes a cap on funding per enrollee …

    Florida would need to cover $7.5 billion to keep its health care program under the Republican-proposed Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017.  [Times file photo]
  4. Amid U.S. real estate buying binge by foreign investors, Florida remains first choice

    Real Estate

    Foreign investment in U.S. residential real estate recently skyrocketed to a new high with nearly half of all foreign sales happening in Florida, California and Texas.

    A National Association of Realtors annual survey found record volume and activity by foreign buyers of U.S. real estate. Florida had the highest foreign investment activity, followed by California and Texas. [National Association of Realtors]
  5. Trigaux: Tampa Bay health care leaders wary of getting too far ahead in disruptive times

    Business

    Are attempts to repeal Obamacare dead for the foreseeable future? Might the Affordable Care Act (ACA), now in dire limbo, be revived? Will Medicaid coverage for the most in need be gutted? Can Republicans now in charge of the White House, Senate and House ever agree to deliver a substitute health care plan that people …

    Natalia Ricabal of Lutz, 12 years old, joined other pediatric cancer patients in Washington in July to urge Congress to protect Medicaid coverage that helped patients like Ricabal fight cancer. She was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma in 2013 and has undergone extensive treatments at BayCare's St. Joseph's Children's Hospital in Tampa. [Courtesy of BayCare]