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Dome, Bayfront Center in the red

The company that manages the Florida Suncoast Dome and Bayfront Center is asking the city for an additional subsidy of $500,000 to meet expenses at the city facilities.

City Council members will consider the extra expenditures Thursday.

Russ Cline and Associates, the Kansas City, Mo., company that runs the two facilities, cites a slow concert industry and unexpected cancellations of events as the reason for the increase.

Robert Leighton, the city's downtown facilities director, said the company saw the problem coming and reduced Dome expenses by $860,000. Still, it was not enough to pay all the bills for both venues during the fiscal year ending Oct. 1.

"The concerts generate between 50- and 100-grand apiece," Leighton said. "Without that revenue, it becomes very difficult. They have cut back dramatically."

If the additional money is approved, the Dome's $1.4-million subsidy will increase by $350,000 and Bayfront's $734,000 budget by $150,000.

Last year was fruitful for the Dome. Nine concerts were held there, including three _ Rod Stewart, Guns n' Roses and Eric Clapton _ that generated profits of more than $95,000 each.

The year was so good that Russ Cline generated $612,000 more than projected, reducing the subsidy that year to $1.1-million.

At the Bayfront Center, the cancellation of a boat show meant $50,000 of lost income for the facility. And when promoters changed the date of an ice show, the income was bumped into the next budget year.

Another problem for Bayfront was fewer than projected Broadway-type shows. While the management company predicted eight performances, Bayfront hosted three performances, all of the Broadway play Annie.

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