Levitt would contribute 10 percent of the construction costs, or up to $500,000, followed by half the operating costs the first year. The annual contribution would decline thereafter. It’s hoped the pavilion could open as soon as July 2017.
Operating a Levitt pavilion costs about $500,000 annually. The foundation provides $500,000 in seed funding for construction and capital expenses and support resources. The foundation said it provides $1 million in the first five years of the pavilion’s operation.
After that, the foundation will provide about $150,000 annually in ongoing operational support to a nonprofit group formed to oversee the venue.
This is what has often puzzled me about the promises of the Levitt Foundation. Fifty Free ‘Professional’ concerts within basically a 4 month time period. Forget about the time frame in how you are going to get that many acts packed into that time frame, or that you are going to get 50 ‘professional’ acts to come to Sioux Falls to play, for a moment, let’sÂ pretend that is achievable.
The bigger question is how is this going to be paid for? Remember, these are free concerts, similar to JazzFest. While I have a rough idea what JazzFest costs to put on, you have to remember, besides sponsors, advertisers, vendors, and the cityÂ chipping inÂ services, the majority of the event if paid for by beer sales. Will Levitt have adult beverage sales at concerts? Will vendors have to pay a fee to sell their goods? I just don’t know how we are going to be able to maintain such a high level of concerts at the Levitt without digging into the city budget and having a major subsidy each year.
Something the city council needs to chew on before going full boar on this.