MASON CITY — The City Council in Mason City this week approved an intergovernmental agreement with North Iowa Area Community College to help with booking and ticketing services for future events at the new downtown multi-purpose arena.
City Administrator Aaron Burnett says the expertise of the college’s Performing Arts and Leadership Series director Lindsay Dalrymple has been a valued source of information during the arena project, leading to the agreement. He says with that assistance, it became clear that if there was a willingness by NIACC to provide those services with the city reimbursing the costs, it would be an advantage to the city to have that.
Burnett says Dalrymple and her team will be able to assist in booking events into a different kind of venue that could offer a diversity of performances than what could be offered at the North Iowa Community Auditorium. “When you go out and book, that requires that you have a knowledge of the different folks that are out there putting together these events. If you go to the conferences where they present, so that you know exactly what’s out there, what they expect when they come into an arena, and really what fits in that space, so there’s a lot of knowledge that she brings to the table just with her expertise over at the performance series at NIACC. Additionally, she’s also expanding her knowledge base to make sure that she can assist us with the arena.”
Burnett says when it comes to the ticketing side of events operations, Dalrymple has the expertise in how to properly manage those details. “There’s ticketing programs, there’s just knowing what you need to charge, what it takes to reimburse, what sort of items need to be at the actual arena, and how you work back to what you would have to charge for that ticket based off of all the costs that essentially cascade into that. Then also knowing what are those risks look like, you know if you sell 1000 tickets versus 4000 tickets, and how you would actually cover that. Through this process I think that we’re going to end up in the best scenario.”
Burnett stresses that through the agreement, NIACC is not taking over the arena to run the events, they are providing services to assist the city in the events they provide through the arena. He also says there may be some events that want to directly book the arena and not utilize NIACC’s services. “Additionally, there will be events that just rent the arena, and essentially from start to end, do the whole thing themselves, their own ticketing, they just contact and actually take the space over for a fee from the city. There’s some that will be developed in-house, we’ll use NIACC for those purposes, we’ll specifically use Lindsey, and the ones that are outside, that’ll be a simple agreement with that entity.”
The council unanimously approved the 28E agreement between the city and NIACC.