New management for the Belize Civic Center Print E-mail
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Thursday, 22 March 2018 00:00

On Monday March 19th, Hon. Patrick Faber Minister of Education Youth, Sports and Culture along with director of Belize Infrastructure Limited (BIL) Christy Mastry, signed on to a management agreement with Apex Events Services Belize limited and its principal, Chad Eckert for a 3 year management contract for the New Belize Civic Center. Apex is a U.S. based entertainment management company which was incorporated in 2008 and now brings on Belizeans Reynaldo Malic as the Assistant General Manager who will be handling all the affairs of the management in Belize along with Jamaican Garth Godfrey who will coordinate events. They are joined by Lucinda Castillo who will be the human resources manager for Apex Belize.

BIL’s Christy Mastry says that from the start of the process and 12 months into the construction of the Civic they were looking for an international company to privately manage the facility. That process got underway in July of 2017 and went through to September for expressions of interest during which time 6 companies, regional, international and local applied. By October, official requests for proposals were put out to the companies and that lasted a month until November during which time site visits and meetings as well as tours and questions were answered about what was expected. In December the process was closed but there were requests for extensions which was granted until January of this year. After the entire process was complete, Apex was selected as the winning bidder.

Hon. Patrick Faber explained that at the end of it all he stands behind the decision to have the Civic under private management, “in years to come Belizeans will recognize the importance of the decision made to ensure that it is kept in a pristine manner, he noted. But even as it is under private management the Hon. Faber stated that government has taken measures to ensure that the wider Belizean population will have access to the Civic free of cost. That will come by way of 1000 community hours from the facility per year. In doing so the basketball association and the volleyball association will determine the use of hours along with government who will also hold a share of those hours.  Hon. Faber quickly pointed to Teachers’ Day as an example where the 6 thousand teachers countrywide can be accommodated in one place.

The facility is expected to be opened by the end of April and under the management, Reynaldo Malic noted that the secret to success is using the facility to generate revenue 365 days a year 24 hours a day.

Secret to generating revenue to cover expenses and to make a profit is to be able to use 365 days a year 24 hours a day. He said that includes coming up with a conversion team to be able to have the Civic serve as multi-use facility which is what Apex will be doing. He pointed out that outside of sporting events like basketball, volleyball, boxing and UFC type events, the Civic can also be used for weddings, business mixers and a range of events almost too much to mention. For Chad Eckert who is Apex’s principal he noted that he was impressed by the Civic and that it meets and exceeds expectation of what an arena like this should have. He said with that the Civic will allow for it to be a multi-venue arena.

The contract itself will see it running initially for a 3 year term as a public-private partnership. There is a minimum guarantee of between 850 thousand to a million dollars that needs to be generated before the facility becomes revenue neutral. After that a profit sharing mechanism of 25/75 and going up to 50/50 comes into play.

If the management company is unable to attain goals set after two and a half years of management the government will begin to look for another management entity. If the company is successful however it will have the first right to renegotiate during which time the government will negotiate to opt out of the guarantee of the first tranche.

The potential of running the Civic at a 40% capacity will mean that it will be able to generate 2 million dollars in profits. That translates to having income generated from 4 to 5 sporting events a month along with 1 large event. According to Malic, pricing for use of the event will vary depending on the use it will see as well as the size of the crowd which it will attract.

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 March 2018 15:36