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SPAC Climbs Out Of The Red

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — The Saratoga Performing Arts Center, at the completion of its first year under new leadership, has reported to members the first budget surplus in 15 years, an increase in memberships, plans for extensive renovations in the amphitheater, expanded marketing and additional dance programming.

SPAC Chairman William Dake told roughly 100 people at SPAC’s annual membership meeting that the future of the New York City Ballet’s July residency, one issue not fully resolved since last summer’s controversial leadership disputes, rests with the ballet company, according to The Saratogian.

No deal has been reached to keep the ballet at SPAC beyond 2006, but talks will take place this summer, Dake said.

“If there is any constraints or changes, it will be initiated by them, not us,” he told the meeting. “They are constantly dealing with their own problems and issues. I cannot guarantee anything.”

The meeting for SPAC members marked the first time in 15 years that SPAC’s leadership was able to report a budget surplus. The organization recorded a profit of $111,948 in 2005, compared to more than $2.3 million in accumulated debt the previous four years.

Last May, several private donors gave SPAC $2 million, spread out over several years. These donations, along with cost-cutting measures, have helped SPAC realize its current operating budget surplus.

“We’re getting back on track, but we still need everybody in this room,” board member Ed Lewi said, according to the paper.

Live Nation, who handles the venue’s rock and pop concerts, is expected to book nearly two dozen dates this summer, compared to only 17 one year ago. SPAC gets $1 million yearly from its contract with Live Nation. Once total attendance reaches 200,000, SPAC also gets $3 per patron. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers