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Tough Times Mean Likely Fee Increase at Tulsa Performing Arts Center

Aired on Thursday, March 15th.
Aired on Thursday, March 15th.

Ticket fees will likely go up at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center next month.

City budget cuts and a smaller piece of hotel tax revenues mean PAC Director John Scott is looking for $269,000 to keep six positions filled. Raising the facility fee from $1 to a $1.50 could bring in $60,000 in a year.

"That effectively raises the ticket price," Scott said. "I never say, 'Oh, well, nobody will feel $.50 as an increase,' but I regard it as nominal. I hope that others will view it the same way."

Individual productions, not the PAC, set ticket prices for shows there.

The PAC will also put off some planned renovations in the wake of budget cuts. Scott said he’s canceling or delaying projects that would have been funded by hotel tax revenue, and he’s worried about setting a precedent.

"By agreeing to reduce our convention fund request for next year, I'm basically setting us up for similar reduced funding in the out years, and that's not a bright prospect," Scott said.

The PAC was already dealing with a 16 percent decrease in its allocation of hotel tax funds. Scott will give the city council a list of projects to defer next week.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.