Budweiser Gardens pumps $300K into city coffers

File photo by Alec Ross, BlackburnNews.com

Budweiser Gardens continues to exceed pre-build expectations, according to an annual report headed to city politicians next week.

The downtown entertainment and sports facility’s annual performance update shows it brought in just over $339,000 in revenue for the City of London in 2019. That is up from the $262,974 in revenue it generated for London in 2018.

A total of 146 events were hosted at Budweiser Gardens last year. The variety of concerts, sporting events, and comedy shows drew more than 600,000 people to the venue.

“The biggest highlight of the year was hosting the 2019 Juno Awards,” Brian Ohl, the facility’s general manager, said in the annual report. “I believe the event showcased how well all of the different entities within the city work together to ensure the best possible experience for fans from across Southwestern Ontario. We are proud to have hosted the biggest night in Canadian music.”

The facility is managed by Spectra Venue Management, with the city receiving 70 per cent of all net proceeds under the current lease agreement.

Opened in 2002, the now 18-year-old venue is home to the London Knights and London Lightning and can seat more than 10,000 concert goers. Outstanding debt from the facility’s construction is expected to be paid off in 2023.

The full report goes to the corporate services committee on Tuesday.