Petersen: expenses down, sponsorships up, but Freedom Fire needed more people in the stands

Is there any way for Logan City’s annual Freedom Fire celebration to pay for itself? That question is still unanswered after figures for the 2014 event came in.

This was the first Freedom Fire for Logan Mayor Craig Petersen’s administration and he told the municipal council he felt that the concept was well conceived, the event was well executed and that Freedom Fire chair Holly Fjeldsted did a fantastic job.

He said everything went as had been anticipated.

“We actually came in $10,000 under our expense budget. We came in, in terms of sponsorships, we came in about $4,000 more in sponsorships,” Petersen told the Logan City Council Tuesday night. “We were 15% above on sponsorships.

“So in terms of controlling expenses, in terms of getting sponsors, we did a great job. The sole issue here, with regard to finances with Freedom Fire, are the inability to get people into the stadium.”

The mayor said officials had hoped that $80,000 would come in from ticket sales but the figure was just $44,000. In recent years headliners have been brought in at times but he said the problem is the many people who watch the fireworks outside the stadium.

Although council members discussed ideas about what could be done, such as having only fireworks and no program and/or charging less for tickets, they decided to discuss the issue further at a later meeting.

In 2011, Freedom Fire costs exceeded revenues by over $50,000. In 2012 losses weren’t as great but the show still lost approximately $23,000. In 2013, deficits were reduced, but the program still lost $8,400.

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