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Live event centers put up red alert to raise awareness of RESTART Act

The light-up event took place in locations all across the country
Published: Sep. 1, 2020 at 10:16 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - On Tuesday, downtown Toledo buildings were lit up in red to raise public awareness that the live events industry is on red alert for its survival.

Leaders in the industry want to create congressional pressure to act now. Businesses like the Huntington Center, Valentine Theater, Fleetwoods at Fifth Third Field, SeaGate Convention Centre, and iHeart Media participated.

“It’s an opportunity to get national recognition for our plight. We haven’t had an event since March 11. Our revenue is down 95 percent since then. We have had to let go of staff. We’re in a position where we need help in order to keep our business flowing, and there’s nothing else other than getting the word out so Congress knows about it,” Huntington Center general manager Steve Miller said.

The Red Alert lighting was used from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. on buildings all across the country. Locally, Great Lakes Sound and Lighting provided the lights for the Toledo businesses.

Due to Covid-19, 62% of live event workers are fully unemployed and 94% of live event workers report income loss as of August. Right now, indoor event centers are only allowed to be at 15 percent capacity.

“It’s not financially viable at this point. We would need to have a minimum 2,500 people to have any event be remotely viable. We really need to be in a situation for the concerts to be at full capacity to really make money,” Miller said.

Realistically the Huntington Center needs to have 4,000 to 5,000 people in attendance for the business to make money.

Aside from the potential for Walleye hockey playing in December, nothing else is on the Huntington Center schedule until March of next year. That doesn’t just impact their bottom line, it affects the small businesses around these events centers. On average, every person spends $87 each time they attend a live event downtown, according to Miller.

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