Alerus’s Response to Rob’s Open Document Request for Britney Results
As you may remember we felt that we had to push the Alerus Gang to release the results of the Britney Spears concert. To that end Rob sent them an open records request (not something you can ignore in North Dakota) on Sept 24th. Last Thursday he received the following:
Alerus Britney Spears Financials And Letter –
You can get a full sized view by clicking here.
I’ve covered the results of the event before so that’s kinda old hat except that I think I should point out that only $50,000 of the money spent putting on the concert went to salaries. Most of the rest of the 1.2 million dollars is gone out of the community without doing anyone any good. Well except for Britney. They call that economic impact I guess, but I don’t think it’s helping.
Hyman wants us to believe that he was going to release all of this information. In fact he says they had a press conference set up for two weeks. The funny thing is that the press conference, according to the Grand Forks Herald story on Sept 23, they had a press conference set up for October 7th.
“A press conference is planned for Oct 7 where Hyman and UND economics professor David Flynn will discuss the concert and its impact. Hyman told the Herald he will be able to discuss the center’s bottom line from the event and what it did in the community, but disclosing ticket sales information will still require approval from AEG Live.”
Maybe Rob’s demand letter resulted in them moving the conference up a couple days. Or maybe it was that I found the attendance and revenue figures and posted them on Friday the 2nd of October. That was making Hyman’s claim that attendance numbers were confidential look more than a bit silly. For whatever reason the planned press conference was moved up two days and they gave out a lot more information than the bottom line.
We certainly know that they’ve never released this kind of detail on a concert before. I think we can claim at least a small part of credit for that.
There’s another interesting part of the letter. Hyman says that we can always find the Alerus’s monthly financial statements on the City’s website. I spent quite a bit of time looking today (as I have in the past) and couldn’t find them. The city has apparently kept Google from indexing their site so you have to search with their clunky search feature that’s provided.
But I can’t find it. Any help would be appreciated. I’m reminded of a book where Arthur Dent was looking for some public documents. He found them in the basement (without stairs) in a locked file cabinet in a disused lavatory where there weren’t any lights.
We are preparing our next open records request by the way.