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Published August 24, 2011, 08:46 AM

Commissioner: City to Likely Run Alerus Center Next Year

The company that manages the city-owned Alerus Center in Grand Forks wants to terminate its management contract with the events center effective December 31.

By: WDAZ Staff Report,

GRAND FORKS, ND - The company that manages the city-owned Alerus Center in Grand Forks wants to terminate its management contract with the events center effective December 31.

In a letter sent to the events center commission today, VenuWorks President Steve Peters said "(W)e believe that a new governance and management structure may be required to meet the challenges facing the Alerus Center today."

Peters also said that the action would let everyone involved "think beyond the organizational structures" that have existed before the Alerus has been open.

According to a written release, the company and commission will work together over the next four months with no interruptions in service or events.

Peters left open the idea of a reduced role for the company in regard to operation of the Alerus Center but did not have any specific plans yet.

In a nut shell it likely means less overhead costs for the city to run the Alerus Center.

The city will not be paying VenueWorks $175,000 a year for its services.

Most of the VenueWorks staff are expected to stay on.

The change comes as the arena side of the business struggles to bring in big events and continues to lose money.

Alerus commissioner Curt Kreun says next year the city will likely manage most of the facility with the option of bringing help to in assist in specialty areas.

"I think it will be a hybrid of sort between the management-type scenario and the city itself. We can save some costs and manage the facility at a high level," Kreun said.

Kreun says the Alerus Commission will decide what kind business model the Alerus Center will go with over the next six weeks.

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