Stambaugh Auditorium Calculates Its Impact at $3.4M

By Michael McGiffin, Chief Strategy Officer
YOUNGSTOWN – Revenue and economic output for 2019 confirm just how much the nearly 100-year-old Stambaugh Auditorium is an economic driver for the Youngstown area as well as an anchor for arts, entertainment and culture.

Last year, a study conducted by the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber calculated the economic output of Stambaugh Auditorium at $3.4 million. Total combined annual revenue for the auditorium – which includes earned income, gifts and pledges – was $2.8 million, a 25% increase from $2.1 million in 2018.

Stambaugh raised more than $900,000 in gifts and pledges last year, generated $1.9 million in revenue and hosted nearly 100,000 patrons at musical performances, lectures, weddings, conferences, and business and community events. Its 28 full- and part-time employees represent an investment of more than $1 million in salaries and benefits, excluding the part-time contracted staff for large events. In addition, 50 volunteer ushers work at Stambaugh.

Box office statistics and demographic data show that Stambaugh’s audience comes from a much wider area than Youngstown and surrounding communities. Some 24% of patrons and guests come from outside of the Mahoning and Shenango valleys, including Pittsburgh, Cleveland,  Akron, Canton and points beyond.

Credit goes to the philanthropic support of the community with its success, as well as its ability to preserve and maintain the landmark building on Fifth Avenue that was constructed and dedicated in 1926 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.

With the support of its donors, Stambaugh Auditorium has been able to provide enjoyment and create lasting memories for thousands of people who have experienced events at the historic venue.

For 2020, we at Stambaugh will continue our campaign to raise funds to replace the staircase and restore the façade of the grand structure. The cost of the project is estimated at $5 million and will include razing and replacing the Fifth Avenue staircase and promenade, reconstructing  retaining walls, replacing and  updating all water and storm water management lines, cleaning the façade of the building, adding dimensional exterior lighting, and restoring all decorative metalwork. To date, $2 million has been raised toward the project.

This year will primarily focus on fundraising efforts and logistical preparation for the project, for which we hope to break ground in spring 2021. Between these capital expenditures and a 2020 operating budget of $2 million, the annual economic output of the auditorium is expected to increase to $3.5 million.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.