Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Value of Manufactures' New Orders for Consumer Goods Industries



Consumer Goods Sector

A category of stocks and companies that relate to items purchased by individuals rather than by manufacturers and industries. This sector includes companies involved with food production, packaged goods, clothing, beverages, automobiles and electronics.

Performance in the consumer goods sector depends heavily on consumer behavior.

When the economy grows the sector will see an increased demand for higher-end products.

When the economy shrinks there is an increased demand for value products.

While some product types, such as food, are necessary, others, such as automobiles, are considered luxury items.

http://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/consumer-goods-sector.asp
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This is Greensboro's Ghost of Economic Development Theory.

Historically, as the economy slows, some of those in power and relatively well known personalities act outside of their usual publicly perceived character to preserve their positions of standing within the community.

The economy is slowing.

Greensboro's economy never really picked back up after 2008.

Via new debt and otherwise, Greensboro and Guilford County's Treasuries have been accessed by a connected few at the expense of the many.

As cash flows fall below required debt payments,
economic panic will ensue across the community's crooked leadership.

A third of college debt payments were not made last month.

Large percentages of our elderly are financially supporting their children.

If we get to a point when the kids lose their jobs, drain their retirement accounts and have to move out of the rented apartments and in with mom and dad, the debt payments associated with many newer apartment developments may default.

Some of our elite may start sweating it, and do something stupid, like try to get Greensboro to fund development outside the city limits by way of water and sewer infrastructure wrapped in a lie about getting an auto plant, right down the street from another site which already has water and sewer.

Like free water and sewer for a Sheetz.

Like incentive money for a hotel.

Like incentive money for a restaurant.

Notice the last three items would artificially remove profits from unconnected competitors.

This is Greensboro.

Some of those at the top could give a siht what happens to everyone else,
as long as they get to stay there.

That's where the confidence games come into play.

On The Demise Of The NC Shakespeare Festival



Some will know that the NC Shakespeare Festival is no more. Today I received a letter as to why that came to be:

"Here's what no one will say too loudly: Triad Stage (with the eager backing of its major donors) killed the NC Shakespeare Festival, not the economy.

NC Shakes subsisted for years off of the proceeds it would bring in from its version of 'The Christmas Carol.'  The moment Triad Stage got its sea legs it went behind the backs of the arts community and created its own version in direct competition with NC Shakes.

The big issue is not the competition, but the way in which it was done - behind close doors, with wealthy donors who had long supported NC Shakes jumping ship to get in bed with the new kid in town. 

But, much like the Arts Center, a few rich families/individuals wanted a theatre company they could call their own, Rich and Preston were looking for patrons, and bing bang boom - Greensboro got a new neighbor that has been a real mixed bag.

There's some REALLY good stuff Triad has done for the local arts scene, I don't want to pretend there isn't.  But when I learned about the shakedown of NC Shakes it left a real bitter taste in my mouth (and the mouths of a lot of theatre old timers in town).

They also killed the Broach Theatre, but that's another story.

Anyway - just thought you might appreciate the context."


My reply:

"Indeed, with the spoils being so small one knife in the back can have a disastrous effect. Had the economy been booming there might have been somewhere else for the Shakes to turn but as it is Triad Stage got all that was left. And let's not forget how much money went to GPAC that could have gone to Shakes."

May it now be recorded in history.

Volvo Isn't Coming To The Greensboro-Randolph Megasite

It's official, just as the Greensboro Partnership announced they have hired the top two men from Mississippi's economic development agency-- the state ranked dead last in economic development-- Volvo announces they aren't coming to North Carolina:

"The Reuters news agency reported April 17 that sources identified South Carolina but did not name the second state.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on Monday that Georgia is the second state."

Our city is run by morons. Our economic development agencies are run by morons who just hired two morons from the least successful state in the nation. And yet they still plant to spend over $200 Million Dollars in state and local tax dollars to develop a megasite for an automaker that isn't coming here.

In the meantime Madam Mayor Nancy Barakat Vaughan refuses to answer my e-mails concerning Bessemer Aquaponics while over 23% of Greensboro's population lives in poverty:

"77% growth in poor population

65,798 — Poor population in 2000

116,501 — Poor population average from 2008-2012

The percentage of poor people living in Greensboro — home of several universities including Guilford College and a branch of the University of North Carolina — is nearly 19%, higher than both the state and overall U.S. level.
The city and its surrounding areas are part of the 12th Congressional district, which saw the nation’s biggest increase in suburban poor people between 2000 and 2011, according to a previous Brookings Institution report that the Raleigh News & Record reported on last year.
Based on a Brookings report comparing 2008–2012 to 2000."

And Greensboro is ranked #1 in the nation for food insecurity-- the politically correct way of saying hunger in America.

How much golf do Mike Barber and Zack Matheny play with whom?

"In a flurry of recent reports, state-run news outlets have depicted the sport as yet another temptation that has led Communist Party officials astray. A top official at the Commerce Ministry is under investigation on suspicion of allowing an unidentified company to pay his golf expenses.

How many free rounds have Mike and Zack received
from their 'friends' interested in taxpayer funded 'incentives''?

...in the southern province of Guangdong, home to the world's largest golf facility, the 12-course Mission Hills Golf Club, party officials have been forbidden to golf during work hours "to prevent unclean behavior and disciplinary or illegal conduct."

The provincial anticorruption agency has set up a hotline for reporting civil servants who violate nine specific regulations, including prohibitions on betting on golf, playing with people connected to one's job, traveling on golf-related junkets or holding positions on the boards of golf clubs.

"Like fine liquor and tobacco, fancy cars and mansions, golf is a public relations tool that businessmen use to hook officials," the newspaper of the party's antigraft agency declared on April 9. "The golf course is gradually changing into a muddy field where they trade money for power."

...the crackdown was not surprising given the game's reputation in China as a capitalist pastime and the extent of Mr. Xi's prolonged campaign against corruption, which has toppled senior party and military leaders.

..."Everyone's a potential target in this ongoing crackdown on corruption, and golf is a particularly easy and obvious one."

...When the Communist Party came to power in 1949, Mao Zedong condemned the game as a "sport for millionaires," and courses that had been built for foreigners were turned into public parks, zoos and communal farms.

...anticorruption investigators at the Ministry of Commerce announced that they had opened an inquiry into Wang Shenyang, director general of the ministry's Department of Outward Investment and Economic Cooperation, on suspicion of participating in activities sponsored by an unidentified company. Golf was the only activity specified.

The Legal Weekly, run by the Ministry of Justice, chimed in by publishing a list of 15 party officials who have been punished in the last decade for golf-related transgressions. It included Sun Guoqing, head of the Ministry of Transportation's planning department, who was suspected of using public funds to pay for rounds, and Han Jiang, a district official in Shenzhen, who was convicted of receiving nearly $1 million in bribes, the largest single portion of which was in the form of a membership to the Mission Hills Golf Club.

"Golf, because of its high cost and unique glamour, has been called the 'aristocrats' game,' " the newspaper said. "But an awkward truth is that because of 'rotten' golf, some officials have been punished or even jailed."

An art dealer in Beijing, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss illicit activity, said that many insider deals were made over rounds of golf. "When we play golf, we invite officials, too," he said. "This is not something ordinary people can afford."

http://www.cnbc.com/id/102599861

Monday, April 20, 2015

Leone Files Complaint In Barber Hayworth Case

Sal Leone e-mailed myself, members of the local media and others tonight to inform us that he has formally filed a complaint with the State Bureau of Investigation concerning possible fraud, extorsion and conspiracy charges leveled at Greensboro City Councilman Mike Barber by Downtown Greensboro Inc interum CEO Cindy Hayworth:

"Filed Public Complaint with SBI

 I think serious fraud or extortion so I filed a public complaint with the SBI, if it goes anywhere I don't know. The fact is someone is lying and someone got involved in a process he should of not. I wonder if that is normal conduct of a council member to call people for jobs for pals. I don't like fraud and I like it even less with tax payer money.


SAL LEONE"

In discussing this on the telephone with Mr Leone we both agree that no matter who you believe the charges are serious and should be investigated at the state level. As an experienced police officer, Mr Leone has experience in these matters, has worked side by side with the SBI in the past and was quickly able to find his way to file the complaint.

Besides, it's not like we can trust City Council to do it.

Profound?; The Business Journal's Mark Sutter on the new Greensboro Partnership 'Shill'?

"...As the Greensboro Partnership’s new lead economic developer, [Brent Christensen's] timing couldn’t be better.

Or worse. It depends how you look at it.

The thing is that the bar seems to be set so low...

There’s no two ways around it.

Economic development efforts in this city have been a bit of a mess.

...the victories have been few and far between lately for those who are actually charged with recruiting and retaining businesses.

Like Zack Matheny.

...Three of the organizations most directly involved in Greensboro economic development – the Piedmont Triad Partnership (PTP), Downtown Greensboro Inc. and the Greensboro Partnership – have faced heavy criticism, both publicly and privately: too few results, too little transparency, too much good ol’ boy networking, too little diversity and too much expense — much of it on the public dime.

Who's responsible?

Nancy Vaughan, Zack Matheny
Roy Carroll, Marty Kotis, Jim Melvin, 
the Samet's, the Koury's, Dawn Chaney, 
 Gary Brame, the News and Record, the Rhino Times, 
Skip Alston, Mike Barber, Nancy Hoffmann, Yvonne Johnson, 
Robbie Perkins, April Harris, Randall Kaplan, 
John Lomax, Sam Simpson, Richard Beard, Matt Brown, 
Mary Vigue, Brenda Jones Fox, Steve Arnold, 
the Isaacson's, Windsor, 
anyone who received incentives and said projects were dependent
 on taxpayer support etc...

If that weren't enough, just last week one of the organizations — PTP — revealed it has asked the police to investigate the financial dealing of its former CEO.

...It’s quite simply a missed opportunity not to have strong leadership in place at DGI...

Who is responsible for missing the opportunity?

...PTP's former CEO David Powell has not been charged with any wrongdoing.

Neither has Jim Melvin, Sam Simpson
Mike Barber, Zack Matheny and Nancy Vaughan, 
among others.

It’s not clear what exactly is being alleged to have gone on during his tenure at PTP.  But when the ...board at PTP feels, as it did this past week, it has to ask local authorities to investigate its own hand-picked guy for suspected “financial irregularities,” well, no one involved looks very good, do they?

...Under Powell, PTP contracted — laying off most of its workers and narrowing its mission, including scaling back efforts to market the region that included Greensboro. Powell put most of his energy into two projects — the creation of a megasite with the aim of drawing an automaker or similar big employer, and the creation of TriadFirst, a group designed to help provide capital for growing local businesses.

Well, TriadFirst never really jelled and now seems to be in limbo. And it’s become clear recently that Melvin, the Greensboro ex-mayor, has been a driving force – perhaps more than Powell – behind the megasite effort. That’s not to say Powell wasn’t heavily involved, but it’s certainly less clear what his role has been in recent weeks and months as this “financial” drama has apparently played out behind the scenes.

...Greensboro’s top economic development execs have been paid well, perhaps even more than their counterparts in comparable markets. As of 2013, Powell had an annual compensation package worth $326,000, Danahy, $293,000 and Lynch, $202,000.

By comparison, the head of economic development in Greenville, S.C., a city often held up as a model for Greensboro, made $147,000 in 2013..."

http://www.bizjournals.com/triad/blog/2015/04/time-is-ripe-to-fix-greensboro-s-economic.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+bizj_triad+%28Triad+Business+Journal%29&page=all
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Everybody feel good and fekcud?

Downtown Greensboro Inc. Board of Directors 2015 and commentary

Cyndy Hayworth has now publicly accused Mike Barber
of Felony Conspiracy, Conflict of Interest
and violations of his oath of office. 

This must be investigated by the SBI-- that is the law.

This is screwed up on so many levels. 

I am discrediting Hayworth and DGI as a corrupt organization 
that needs to go away. 

The accusations are very serious

[The News and Record doesn't] publicly accuse 
local elected officials of extortion and conspiracy 
in the local daily and not have a thourough investigation. 

A friend of mine said it best, 
if the kids keep on fighting over the same toy, 
take the toy away.

It is a toxic toy anyway!

Eric Robert

Board Members 2015

Brittany Atkinson
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.), Economics and Marketing

Gary Brame – Chair
Jules Antique and Fine Arts
DGI Executive Committee

Mike Barber has an indirect financial interest
in Zack's DGI employment,
as they are located in the same district 
in Trudy Wade's redistricting plan, 
and that Matheny voted for funding a golf course, 
in which Mike Barber recused himself.

Dawn S. Chaney
Chaney Properties
DGI Executive Committee

Derek Ellington
Bank of America
DGI Executive Committee

Zack Matheny has a direct financial interest
in applying for a job he voted to fund.

Mark Hewett
Area Modern Home and Lighting

Mark Gibb
Gibb’s Hundred Brewing Co.

Greensboro's Charter says City Council Members 
must be honest, impartial, fair and responsible, 
and Mike Barber and Zack Matheny weren't
and now DGI's board members are responsible.

Paula Pierce
Downtown Resident

Thomas Philion
ArtsGreensboro

Neither Barber or Matheny withdrew 
"from any consideration of the matter"
while serving on City Council.

Nick Piornack, Nancy Hoffmann's business partner.
Momentum Development

Marsh Prause
Allman Spry Davis Leggett & Crumpler, P.A.

Mark Prince
Guilford Merchants Association
DGI Executive Committee

DGI's Board was responsible for deciding whether or not
Zack Matheny, as DGI's Liaison
has a conflict of interest in applying for the job,
and failed in their duties to the organization
and City of Greensboro taxpayers.

Tim Sexton - Chair Elect / Treasurer
Lincoln Financial Group
DGI Executive Committee

James N. “Smitty” Smith
DADS Enterprise

Paul Talley
Lotus Club

Matheny voted to fund a golf course
which Mike Barber makes money from = Predicate Act,
in a conspiracy as it can now be seen as a quid pro quo,
as Barber acted to financially benefit Matheny
by threatening Hayworth,
and Zack is still a candidate for the job.

Brian Wise
General Counsel and VP of Finance
The Carroll Companies
February 2011 – Present (4 years 3 months)
Certified Public Accountant (inactive status) | Member of the
North Carolina State Bar

Mr. Wise has been with the company for four years. Prior to joining
The Carroll Companies, he had specialized in complex mergers &
acquisitions including private placement, venture financing, & private
equity transactions.

Jeff Yetter
Iron Hill Investments, Inc.

Rob Youth
Connective Mortgage Advisory Company
a division of United Guaranty Corporation

Dianne Ziegler – Secretary
Greensboro Downtown Residents’ Association

EX OFFICIO MEMBERS

Marty Lawing
County Manager

Jeff Phillips
Guilford County Commissioner

Nancy Vaughan
Mayor
DGI Executive Committee

Greensboro’s Ethics Code says 
that if there is an actual or possible financial interest, 
a Council Member is supposed to publicly disclose on the record of council, 
and the remaining Council members 
are supposed to decide if a conflict of interest exists, 
which hasn't happened yet in the case of Mike Barber and Zack Matheny.

Mayor Nancy Vaughan and Jim Westmoreland
 are directly responsible
as DGI Board members. 

Jim Westmoreland
City Manager

http://downtowngreensboro.net/blog/downtown-greensboro-inc-board-of-directors-2015/
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Former City Attorney Shah-Khan had ruled that former Mayor Robbie Perkins could not vote on a pass through subsidy for Roy Carroll from Guilford County because Perkins owned property (of which he apparently was not paying the mortgage payment) in Carroll’s Centre Pointe building.

Greensboro’s Ethics Code says that if there is an actual or possible financial interest, City Council members are supposed to publicly disclose on the record of council, and the remaining Council members are supposed to decide if a conflict of interest exists, which hasn't happened yet in the case of Mike Barber and Zack Matheny..

A Greensboro City Council Member has a financial interest if the individual has, directly or indirectly, any actual or potential ownership, investment, or compensation arrangement with The City of Greensboro or with any entity that conducts transactions with The City of Greensboro.

What does "indirect" financial interest mean?

Where are the disclosures on the "nature and extent of such interests"?

Greensboro's City Council, not the city manager or city attorney,
is responsible for deciding whether or not a city council member
has a conflict.
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Barber threatens Hayworth = Retaliatory and adverse employment Act.

Barber lobbied Hayworth for Zack's DGI job = Predicate Act.

Matheny applied for the job after voting to fund the position = Predicate Act.
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"Political corruption is the use of powers by government officials for illegitimate private gain. An illegal act by an officeholder constitutes political corruption only if the act is directly related to their official duties, is done under color of law or involves trading in influence.

Forms of corruption vary, but include bribery, extortion, cronyism, nepotism, patronage, influence peddling, graft, and embezzlement.

...Misuse of government power for other purposes, such as repression of political opponents is also considered political corruption. Neither are illegal acts by private persons or corporations not directly involved with the government.

...A similar problem of corruption arises in any institution that depends on financial support from people who have interests that may conflict with the primary purpose of the institution.

...corruption in public administration results in the inefficient provision of services. It violates a basic principle of republicanism regarding the centrality of civic virtue. More generally, corruption erodes the institutional capacity of government if procedures are disregarded, resources are siphoned off, and public offices are bought and sold.

Corruption undermines the legitimacy of government and such democratic values as trust and tolerance.

Corruption also generates economic distortion in the public sector by diverting public investment into capital projects where bribes and kickbacks are more plentiful.

...Trading in influence, or influence peddling, refers a person selling his/her influence over the decision making process to benefit a third party (person or institution).

...Patronage refers to favoring supporters, for example with government employment.

...Favoring relatives (nepotism) or personal friends (cronyism) of an official is a form of illegitimate private gain. This may be combined with bribery, for example demanding that a business should employ a relative of an official controlling regulations affecting the business.

Seeking to harm enemies becomes corruption when official powers are illegitimately used as means to this end."

What If Cindy Hayworth Is Or Isn't Lying?

And Why It Doesn't Really Matter

Remember when Ben Holder blew the lid on the Mel's Pressure Washing scandal only to find out later that Ben had been promised the City's pressure washing business by none other than Mike Barber? Ben ended up getting his contract to do mercenary code enforcement to appease him and another scandal, Heritage House, came about.

How did  Cyndy Hayworth​ get the job at DGI? Was she promised the top slot by Mike Barber?

It's no secret that Zack Matheny started making noise that he wanted DGI's top job before Jason Cannon was hired but Zack was passed over. There is no way in hell Zack, who has never gotten along with Cindy, would have ever supported her for the job he wanted. The two of them despise each other. You only need watch them both in the same room to know I'm right. So who pushed DGI's board to hire Cindy? Who controls the $1.2 Million in taxpayer dollars the city gives DGI?

So as Mike Barber looks to 2015 and needs corporate welfare for his own projects like continued free use of not one but 2 Greensboro golf courses for his day job at First Tee of the Triad he is forced to deal with Zack for need of a vote.

And being that Zack wants a job and Mike needs City resources to keep his job... Well it just could be at that point Mike decided to double cross Cindy just like he double crossed Ben Holder. Only Cindy didn't kiss Mike's ass like Ben did. Cindy went for the throat.

Is Cindy lying about wanting the job or what Mike Barber said? Doesn't matter, Barber wanted Cindy to work under Zack, a man he knows she despises, a man who would go to any means to make her life miserable. If Cindy is lying it just might be more about survival than an actual desire to remain at the top.

I mean, can you imaging having to work for an egotistical psychopath like Zack Methany?

Dear Mike Barber and Zack Matheny; North Carolina Law § 14-118.4. Extortion; Favoritism and Crony Capitalism

Any person who threatens or communicates a threat or threats to another with the intention
thereby wrongfully to obtain anything of value or any acquittance, advantage, or immunity is
guilty of extortion and such person shall be punished as a Class F felon. (1973, c. 1032; 1979,
c. 760, s. 5; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1316, s. 47; 1981, c. 63, s. 1, c. 179, s. 14; 1993, c. 539, s. 1184;
1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c).)

http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/PDF/ByArticle/Chapter_14/Article_20.pdf
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"The interim leader of Downtown Greensboro Inc. said she was given an ultimatum: Hire City Councilman Zack Matheny as the nonprofit group’s next chief executive officer or lose city funding.

DGI interim CEO Cyndy Hayworth said the threat came Tuesday in a telephone call from City Councilman Mike Barber.

“I received a call and was given an ultimatum or a deadline,” Hayworth said in an interview Friday.

“The parameters around that were, ‘If you make a decision on the hiring of a CEO by a certain time, then the City Council would not vote to stop funding to DGI,’ ” she said.

Barber denies making a threat or giving Hayworth an ultimatum.

Hayworth said Barber called a few hours before Tuesday’s City Council meeting. The council would move to cut the funding for DGI during the meeting if the organization did not commit to hiring Matheny, Hayworth said Barber told her.

...Hayworth said Barber told her during their phone call that if DGI committed to hire Matheny, the council would continue its funding.

...Barber doesn’t deny pushing for Matheny’s hiring.

He said he has been doing that for weeks, even to other people at DGI."

http://greensboroperformingarts.blogspot.com/2015/04/goodbye-mike-barber-and-zack-matheny.html
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North Carolina Felony Crimes by Class and Sentences

Class F felony: 10 to 41 months

...Examples of Crimes in Each Level

...Class F

Involuntary manslaughter
Human trafficking of an adult
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"...favoritism is just what it sounds like;
it's favoring a person not because he or she is doing the best job
but rather because of some extraneous feature-membership in a favored group...

Check

Favoritism can be demonstrated in hiring, honoring, or awarding contracts.

A related idea is patronage, giving public service jobs
to those who may have helped elect the person who has the power of appointment.

Sounds about right

...Cronyism is a more specific form of favoritism,
referring to partiality towards friends and associates.

...Cronyism occurs within a network of insiders-the "good ol' boys,"
who confer favors on one another.

Check

...In the public sphere, favoritism, cronyism, and nepotism
also undermine the common good.

...the appearance of favoritism weakens morale in government service,
not to mention public faith in the integrity of government."

Judy Nadler and Miriam Schulman
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"Crony capitalism is a pejorative term describing an allegedly capitalist economy
in which success in business depends on close relationships
between businesspeople and government officials.

Especially when they are one and the same.

It may be exhibited by favoritism in the distribution of legal permits,
government grants, special tax breaks, and so forth.

Crony capitalism is believed to arise when political cronyism spills over into the business world;
self-serving friendships and family ties between businessmen and the government
influence the economy and society
to the extent that it corrupts public-serving economic and political ideals.

Like handing out plush employment opportunities
with the help of fellow City Council members
who don't want to run against Zack?

In its lightest form, crony capitalism consists of collusion among market players.

While perhaps lightly competing against each other,
they will present a unified front to the government in requesting subsidies or aid.

Example; DGI

…it is not uncommon for current industry players to gain control of the “watchdog”
and use it against competitors.

This phenomenon is known as regulatory capture.

A famous early example in the United States would be the Interstate Commerce Commission,
which was established in 1887 to regulate the railroad “robber barons;”
instead, it quickly became controlled by the railroads,
which set up a permit system that was used to deny access to new entrants."

Crony Capitalism
Wikipedia

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Tuesday's Greensboro City Council Meeting; Item 28; "$6,000,000 Amending the War Memorial Coliseum Complex Fund"

"That the War Memorial Coliseum Complex Fund is hereby amended as follows:
That the appropriations be increased as follows:

Account Description Amount

521-7510-01.5419 Other Services $100,000
521-7531-01.5279 Promotions-Other $5,000,000
521-7535-04.5414 Temporary Services $900,000

TOTAL: $6,000,000

And, that this increase be financed by increasing the following War Memorial Coliseum Complex Fund accounts:

Account Description Amount

521-7510-02.7746 Ticket Charges Recoverable – Promotions $500,000
521-7531-01.7730 Admissions and Charges $4,000,000
521-7535-08.7700 Concessions-Food & Nonalcoholic Beverage $500,000
521-7535-08.7580 Event Parking $900,000
521-7535-10.7580 Event Parking $100,000

TOTAL: $6,000,000

https://greensboro.legistar.com/DepartmentDetail.aspx?ID=23255&GUID=DB1BF63F-EC8D-4FE7-A38F-EED24B626938&Mode=MainBody