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12-13-2012, 01:42 AM
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Originally Posted by barneyg View Post
I think we've linked the audit report enough in this thread now Just a few comments:
1) your "AOC shorted the county 8.4 million over the course of the audit" comment suggests AOC defrauded the County. This is completely false and isn't what the audit report suggested. What the report states is that AOC unduly decreased its own cash reserves by distributing more than its net income to the Panthers. This wasn't allowed under the terms of their agreement, but with or without that move, the County gets exactly the same amount of money.
You are correct, I worded my point poorly. My point was about the shuffling of cash from the profitable AOC to the Panthers when they shouldn't have. That's what I meant by "shorting the county". They violated their agreement.

2) if operating expenses stayed the same while revenues were down 7 million when going from 2004 to 2005, don't you think the most reasonable explanation is that AOC benefits from the presence of the Panthers without incurring much in terms of costs?
Of course AOC probably benefits to an extent but SSE does not because the Panthers still post a loss year over year.
2005 does not paint a clear picture that AOC is so profitable because of the Panthers. We know their is some gain for AOC because of the Panthers but there is not nearly enough information available to suggest that Panthers make them more revenue than if they had the rest of those dates (especially all those weekends) to schedule concerts and other big events on their own. In 2005, not only were the Panthers paid more which lowered AOC's numbers(the difference puts them close to 2004 numbers) but they were tied down with costs and did not have the availability to schedule other events. We don't know how revenue generated from other events flucuates from year to year. So while possible, I find very unlikely that AOC is net beneficiary of the Panthers compared to if AOC could operate on its own without them. I say that within the scope of what we saw from Cohen and SSE during the last lockout as well.

We agree AOC sees some benefit, but we disagree on how significant that amount was. I believe it was much more modest than many imply.

3) "despite dumping significantly more cash into the Panthers that year" -- what the Panthers did with that money is outside the scope of the audit. I'm not sure why you are suggesting that decreasing AOC's cash reserves should have any effect on that year's actual revenues.
To reference 2005 means you have to reference 2008 too where the arena nets 8 and the Panthers lose 9.4. My point about the cash is that it moves around, probably for a number of reasons. For people to suggest AOC takes money from the Panthers, why wouldn't the Panthers take more money from AOC to offset the tax liability if it could be done? I think the reach for either one is similar.

I'll use one quote from the Sun Sentinel instead of linking other articles.
"It should be noted that SSE did cover its debt service when the last NHL lockout wiped out the 1004-05 season. At the time, then-Panthers owner Alan Cohen said he would lose considerably less money without hockey than the previous season."
It was better that year for them to not have hockey regardless of the limited earnings listed for AOC in the limited info given in the audit, and other than 1 line on the audit out of context of everything else there is no reason to suggest the Panthers would have made AOC or SSE more money that year if they had hockey. SSE was barely profitable in 2004 and negative in 2003.

4) how do the numbers imply that "AOC averaged 17-18 million from 1999-2008"? the average income before county obligations was $13.3 million ($133 million over 10 years), dropping to ~$9 million after paying the county. that's a far cry from 17-18.
17-18 million were the expenses. We know AOC and the Panthers move money between each other through SSE but we don't know specifics or business structure. We see a proportional increase in expenses and income after the lockout that also makes it difficult to link AOC's profitability to the hockey franchise.

Cohen still has interests so we'll have to wait for the biography.

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