Hurricanes Blast Orchestra's Bottom Line

TAMPA -

The Florida Orchestra closed its fiscal year June 30th with a $676,000 operating deficit.

Executive Director Leonard Stone says the shortfall is due in part to Hurricanes Rita and Katrina which delayed renovation of St. Petersburg's Mahaffey Theater.

That resulted in a $122,000 shortfall in ticket receipts and another $200,000 loss in potential revenue because the Van Cliburn concert was postponed.

But Stone says the largest loss was not receiving the federal government's $250,000 education grant.

STONE: We had been funded the previous two years and had the expectation again and had applied and did all the things we were supposed to do. But, at the end of the day, we didn't get it.

REPORTER: At the end of the day, how does that affect the children?

STONE: There in is the loss - we continued to deliver the programs and took it out of our general revenues and just increased the loss factor.

Despite the operating deficit, pledges to the orchestra's capital fund gives the organization assets of more than $800,000.

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