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Naftzger Park event management agreement ambiguous

The profit-sharing agreement for Naftzger Park event management contains ambiguity that could lead to disputes.

Today the Wichita City Council approved an agreement with Wave Old Town LLC for event management in Naftzger Park in downtown Wichita. The agreement was approved unanimously.

While there was controversy over the awarding of the contract (Wichita Eagle reporting is here), others have noticed that the contract is imprecise in a way that could lead to problems.

The city and Wave will share profits and losses based on a schedule in the management agreement contained in the agenda packet for today’s meeting, Item V-2. The issue is when the profit-sharing is calculated.

Profit-sharing agreement for City of Wichita and Wave. Click for larger.

Based on the way the profit-sharing is calculated, different profit-sharing results could be obtained from the same event history. The management services agreement the city council passed today does not speak to this issue. Neither does the request for proposal for event management.

The issue is when the profit-sharing calculation is performed and using which data, as follows:

  • Profit-sharing could be calculated independently for each event, using data for just the current event. This is illustrated in example 1.
  • Profit-sharing could be calculated once at the end of the year (or another period) using the sum of events during the period. This is shown in example 2.
  • Profit-sharing could be calculated independently for each event, using cumulative data for the year (or another period). Example 3 illustrates.

As the following examples show, the differences between these three methods of calculation could be substantial. These three examples assume two events, one with an event profit of $49,999, and the second with an event loss of $49,999. Notice that depending on how and when the same calculation is performed, Wave’s share of profits could be $0, or $25,000, or $49,999. The city could either lose $25,000 or $0.

While these examples are contrived and use extreme values, they illustrate that the agreement the council passed is ambiguous. There could be disputes that could be avoided with careful attention to detail by the city when constructing contracts.

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