Source: Rachel Berkson, New York City Independent Budget Office, Fiscal Brief, September 2013
From the summary:
In November 2010, the Bloomberg Administration announced that the cost of using a variety of city-operated athletic facilities would be rising. Fees for playing tennis on city courts, memberships at city-run recreation centers, and permits for using city ballfields would all be rising over the coming months. Together, these price increases—the second set of increases since 2002—were expected to generate $6.3 million in additional revenue in fiscal year 2012. In fact, revenue grew by just $1.1 million—a fraction of what had been expected.
The failure to achieve the expected revenue gains was the result of a greater-than-projected fall-off in the number of permits sold for tennis and memberships for recreation centers following the price rise. IBO has examined data on the sale of permits and memberships before and after the latest fee increases, along with revenue from related sources such as reservation fees, at the affected athletic facilities. Among our findings:
• With considerably higher fees at the start of the 2011 tennis season, the number of adult seasonal tennis permits sold by the city fell from 12,774 in 2010 to 7,265 in 2012, a decline of 43 percent. Single-play permits fell 46 percent, from 23,512 to 12,755 over the same period.
• Despite the decline in the number of adult permits sold, there was an increase in revenue because fees doubled for these permits. The city collected a total of $2.1 million from the sale of adult, junior, and senior tennis permits in 2012, but the revenue fell $1.3 million short of the projected increase.
• The number of recreation center memberships sold in 2012 declined by 52 percent to 46,047 with the doubling of membership fees for adults and seniors at the start of the fiscal year.
• With the decline in memberships, recreation center revenue remained flat in 2012 at $4.8 million, about $4.0 million below the Bloomberg Administration’s expectations.
• Although the number of permits sold for ballfields also fell in 2012 in response to the rise in fees, the resulting increase in revenue exceeded expectations by nearly 5 percent.