LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The city Recreation and Parks Commission backed Live Nation Worldwide’s bid to run the Greek Theatre Thursday, after the panel delayed making a decision at two previous meetings.
City staff and a consultant firm handling the selection process recommended giving management of the venue to Live Nation Worldwide, which will put an end to Nederlander Concerts’ operation of the venue after 39 years. If the Los Angeles City Council and Mayor Eric Garcetti also support Live Nation’s proposal, city staff will begin negotiating a contract with the firm.
“The Greek is an incredible Los Angeles treasure, owned by the people of this city. We look forward to setting a new standard for this iconic venue, investing heavily to return it to its rightful place as a world-class entertainment destination for fans and artists while being sensitive to neighbors in the surrounding community,” Live Nation said in a statement following the vote.
The contract would give Live Nation the right to manage and book acts for the performance venue and share some of the profits they get with the city. The contract term would be for 10 years and can be extended twice for five years.
The contract Nederlander proposed promised the city more revenue every year, about a half million more than the contract Live Nation offered. But Live Nation’s proposal has promised $40 million in improvements to the Greek Theatre, over Nederlander’s $19 million. Live Nation also promised to put on more concerts — 70 a year — and for every year of less than 70 concerts, a fine paid to the city of $50,000 — over Nederlander’s 20.
The panel delayed making a decision twice during the last month. At the first meeting, the panel wanted to give its members time to review challenges from Nederlander, whose contract was not recommended for renewal. At the second meeting, the panel did not have enough members present and failed to agree on which company should be awarded the contract.
After the decision was delayed two weeks ago, Nederlander representative said that the extra time would allow commissioners study what they contend are “flaws” in the selection process and how the proposals were scored.
The decision drew passionate residents, many wearing green to support Nederlander or red for Live Nation, to each meeting to speak out about possibly changing the Greek Theatre’s management. More than 600 people packed Thursday’s meeting.
“Nederlander Concerts and AEG Live are disappointed that the Board did not carefully consider the overwhelming evidence that the panel’s decision was premised on significant errors that infected the entire process,” Alex Hodges, CEO of Nederlander Concerts, said in a statement. “Today’s recommendation could cost the city and taxpayers as much as $20 million, over the full length of the contract.”
The Los Angeles City Council is expected to make their final vote on the contract early next year.
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