Los Angeles Votes to Self-Operate The Greek Theatre, Denying Nederlander and Live Nation
The city of Los Angeles and the debate over who should operate the iconic Greek Theatre took a surprise shift in direction after the Department of Recreation and Parks voted three-to-one for the city to self-manage the venue. Throughout the two years the attention has been focused on two competitors: Nederlander/AEG Live, the company who was contracted through 2015 to handle operations, and Live Nation, a newcomer.
A breakthrough seemed to have been made during October of 2014, when an independent consultancy hired by the Parks Commission considered both proposals and ultimately suggested Live Nation for the gig. That was made irrelevant during February when the Department of Recreation and Parks chose to ignore the suggestion entirely, due to public opposition.
Some worried that the 2016 concert season would be scratched as a result, but the city stepped forward and suggested self-operation, using an "open venue" model. This plan would reportedly boost revenues for the city, up from $2 million during 2014 to somewhere between $3 million and $4.8 million. Criticisms of the self-operated idea include that the capital improvements that were required among the request-for-proposal process would not be carried out. Not to mention, scoff doubters, the management role might be a train wreck considering how sloppily the DRP handled the RFP process.
The representatives for Nederlander and Live Nation had curiously opposite reactions to the announcement. The former stated it was disappointed in the decision to self-operate (the company has the most to lose, after all), while the latter seemed to support the idea. Perhaps Live Nation realizes that if the 2016 season is a mess, it'll hold the upper hand when negotiations begin for the 2017 season.
"[They should] reject the opposition from the incumbent operator and instead proceed to adopt the open venue plan as the most legally defensible and appropriate option for the 2016 season, protecting the integrity of the public contracting process," wrote Bret Gallagher of Live Nation.