The Los Angeles Board of Recreation and Parks Commissioners on Thursday backed Live Nation Worldwide’s bid to run the Greek Theatre, which has been managed for the past 39 years by Nederlander Concerts.
One member of the panel said Live Nation’s application received a much higher score than Nederlander’s, and there did not appear to be any major flaws in the process used to evaluate the two companies’ proposals.
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, which would obtain the right to manage and book acts for the performance venue and share some of the profits with the city.
The contract term would be for 10 years, starting after Nederlander’s contract ends next October, with the possibility for two five-year extensions.
Nederlander CEO Alex Hodges said he was “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.”
The city is losing out on $20 million by choosing Live Nation’s proposal over theirs and “we welcome the opportunity to work with” members of the Los Angeles City Council “and encourage them to consider the issues that have been raised and not addressed when the Live Nation proposal is before them,” Hodges said.
“We are extremely grateful for all the community support we have received, including the 27,000 people who have signed a petition in support of our operation and vision for the Greek Theatre,” he said.
Live Nation issued a statement saying the company is “pleased” by the panel’s unanimous decision, saying they are looking 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 offer a more lucrative package to the city, the statement said. “Our minimum guaranteed proposal value is higher, and our company even outbid” Nederlander “when considering their unrealistic revenue projections.”
The commission had delayed making a decision twice during the last month. At the first meeting, the panel wanted to give its members more time to review challenges from Nederlander as to why its contract was not recommended for renewal. At the second meeting, neither company mustered enough votes, prompting the third meeting.
The meetings have drawn hundreds of people, mostly employees from the two companies who came out to support their respective employers.
Nederlander representatives pointed to several areas in the scoring and selection process they felt deserve closer inspection, including a part of Live Nation’s proposed contract that they said may lead to reduced rent.
Live Nation’s venues in Los Angeles include the Wiltern and the Hollywood Palladium. The company also ran the recent Made in America Festival at Grand Park in downtown Los Angeles.
Nederlander operates the Pantages Theatre and the City National Grove of Anaheim.
—City News Service