Greek Theatre/Photo via Greek Theatre
Greek Theatre/Photo via Greek Theatre

Recreation and parks commissioners voted Wednesday in favor of the city taking over the operation of the Greek Theatre, once the management contract with Nederlander ends in October.

The Board of Recreation and Parks Commissioners approved the concept of running the 5,800-seat Greek Theatre as an “open venue,” in which the city would maintain the venue and book the acts for two years.

The city would decide in 2016 whether it wants to seek out an outside company to take over the venue, starting in 2018.

Recreation and Parks officials said the “open venue” model would be an opportunity for the city to get a bigger cut of revenues from the summer concerts held at the Greek Theatre.

Officials estimates the city could net $3 million if 50 concerts are held, or $4.8 million for 70 concerts. Under its revenue-sharing agreement with Nederlander, the city received $1.97 million of $27.2 million in gross receipts in 2014.

Recreation and Parks officials said the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Denver is an example of a successfully run, city-owned and operated venue that Los Angeles could follow.

Nederlander, which has been running the venue for nearly 40 years, had urged the commission to vote to extend its contract.

Nederlander recently lost a competitive bid to Live Nation to continue running the venue, but after rallying support from some community groups and city leaders, the City Council recently indicated that it would not support handing the venue management contract over to Live Nation.

Nederlander Concerts CEO Alex Hodges said the company “is disappointed that the Board of Recreation and Parks has accepted the recommendation to self- operate the Greek Theatre.”

“Nederlander has successfully operated the iconic Greek Theatre for four decades, with a proven track record of ensuring the safety and well-being of our fans, community and the city,” Hodges said. “If this plan is to be implemented, it would require several more steps by the department.”

Hodges asked the Recreation and Parks Department to rethink its decision “and instead amend and extend Nederlander’s existing Greek Theatre Operating Agreement with an increased annual minimum rent guarantee to the city of $3.5 million for 2016, with zero expense or risk to the city.”

City News Service

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