The Los Angeles Recreation and Parks (RAP) Commission voted to scrap the proposals to run the Greek Theatre from Live Nation and Nederlander-AEG during its Wednesday meeting, and it will examine the possibility of the department operating the Greek Theatre itself.
The move comes after the Los Angeles City Council voted against concurring with the commission’s recommendation to enter into contract negotiations with Live Nation to run the city’s historic live music venue. Nederlander has been the venue’s operator for decades. It teamed up with AEG during the most recent RFP process, and their bid gained widespread community support, but after the RAP commission initially voted for Live Nation.
In the same motion, the city council requested that the RAP commissioners “consider preparing, in consultation with the community and the arts, parks, health, aging and river committee, a new RFP for concessions and operations of the Greek Theatre to be released after review and approval by the city council.”
The Greek Theatre, located at 2700 Vermont Ave. in Griffith Park, was officially dedicated in 1929. In 2014, the venue generated more than $27 million in gross receipts and paid $1.9 million in revenue sharing to the department, according to a staff report.
RAP staff members recommended the commission consider beginning a new RFP process after further community input — or it could consider operating the Greek Theatre as an open venue managed by RAP staff.
During the Wednesday meeting, staff was given permission to prepare a report on self-operation, which RAP officials said would need to be considered, at least for the short term. Nederlander’s contract is up on Oct. 31.
“Self-operation might be a viable option while a new RFP is processed and completed,” the staff report read. “Self-operating the Greek Theatre as an ‘open venue’ would enable RAP to maintain control of the programming calendar while providing open access to all promoters on a non-exclusive basis.”
The staff report notes that Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Denver, Colo. operates as an open venue, and it is “one of the leading open and profitable models.” The staff report also said eliminating the intermediary contractor could increase revenue to the department, allowing its staff to maintain the theatre.
The initial bids by Live Nation and Nederlander-AEG were for management of the Greek Theatre for potentially 20 years — 10 years upfront with the possibility of two five-year renewals. Live Nation’s proposal received a higher score from third-party consultant Strategic Advisory Group, which prepared the RFP for the Greek Theatre. Nederlander-AEG officials argued that the process did not fairly compare the two proposals.
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