The LA City Council has approved a five-year contract with SMG to continue managing the Greek Theatre in a 14-0 decision. The deal also includes continued management of concessions and sponsorship at the Greek by SMG and heads off an insurgent bid for the 5,700-seat venue from Tim Leiweke’s Oak View Group.
A promised protest of the SMG plan by Leiweke never materialized as the LA City Council finalized SMG’s contract to run the amphitheater as an open venue in a proposal that outscored their rivals, 92.3 points to OVG’s 78.3. Unlike the 2014-2015 previous political battle for the building between Nederlander Concerts and AEG on one side and Live Nation on the other that resulted in marathon meetings and months of uncertainty, yesterday’s council vote in a unanimous decision took only ten minutes without any opposition from OVG or Leiweke, who was in New York at the time of the vote.
“I am thrilled today to announce a new agreement between the City and SMG to operate our storied Greek Theatre,” said Councilmember David Ryu who represents Griffith Park and the neighborhoods surrounding the Greek Theatre. “This substantive agreement, which includes $4 million in improvements, is the result of a robust process which strived to meet the needs of the theatre and the surrounding community.”
“Compared to OVG’s $1.1 million in capital improvements, SMG committed to $4 million dollars in improvements to the Greek Theatre, including renovations to three of the decks and concession stands, enhanced entrance and security, and the replacement of every chair, for the chance to operate the Greek Theatre for another five years,” the city council said in a statement.
The five-year agreement includes an option for a five-year renewal in a plan that is expected to generate $6.9 million in revenue for the city in year one (2019) and a $2 million management fee from SMG. SMG also agreed to host monthly meetings with neighbors, use sound monitoring services to study and reduce sound impacts and create a “hot-line” for community members to immediately contact SMG senior staff.
“We are proud of the new agreement with SMG to assist with the daily management of our iconic and historic Greek Theatre,” Department of Recreation and Parks GM Mike Schull said. “This agreement will bring real improvements to the Greek, and ensure this remains a cherished venue for the City of Los Angeles and a first class experience for our patrons and the surrounding community members.”