Smirnoff Centre Under Scrutiny

The Dallas City Council is reportedly discussing whether to hire a private auditor to go over the books at the House of Blues-operated Smirnoff Music Centre, which has been accused of shortchanging the city.

According to the Dallas Morning News, Smirnoff Centre staff allegedly aren’t cooperating with the city’s request for information, which prompted the discussion of bringing in an outside party.

Dallas Mayor Laura Miller was quoted as saying, “They’re not being forthcoming. And we’re not going to sit here and do nothing about it.”

HoB spokesman Jack Gannon told Pollstar that’s news to him, and that the city conducted an audit of the venue’s finances prior to the story.

“The House of Blues has made available to the city all our books and the city has conducted an initial audit. There are some isolated instances such as a sponsorship agreement, a single-show settlement or a vendor contract from several years ago that we just cannot find,” Gannon said. “But we made everything that we had – all agreements, all the books – available to the city and to their auditors.

“HoB then offered a settlement to the city back in May and we have not had any response from the city regarding that offer. The first we heard of any questions regarding this was via the media.”

Auditors reportedly became suspicious during routine finance checks during the year that Smirnoff staff allegedly underreported the number of the venue’s events and income. The city received just more than $3 million from the facility between 2001 and 2004, the paper said.

The city council was expected to vote on the proposal during a November 8th meeting.

– Tina Amendola