Ramirez Rides Again

A promoter in McAllen, Texas, is asking the city to pay up – to the reported tune of $50,000 – after canceling a ZZ Top concert he’d booked for the grand opening of a local convention center.

Arnaldo "Nano" Ramirez, owner of the now-closed La Villa Real Special Events Center, told the city’s Monitor he was contacted by the convention center last fall to book the band, but was told in a January meeting that officials were going with a symphony performance in lieu of ZZ Top.

"I have not only wasted three months of work, but the credibility with the ZZ Top Agency," Ramirez said.

Ramirez apparently maintains that he and convention center director John Sellers had a verbal contract for the date, the paper said.

Sellers disagreed.

"Nano and I have had many discussions about booking shows and numerous events coming to the new convention center," Sellers told the Monitor. "There was no contract with the city at any point in time… I don’t do verbal agreements."

But this setback hasn’t taken Ramirez out of the game.

The promoter is apparently partnering with officials from Pharr, Texas, to open a new La Villa Real, according to an announcement.

Ramirez closed his original 4,000-seat venue last summer to make way for a Harley-Davidson dealership.

The new center is "going to be an entertainment center in the hub of the Valley," Mayor Leo Palacios told the Monitor.

Pollstar’s attempts to reach Ramirez were unsuccessful at press time.