Another Trial On The Hillside

Summertime is here, which means Freedom Hill Amphitheatre is in court again.

The Sterling Heights, Mich., amphitheatre and its owner, Hillside Productions, have spent years on either side of lawsuits. As of April 7th, the venue principals have been in U.S. District Court against Macomb County, which Hillside claims was instrumental in scuttling a deal between the amphitheatre and potential buyer Palace Sports & Entertainment.

The trial was still in the jury selection stage at press time.

Hillside is suing the county for $250 million. This comes after Hillside won a $31 million settlement against the city of Sterling Heights, which was ruled to have harassed Hillside and made business difficult. Macomb County Parks Commission demanded a change in parking revenues, which Hillside claims was the tipping point that chased PSE away from a shed purchase.

This trial comes at a bad time for the county, according to the Detroit News, reporting it has ended the last three fiscal years with a multimillion-dollar operating deficit. To that effect, the Macomb Daily published a report that the county has spent $726,000 so far defending the lawsuit, and the cost could eventually reach $1 million, no matter the outcome.