Pascrell Demands LN Contracts

A New Jersey congressman on Feb. 11 demanded that Live Nation Entertainment turn over copies of all agreements it has made with NJ Sports and Entertainment Authority, which is in deep debt.

U.S. Rep Bill Pascrell, who has been a thorn in the side of Ticketmaster and Live Nation since the announcement the two planned to merge, said the public has a right to know how NJSEA is spending its money, particularly if taxpayers are asked to bail the agency out.

“The citizens of New Jersey deserve to know of the details of these relationships before being asked to subsidize the Authority,” the Star-Ledger quoted the congressman as saying.

Even though NJSEA is a public agency, getting those copies might be easier said than done. The newspaper itself has been refused copies of concert contracts and filed a lawsuit in June to force their release under New Jersey’s open records act.

According to the paper, the agency contends releasing entertainment agreements “would allow competing venues to undercut their prices and take business away.”
NJSEA operates the Meadowlands Sports Complex, including the Izod Center arena. It had operated Giants Stadium, which is now in the process of being demolished.

A recent report released by the state said the agency was budgeting a $38 million deficit in 2010. Much of the deficit reportedly stems from a projected $22 million loss in horse racing, and predicts a further loss in revenue from the loss of Giant Stadium.

With NJSEA fighting the release of its contract records to the Star-Ledger, Pascrell has asked Live Nation to do so voluntarily.