Bill Graham Civic Goes APE

Another Planet Entertainment has won approval from San Francisco for a 20-year lease on the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, which will get $10 million in improvements poured into it by APE and a sharp increase in the number of concerts.

The 7,000-capacity hall, located in the city’s Civic Center, adds another venue to Another Planet’s growing portfolio in the Bay Area, in addition to the Greek Theatre in Berkeley and Oakland’s Fox Theatre. APE also stages the Outside Lands festival in Golden Gate Park in August.

The agreement calls for APE to pay the city $100,000 in annual rent, plus yearly 2.5 percent increases, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. If ticket sales exceed projections, the city stands to pocket a little more coin – which it can use, since the BGA has reportedly cost San Franciso more than $2.1 million to operate in recent lean years.

Another Planet envisions promoting at least 50 concerts per year at the hall, and the contract reportedly allows the city to use the auditorium rent-free up to 50 days per year for civic events.

Formerly the San Francisco Civic Center before its rechristening for the famed local concert promoter, the Bill Graham Civic was built in 1915 and hosted a Democratic National Convention in addition to concerts with artists ranging from The Grateful Dead to Lady Gaga.

The lease with Another Planet Entertainment seems fitting, as much of its staff came from the ranks of Bill Graham Presents, including company chief Gregg Perloff, who was considered one of the late Graham’s lieutenants before his untimely death in 1991.