SRC Arena Concert Lawsuit

Promoters for a “Trespass America Tour” stop at Onondaga Community College’s SRC Arena in Syracuse, N.Y., are suing venue officials for abruptly canceling the show and allegedly not paying promoters the ticket sales money.

The lawsuit, filed June 1 by Sebby Abbate and Scott Mashaw, aka Scott Ozzborn, of AMP Entertainment in New York Supreme Court, accuses SRC Arena and Event Center, Onondaga Enterprises Inc., the not-for-profit that operates the arena, and OCC official David Murphy of breach of contract, conversion of goods, loss of business opportunity, unjust enrichment, tortious interference and other charges.

Court papers say AMP worked with venue reps for about six months to bring the heavy metal festival featuring Five Finger Death Punch to the 6,500-capacity arena Aug. 7. With agreements in place, promotion and ticket sales launched May 2.

Ozzborn said the situation abruptly changed May 14.

“ Out of nowhere … they emailed our partner radio station [WAQX-FM] and told them they weren’t hosting the show. That’s how we found out,” he told Pollstar. “I called and spoke to Steve Hyman, the venue’s general manager, and that conversation didn’t go too well. The only statement he would say to me – and he repeated it over and over again – was ‘The college does not want the show.’

“That’s the last time we had any contact with them. They haven’t returned phone calls or [contacted] us in any way, shape or form.”

A copy of Hyman’s email to WAQX-FM makes reference to a recent uproar regarding financial disclosure of SRC Arena contracts requested by the city’s Post-Standard. The paper reported June 4 that venue officials initially resisted, citing confidentiality, but finally released the contracts with fee information redacted.

“With all the controversy recently involving the college, and the entertainment contracts of SRC Arena, and the need to maintain continuity in our mission, they will not contract for Five Finger. You will need to find an alternative venue,” Hyman wrote. “I thought I was in a position to have a varied calendar but the rules of engagement have changed since we spoke months ago.”

AMP was also promoting a June 19 Bow Wow concert at the arena, but Ozzborn said that show is postponed while they look into other venue options.

The lawsuits seeks about $200,000 in expenses related to moving the Aug. 7 “Trespass America” concert to Oswego Speedway and the Bow Wow concert in addition to $500,000 in compensatory damages.

The suit also seeks payment for about 300 tickets sold by SRC Arena for the Aug. 7 show and an unknown number of tickets sold for Bow Wow.

“We don’t know what they’ve done with [Bow Wow ticket] money,” Ozzborn said. “Our initial idea is to honor those tickets [at the new venue], no problem. But if they went and started refunding tickets and we don’t know that, we don’t know if [the tickets] are any good.”

The Post-Standard reported June 4 a statement from the college claimed no contracts existed for the two shows promoted by AMP.