Freedom Hill To Reopen?

The owners of the Freedom Hill Amphitheatre in Sterling Heights, Mich., appear to be preparing for a reopening by settling debts owed to Live Nation and lesser Macomb County.

Live Nation sued venue promoter Hillside Productions in 2010, claiming money owed from five concerts, and Macomb County joined the suit. U.S. District Judge Denise Page Hood awarded Live Nation $321,959, noting the money needed to be paid when issues in the case were resolved, according to Crain’s Detroit Business.

Macomb settled for $500,000. The agreement settles a case that would have gone to trial in July.

The settlement calls for Hillside to pay for improvements at the venue, and co-owner Joseph Vicari toured the shuttered venue with Macomb County Deputy Executive Mark Deldin recently toured the venue – closed since 2009 – with new investors to assess its condition, according to Crain’s.

It’s a little late in the game to manufacture a summer series, and Deldin recognized that a 2012 season would be truncated at best.

Meanwhile, Vicari, owner of the Andiamo Restaurant Group, appears to be shopping.

“We are waiting on a last piece of the puzzle, involving the ownership and lining up a national promoter,” he said.

Freedom Hill Amphitheatre has opened and closed several times over the past decade, and once won a major judgment against the city. Shed owners had accused Sterling Heights of harassment, claiming it conspired to close down Freedom Hill. A federal judge agreed and awarded the owners a $260 million judgment in 2003. The shed has lost its share of legal battles, too.