SMG Vs. Spectra At Greek Theatre

Pollstar is pleased to announce a new strategic partnership with veteran industry journalist Dave Brooks and Amplify.

With nearly 10 years covering the intertwined industries of live events and venue services in the evolving music industry landscape, Dave brings a fresh perspective to the issues from his base in Southern California.

Here is Dave’s first THE REAL column powered by Pollstar. 

As the  prepares for its open venue experiment, the competition to manage the facility is down to two companies – SMG and Spectra.

Those two firms were the only ones to send representatives to a mandatory walkthrough of the 5,800-seat theater that was managed for decades by Nederlander Concerts before an epic battle with Live Nation curtailed its operator status.

Representing SMG was regional manager Steve Tadlock, who also serves as GM of  in Fresno, Calif. He was joined by Bob Papke, VP of live entertainment for theaters, and Michael Krouse, who manages the Ontario (Calif.) Convention Center for SMG.

Representing Spectra were Todd Glickman, senior VP of business development and client relations, and Hank Abate, senior VP of arenas and stadiums.

Also on the tour were L.A. Rec and Parks GM Mike Shull and union rep William Ford with the IATSE Local 33, plus some city officials and local business leaders hoping to apply for subcontracts to manage tasks like security and accounting.

Nederlander representatives joined the group of about 20 participants in touring the Greek’s backstage, front of house and concession areas.

Why would only two companies be willing to make a bid on one of LA’s most iconic venues? One reason could be the complexity of the bid itself – the latest RFP is 230 pages and requires lengthy financial pro formas, along with proposals for meeting city rules like L.A.’s living wage ordinance.

Second, the RFP was designed to exclude bids from Nederlander, AEG or Live Nation. It’s a play Shull borrowed from  in Denver – to be a truly open building, whoever ends up managing the Greek can’t promote or co-promote concerts at the facility.

“Promotion of concerts or events by the selected proposer at the Greek Theatre will be strictly prohibited,” the city’s RFP reads. “Any concert promoter, a subsidiary of a concert promoter or a joint venture with a concert promoter who is associated with the selected proposer will be prohibited from promoting concerts at the Greek Theatre.”

Bids to manage the Greek are due June 30 and officials expect to choose an operator in August. Nederlander Concerts’ contract to manage the venue expires in October – but Nederlander and Live Nation are both expected to bid for a new long-term contract to manage the facility as the exclusive promoter.