City Approves SMG Greek Theatre Contract; Five More Years With Possible Extension For L.A. Venue

Greek Theatre
– Greek Theatre
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The Los Angeles City Council late Tuesday approved a five-year agreement with SMG to operate the Greek Theatre that includes a $4 million capital improvement plan to the venue as well as surrounding traffic, sound and infrastructure.
“I am thrilled today to announce a new agreement between the City and SMG to operate our storied Greek Theatre,” Councilmember David Ryu said. “This substantive agreement, which includes $4 million in improvements, is the result of a robust process which strived to meet the needs of the theatre and the surrounding community.”
The improvements in SMG’s agreement include renovations to three of the decks and concession stands, enhanced entrance and security, and the replacement of every chair, for the chance to operate the Greek Theatre for another five years, the announcement states. 
The bidding process came down to SMG and Oak View Group, which is Pollstar’s parent company. OVG operates the Arena Alliance providing consulting services for a group of 26 major venues, among other venue interests.
“We are proud of the new agreement with SMG to assist with the daily management of our iconic and historic Greek Theatre,” Mike Schull, General Manager of the Department of Recreation and Parks, said. “This agreement will bring real improvements to the Greek, and ensure this remains a cherished venue for the City of Los Angeles and a first class experience for our patrons and the surrounding community members.”
The Greek Theatre is owned by the City of Los Angeles’ Department of Recreation and Parks. SMG’s current agreement to operate the Greek Theatre expires Nov. 1. The process to create a new agreement began in November 2017 with the release of a Request for Proposals that was open to all interested operators.
The agreement allows for SMG to operate the Greek Theatre for five years, with the option for the City to renew the agreement for another five years. Aside from the $4 million in capital improvements, SMG committed to host monthly meetings with the nearby community, use sound monitoring services to study and reduce sound impacts on neighbors, and implementing a hot-line for community members to immediately contact SMG senior staff. 
Prior to SMG, Nederlander Concerts exclusively operated and promoted at The Greek for decades. Live Nation challenged that deal upon renewal before the city opted out of exclusive promoters and went with a management agreement. In 2014 SMG won the bid in a hotly contested and highly public and political process to operate the historic, 5,801-seat amphitheater located in Griffith Park for one year with two one-year options. It’s been operating the historic building since 2015 and in that time SMG says it has exceeded original projections with more than $10.7 million in combined net revenue for the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks. 
The venue now operates as an open venue with multiple promoters bringing shows there, including Nederlander, and many of those co-promoted with Live Nation.
The venue is a perennial winner of the Red Rocks Award for best small outdoor venue at the annual Pollstar Awards.