(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Clear Channel Entertainment and the city of Minneapolis have agreed to a 30-year deal for the entertainment company to exclusively book shows into the city-owned, Broadway-style Orpheum, State, and Pantages theaters. The city is counting on CCE to use its leverage to book top productions into the venues, which will help pay down the $1.5 million debt still owed on those buildings.
Under the terms of the agreement, Hennepin Theatre Trust, which produces and presents Broadway shows at the theaters in consultation with Clear Channel Entertainment, will manage the buildings.
While opponents say the deal means Clear Channel will eventually own the buildings, the Theatre Trust disputes it. The 30-year deal shuts out St. Paul's Ordway Theater, which had hoped to form a metro-wide theater company. –Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner